Archive for Recovery

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!

Day Seven

Posted in Collar, Diesel, Recovery with tags , , , , , , , , on January 17, 2010 by arbitrary

Day Six – I went to work, and hated leaving him, even though my husband was in charge for the day. After the collar was removed to ease feeding, Diesel made a break for the open door to the room and managed to run both down and up-stairs while my husband chased, collar in tow. No more stitches lost, and also full usage of normal size litter tray, and food bowls restored to floor level.

And today, I woke up feeling sad about it all, and continue to do so. I cried when we were talking about him earlier. No reason, he’s doing well and have given him the run of the house while he has the collar on. He came downstairs when I was getting the food ready as he always used to do), but then hated hitting the collar around the lounge and ended up hiding near my old desk, quite safely. We brought him upstairs for a supervised collarless feed, and he’s now re-collared and slumped down in a bit of a funk. The scar continues to heal, he can eat biscuits and manage the litter tray in his collar, and yet I still feel really down about it.

Have turned down a couple of invites to go out next week, I just don’t want to leave him alone, even for a few hours right now. Though I leave him during the day if I need to go shopping – going out for social reasons seems crude. Haven’t played much of my online game at all. I hope my friends realise it’s not stand-offishness, but I can’t concentrate. And no mantter how many times someone says ‘he’ll be fine’ – they don’t have to sit in a room seeing how sad he can be sometimes or staring at the scar.

I did take some photos for the blog, but haven’t got them off the camera yet… maybe tomorrow.

Tomorrow morning is the vet check-up. No idea how he’ll take to going back in a cat carrier or if he’ll still be petrified of the vets! Time will tell.

Day Four

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

It’s been quite a quiet day for Diesel (Thursday 14th January). I let him out to see what was on the other side of the door, and he came out slowly and cautiously. He walked a foot down the hallway and then flopped for a rest, before he finally made it to the top of the stairs and wistfully gazed down them. And slumped again and just watched them. Such a change from his first day back when he was so drugged up and so scared he managed to hurtle down the stairs with no problems at all. Now, he has to regain his courage to try new things, and it’s painfully obvious that his other legs are a little weaker than they could be.

Diesel’s always had fairly weak legs and when we first adopted him at 7 months old we had to spend many hours making him run and jump (with the aid of a tape measure) to try and build them up. Best guess, is that he’d been closed in a fairly small space at his previous home, and not had the ability to run around and develop normally. He has never jumped on kitchen worktops in his life, and his jumping limit is definitely lower than other cats before the loss of the leg! Told you he’s always been our special boy. I will devote a post to how we came to adopt him some day, once the recovery is a bit more complete.

So after the Great Stairs Incident(TM), he went back to his room and back to his safe hiding zone (he used to hide in this spot when he was in agony, so it really much feel safe to him). And we let him be for a while. He perked up again later!

Malarkey was allowed in again, and this time they had a head nudge before she noticed the tuna! She also jumped on the windowsill, on top of a 5ft chest of drawers and over Diesel. Show-off! But in general he’s not shown any concerns about having her near him as he did a week ago. This is good to see.

He’s not repeated his jumping, either to the windowsill or the bed, but he does now roll over onto his back when he wants his tummy rubbed. He has also started to battle me at pill-giving time. Damn! But I’m heartened that he’s learning to use his remaining front paw for battle – just in case he needs it. We’re lucky because he’s never been much of an outdoor cat. He likes 5-10 mins in the backyard chewing grass, but not if the door is closed, so his forays are always limited to summer – but at least that’s something he isn’t missing right now.

His check-up with the vet is now going to be monday. I think it’s supposed to be between today and sunday, but I’m going when I can get a lift. His recovery isn’t worrying, and he’s doing as well as I think we can realistically hope for. I worry about leaving the house for too long, unattended, though – especially as we’ve had a dinner invite. I think I’m going to refuse it. Bad enough I have to go to work tomorrow (though he will have my husband’s loving care!).