6 weeks already?

Posted in Diesel, Malarkey, Recovery, Stitches with tags , , , , , , , , on February 22, 2010 by arbitrary

I’ve lost count a bit, but I think we’re at 6 weeks now since Diesel had his left fore-leg amputated due to bone cancer in his paw.

We’ve had some massive ups and downs, in his mood, in our mood – even in Larky’s mood. He’s gone from hiding upstairs, to hiding ON the stairs, to his latest hideyhole – behind the sofa. But now he spends most of his day downstairs, in the corridor getting sun from outside, or in the kitchen awaiting food.

His last stitch fell out last weekend. That’s been massive in helping his mood I think. Before he’d be constantly licking it and snarl a bit at his own inability to get rid of it, and obviously it was pulling on his skin. Now he’s a lot more free and easy, neither of us have been bitten while stroking in a couple of weeks either.

He wants to play with toys, but his muscles are still learning to be as agile with one leg missing. He can jump on both our sofas, but the bed eludes him, as does the coffee table (though he can vaguely clamber there from a sofa). But he’s about 80% on range of movement now. He was never a big jumper, never went on kitchen surfaces, only jumped on lowish things – now he just thinks more before even attempting a jump.

But his mood is very improved, and that means a lot more to me that anything else. Although we weren’t given a choice about the operation, I would never have chosen an alternative to the amputation!!

Challenges still await us – keeping his weight down is, I hear, a big deal now. Luckily he’s always been on the average/small weight side, but I do see him wanting to be fed more to comfort himself already. We have to watch that, because the last thing his legs need is extra pressure that’s not needed. We have to see how things settle down with Larky – he can already bat her away quite professionally, and they tussle a bit, I hope they continue as things return to normal. It gives them both a bit of exercise and we’ve never even found scratch marks on either, so they don’t really GO at each other hell for leather. I’m sure he’ll also have some bad days, we can’t assume it’s all over and done with now, and, of course, we have to keep an eye out for any signs of cancer returning – something I’m currently avoiding thinking about.



Posted in Diesel, Recovery with tags , , , , on February 4, 2010 by arbitrary

Diesel is still well on his recovery road. Only has 1 stitch left in now, and I need to put up some photos of him exploring the back yard. He’s desperate to go out, though he never was beforehand. He just putters around the back yard, looking for grass to eat, so I don’t mind the odd few minutes – but it’ll be a while till I let him out unsupervised. Still, he’s never shown any desire to leave the back yard, so I always know he’s safe.

He’s also rediscovering his desire to play, hampered by Larky’s youthful exuberance and extra speed and bravery. We start playing with Diesel and then Larky pounces on the toy mouse/rabbit/frog and puts him off. But he didn’t play at all with the sore foot, so this is a definite improvement and return to form.

He’s also always first down for food, which is some feat in this house. But still not brave enough to stay downstairs for long.. and he hasn’t come back in our bedroom since he was shut up in there. I hope he gets over that, because I love being woken up by him – he’s very gentle compared to Larky with her LOUD purr.

Three Weeks

Posted in Diesel, Recovery with tags , , on February 1, 2010 by arbitrary

It’s now 3 weeks to the day since Diesel had his leg amputated. He still has 4 stitches in, but they hopefully won’t be around long. His fur is growing back, he now manages stairs with aplomb, and even comes to the kitchen BEFORE Larky to start begging for breakfast/dinner (they have biscuits down all day with wet food at 7am/pm). He’s started playing a bit again, and yesterday sat up against the back door until I opened it. He went out, into the snow, followed by Larky. A few minutes later I went to check on them and found him standing in a flowerpot, eating snow… things are starting to return to normal, but he’s still a bit stand-offish when it comes to coming to us. We have to approach him a bit more carefully, and gain his trust before he lets us stroke him, but we’re getting there.

And, it’s SO much better than watching him limp and fearing he may be in pain.

