kahva (kahva) wrote in little_details,

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Small animal wound care, early to mid 1700s

Time and place: Roughly in the 1720s, Caribbean, taking place on a ship while at sea.

Searches tried: animal care+1700s, animal medicine+1700s, pet care+1700s, veterinary medicine+1700s, veterinary medicine+history, cat care+1700s

The situation I have is that the ship's cat has been grazed by a pistol shot - could be changed to being cut by a knife or cutlass. No vital organs damaged or anything like that - in today's world, a vet would likely sedate the cat, clean the wound, verify no organ damage, then stitch up the cut, prescribe antibiotics. This guess is based on my own personal experience when a cat I had years ago was accidentally burned by hot water, my vet could easily tell that the damage was just to the skin and that no infection had set in, but that the skin was damaged enough that it needed to be removed and the wound stitched up. No skin needing to be removed in the fic, but what I want is for someone to decide to doctor the cat much like a person would be with such an injury, which would be to stitch the wound up.

The scenario I would like to use is to have rum poured on the wound to cleanse the area and/or numb it, then for the wound to be stitched up, and for the cat to have his side bandaged up. The cat is valued by the ship's captain, hence taking the steps to treat the cat. I'd also like for the cat to be offered a small amount of rum to lap up so that he won't try to claw and bite the person who is trying to treat him half to death. I know that the rum of back then isn't like the rum of today, so I'm hoping that that is also feasible. My searches have pointed me more towards to when various veterinary schools were started, when a few certain breeds of cat started, and to the fact that some Quakers had a version of an animal shelter, a basic enclosure where livestock which had strayed off would be kept until the owner paid a fee to get them back. I've learned that cats started appearing in portraits as companions in the 1700s. But any mention of actual animal care in the 1700s that I've found has been about horses and cows. I can easily change the wound to a scratch that doesn't require stitching, just bandaging, but if I can still use the cat being stitched up - and surviving - I'd like to do that to show just how much the captain cares for the cat, that he would take such measures for an animal. Hey, I like drama. :)

ETA: It sounds like I'll be leaving out having the cat stitched up and the use of rum, and simply lessen the extent of the injury, that seems to be the safest route to take here for the cat's sake. Thank you all for your help!
Tags: 1720-1729, caribbean: history, ~veterinary care

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