The Tail

Warning: not for the faint of heart.

Before we got Pharrell (also known as Nubbs or by his proper title King Nubbs of Nubbington), he suffered some sort of injury to his tail, leaving him with an approximately 3 inch long tail nub that had partially healed.

The vet said that it looked like the tail got pinched or caught in something and then either pulled off or died and fell off. For the first few weeks he was with us, we put ointment on his tail twice a day, and he was also on oral antibiotics. By the time he went in for his neuter surgery on January 14th, it was clear that the end of the tail wasn’t going to finish healing on its own. The vet examined him and found that the tip was basically just vertebrae covered in dead skin and scab. She amputated the tip and pulled the healthy skin up to cover it, and sutured it closed.

Below are pictures of his full body, including his tail. Below that are close-up pictures of his tail with dates and comments underneath each picture. The pictures aren’t the greatest – he never seemed bothered when we handled his tail, but like all kittens he’s wiggly and didn’t want to hold still for pictures.

You can click on any picture to see the full-sized version at Flickr.


January 1, 2016.


January 10, 2016. You can see that his tail looks pretty good except for the tip, which is pointed.


January 18, 2016. Four days after surgery – it looks a little funny, since they had to shave the whole thing.

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Close-up pictures of the tail.


December 30, 2015, the day after we got him.


Also December 30, 2015.


January 1, 2016.


Also January 1, 2016.


January 5, 2016. You can see where the skin ends. The end of the tail got more shriveled as time went on.


January 6, 2016. I walked in that morning to find that he’d been gnawing at his tail. There was some blood, but not a lot; we put ointment on it, and it didn’t happen again (we would have put a cone on him if we needed to; but I really didn’t want to!)


January 6, 2016.


January 12, 2016. Except for the tip, I think it looked pretty good.


January 15, 2016, the day after surgery. I think it looks much better here.


January 15, 2016.

He’s now at Kathie’s house, and will be headed off to Petsmart next week. He’ll get the sutures out on Monday, and once the fur grows back on his tail, he’ll just look like a regular manx kitten, I imagine.