Getting on for Three Weeks

Posted in Diesel, Recovery with tags , , , , , , on January 29, 2010 by arbitrary

Diesel is still pretty much hiding in the spare room. He comes out to eat and use the litter tray, but so far I’ve not put them all that far from the room. We’re both getting braver. He allows us to stroke him, but Larky is being pretty unrelenting in her terror campaign of watching his every move and increasing his nerves, even though she’s not attacked, hissed or been mean to him. She’s just fast and he doesn’t know what to make of her. But he’s eating, the scar is doing really well (4 stitches left to come out) and he seems happy, if nervous.

He’s been downstairs while I prepare food, but I often have to bring it up for him, because if it stays downstairs I know someone else *cough* will eat it. And she’s getting a bit round around the tummy. But this morning he came down in search of biscuits and then made his way to the sofa and the ‘cuddle pillow’. Normally Diesel is reticent about just sitting on the sofa and being stroked, but he likes sitting on a raised cushion – dubbed the cuddle pillow. Today I managed to get a proper cuddle, but mostly cos Larky was upstairs with my husband and so he felt brave.

But still, it’s progress!

Days lost to hiding

Posted in Diesel, Malarkey, Pictures with tags , , , , , , on January 25, 2010 by arbitrary

So we’ve had a few worried days. Not over his scar or recovery physically, but because Diesel went from hiding out in plain sight or in our bedroom and wanting to be stroked, to hiding in the very back of our spare room, under a futon and definitely out of reach. The room’s a bit of a junk pile, as it’s where we’re storing all sorts of things that had to be moved recently out of the study (which I’m now using as a computer room – make the connection!). Diesel really wanted to get into the spare room. He lay across its doorway for a couple of days. When I was happy the stitches were secure, I let him in – thinkinf he’d have a look round and come out again (it was the only room closed off to him, due to junk!). So he spent most of friday-sunday in there, only emerging to eat, and only if lured out with treats, tuna, or cat food RIGHT by the edge of the futon. And meanwhile, Larky (who usually sleeps in the spare room ON the futon) has been kind of hounding him, rushing in to see what food he’s getting, trying to eat it, jumping RIGHT next to him, etc etc.

So I was getting more and more worried about his mental state, and not being able to comfort him, and whether he’d be scared of us from now on. And then, in-between catching up with Lord of the Rings Online, I popped into the spare room and saw this:

And Diesel spent the rest of the evening under the radiator, allowing strokes and not getting too freaked out by Larky’s presence.

Of course, this morning he’s back to hiding in his safe place. But I’m more satisfied that he will leave when he feels he wants to.

Oh – and here’s another of them, just because:

Out of the room, out of the collar

Posted in Diesel, Recovery, Stitches with tags , , , , on January 20, 2010 by arbitrary

After I got back from the shops today, I released the collar and opened the bedroom door. He’s been on the landing, upstairs, downstairs, in the spare bedroom and is now in the computer room with me, near the radiator. Before my husband got home to distract Larky she’s been a bit of a pest, watching him very closely, even shepherding him and asserting her dominance in the house (unfairly). I’ve pretty much left them to it and we had a bit of a hiss from him earlier (to her, not me), but overall things seem to be doing ok.

And here’s the latest pic, taken 10 mins ago from above as he’s right behind me and I’m terrified to move!


Posted in Collar, Diesel, Malarkey, Pictures with tags , , , , , , , , on January 19, 2010 by arbitrary

Last night I snuck off to play some Lord of the Rings Online and went to an ‘instance’ with my friends. During a brief drink break I popped in to see Diesel and noticed a certain lack of collar around his neck. Oh yes, our boy had learned how to wriggle out of it. No small feat with only one front paw and the floor for leverage. Scar looked quite sore and angry, so administered some anti-inflammatories (he’s strictly off meds now, but vet said we could give him some if he needed it). Collar has been tightened a little – we were a bit wimpy about it at first.

But despite the little scare, I feel an enormous sense of pride that he worked it out. If he can manage that, he can adjust to anything!

And now,  here’s a picture of Malarkey who I know I only ever refer to as Larky, with her ‘baby’ –  the company she’s keeping while Diesel is separated (for the record, I keep the door open for him unless he needs to eat, cos otherwise a helper comes to assist with the food!).

They're not related, they just look it!