Archive for limb

Origins

Posted in Diesel, Malarkey, Vets with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 15, 2010 by arbitrary

Diesel (our oldest cat, at 5 years old) has been labouring with a limp for the last few months, he’s been taken to the vets regularly while they tried to find what’s wrong. And on Monday 11th Jan 2010 he was going in for a final X-Ray before we all could come to the conclusion that it was something un-X-rayable.

He hates the vet. The vets are a little scared of him, despite his soppiness and nerves at home. But, in pain, he became close to feral. Yesterday he got to see the best vet ever, who looked at him, heard my tales of his behaviour and said ‘shall we just leave him in the carrier since we know we’re admitting him for an X-Ray?’. Less trauma for my baby.

Went home with neighbours who were valiantly supplying the ride to the vets, and then popped home to eat something and wait to ring the vets at 1pm, sure they wouldn’t find anything again and his mystery limp was going to be with us for a while. At 12:40 they rang. It started badly, with them saying they’d found a bone tumour in his paw that was really painful for him (and that had barely been noticeable by X-Ray. We were in luck at their chief orthopaedic expert was coincidentally in that day and had been snapped up to check mystery limp cat!!). Anyway, apparently it’s pretty rare in cats…

In Diesel, it meant a chest X-Ray to see if there was any sign of spread. None so far. And then amputation of his front left leg. I don’t quite know how I held it together to speak to the woman on the phone, but I took some details including when to ring back. And called my husband, in tears and made him tearful also. Then my neighbours who have been a rock of cat support to us, since we’re fairly new to the gig (before we fostered a little and found Diesel that way) and they told me to drop everything and come over. Being around other people meant I could re-discover the famed British Upper Lip, and took a hot drink and started to let the shock settle in.

We’d always said that losing the leg was worst case scenario. But even in my pessimistic leaning, I never thought he’d have to lose it to save his life from much worse.

He was supposed to stay at the vet’s overnight. But when I rang in they said he was getting stressed and would we like him to come home. So, with another really kind offer of a lift, we all set out to get him, knowing we’d soon see the cruel evidence of his bad luck. And with a heady mix of guilt, sadness and hoping for him to be ok.

He’d been given 3 different sedatives. He really wasn’t happy at all. And there’s no promise that it worked in the long run. They can’t give that, and we can’t expect them to, but I’d hoped it would be over.

And although we set up the bedroom for him to hide in, he’s not taking it well. He’s never liked being shut in. Not cat carriers, not rooms, not outside the house – he hates closed doors. And as he’s been waking up from the doping, he’s been increasingly upset about it. He’s even done a runner (which at least means he can tackle stairs already at full pelt). He’s also had his first fall. I’m warned we should expect many as he re-learns how to land.

Malarkey (commonly called Larky) is the baby of the house. She adores Diesel, though he’s been very stand-offish of her since the foot pain. She was down in the dumps while he was at the vets and now she’s camped outside the bedroom. When he cries, she comes calling. And he cries by the door every hour. I slept from 8pm-midnight, then husband went in to take care of Diesel and I’m up, making sure Larky feels loved.

I know things will return to normal. I know cats can be very happy on 3 legs. My uncle has a 3-legged cat. I’m worried about this week. Getting him to eat tablets, and take his meds (due to his ‘temperament problem’ they gave him dissolvable stitches at least! The vets really ARE scared of him, but they’ll see a nicer side of him when the pain is gone, I’m sure). I don’t like to keep him trapped in when he might be happier outside. I don’t like to make Larky feel unwanted. And I want it to be the end of my poor baby’s woes.

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