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Years ago, a medium who went by the name of Madam Moutjoy entered the office of a young veterinarian called Malcolm Welshman. She advised him that her cat, Antac, who she had brought in for grooming, was angry with him and had revealed to her that he thought Welshman was "a very bad vet,” according to The Daily Mail. The spirits of Welshman’s other feline patients were sharing their dislike for him with Antac, according to Madam Moutjoy.
Welshman became uncomfortable, but continued grooming Antac. He may have been new to the profession, but he had never harmed a cat. There was something to the medium's words, however, and Antac had seemingly picked up on it. The sour-faced cat was somehow aware of Welshman’s dark secret.
Even though he was a veterinarian, Welshman did not love all animals, namely cats. In fact, as he revealed to The Daily Mail, he "absolutely detest[s] the creatures.” It is a fear and loathing that Welshman believes may have stemmed from a childhood incident with his own pet cat, Sooty. His mother, who was busy trying to prepare for guests, told Welshman to go play. He chased Sooty (a kitten he adored) through the house. The black cat bolted out the door, "and straight under the wheels of the car belonging to [their] first guest,” according to The Daily Mail. It is an event Welshman remembers vividly – one he never could have predicted.
The unpredictability of cats, along with their often selfish and sneaky nature, are characteristics that make Welshman uneasy. They have an uncanny ability to sense those who hate them and then return the sentiment (or maybe they sense fear and respond in kind), which is something Welshman has experienced firsthand several times.
When he was a veterinarian trainee at Bristol University in Langford, England, a cat that was there for vaccinations launched at him and sunk her claws into his arm. Later he tried to warm up to his friend’s cat. Heart racing, Welshman stroked the cat’s back, then tickled his belly. Wrong move. He ended up with more cat claws in his arm and teeth in his palm. Another patient always hid from him, snarling and hissing whenever Welshman came close. And in an attempt to help a neighbor get her cat out of a tree, he ended up with claws digging into his scalp. That same cat had previously stolen Welshman’s chicken dinner, and then gave him a taunting look, both of them knowing he was too afraid of it to do anything about it.
Malcolm Welshman currently lives feline-free, and now feels safe to make his feelings about cats known to the general world. He is now an author, having retired from the veterinary industry after 40 years in practice.