Not really, unless I qualify as puppet-vet. But she was badly in need of a bit of TLC. I have been using the glorified sock-puppet of dear Smudge, that my clever Mum made for me, for... goodness, about 8 years! No wonder she's looking the worse for wear (that's Smudge, not you Mum).
One of my favourite books to read aloud to younger children is Smudge's Grumpy Day. It's such a sweet story, but has a wonderfully naughty edge that I can really bring out, by getting Smudge herself to speak the dialogue and act certain bits out.
Unfortunately, I noticed last week that she had lost all her whiskers on one side, her skirt was falling to bits, and she was in dire danger of having one eye drop off (can you imagine the trauma to those unsuspecting 4 year olds!? Perhaps that's why some authorities insist of £5million liability insurance...)
Of course, one problem is that children like to stroke her, which takes it's toll, but mostly it's being crammed into a bag and then squashed into a suitcase with a lot of heavy books that's done for her.
So, when I got back from the doctors yesterday, I spent the rest of the morning with scissors, double-sided tape and tissue paper, seeing if I could give Smudge some much-needed beauty treatment. She already had a new skull last year (cardboard and sticky-tape), she's on her third set of whiskers and I seem to have completely lost the felt tuft of hair from her head somewhere along the line. Poor Smudge.
Still, she's looking more rosy-cheeked already and is off to fight another day. I might be in a right old mess, but at least Smudge is fighting fit!