The leg was still tender, with a line of red marking what should have been a fading scar.
“Oops, better let me work on that," I told him as he purred, rumbling a deep resonating chest sound, loud in the night. “Roll over on your back. I need to check your belly. I don’t know how you found me last night, but I’m glad I could be of service.”
He shifted under my hands as needed, so that I could probe the stomach wound which had healed without issue.
The leg, though, that was a different story. I looked closer and saw the problem. I had missed an important part of the big cat’s injury the night before. He’d been shot. When I popped the bullet out of the hip, I was surprised it had caused that much discomfort.
It was really just a flesh wound, no more than a pebble under the skin. The slug fell to the ground, and I concentrated my healing efforts on the hip, drawing the pain and infection out, letting the positive healing power flow in.
I was tired but satisfied that I’d gotten everything this time and I slumped back on my hands. A sharp burn startled me. I thought at first I’d leaned on a snake. But on inspection, my hand had touched the bullet I’d removed from the cat’s hip. It was silver.
I took my handkerchief from my pocket, and much like earlier in the day, I gathered the bullet to look at later. It nestled next to the tuft of fur. The original coat purred loudly in front of me.