The 'Hedgehog' Cat

One morning in February I went down to Rufus's pen to give him breakfast and as I approached, I thought he was moving oddly, when I got to him I couldn't believe my eyes!!!!!

He was in a straight jacket of mud! The photo here is after I had brushed him well with a wire brush, I couldn't think what could have happened. The mud appeared to be all the way down to his skin, it wasn't just as if he had rolled in it!!!! I had to use cotton buds to clear his nose as there were plugs of mud in his nostrils! I did the best I could and then had to go to work so locked him in his pen so that he could not get into any further scrapes!

Whilst at work, a colleague whose husband works at Brough told me that her husband (who knows Rufus by sight) had seen a major cat fight involving scores of cats on the banks of the river Humber the night before, and about half a dozen of them (including Rufus) had fallen into the muddy river. They all did appear to get out again which was remarkable, as there are sheer concrete walls where it happened. However this provided some sort of explanation as to what had befallen him.

That evening when I went home I sponge bathed him as best I could and brushed him again. It took several weeks before he was free of mud, each time we thought he seemed clear, fresh supplies of mud would ooze from his skin out onto his fur. I was constantly washing bedding and cat!!!!!

Rufus, looking his most normal.  Taken whilst at one of our HCC Hog RoastsWe gave him antibiotics on his food when I found out what had happened as I don't think the river water could be too good for him!!!! Also when we got some of the mud off him he had great bald patches down his forelegs where the fur was abraded off, presumably as he slid down the concrete walls falling into the river.

After 3 weeks we were due to go on holiday so we booked him into the kennels so that we knew he would be safe, after 3 weeks in there he came home with lovely glossy fur and looked as good as ever again.

This cat is constantly getting into scrapes but I have to say this is his best yet!!