Archive for Vets

Return to the Vet

Posted in Collar, Diesel, Litter, Vets with tags , , , , , , , on January 18, 2010 by arbitrary

Oh dear, how much did he not want to go back in the cat carrier today? But using the ‘cruel to be kind’ methodology we’ve had to adopt over the past few days, he went in backwards and gave me some pitiful mews. I feel like Capt. Hard-Hearted these days, but I know it’ll get better once the collar gets removed  forever. We walked over to our friends/neighbours’ house and I took him in to see them and get cuddles pre-vet trip.

Into the car, he was nice and quiet and only gave the occasional mew while in transit, but he was already looking scared, and we both reassured him that this time the vet wouldn’t be doing anything mean. Not sure he believed us though!

Bizarrely, he got to see the very first vet he’d seen in October. ie. the one that made the first attempt to touch his sore paw and saw him go ‘feral’. She gave me a wry grin and asked what his mood was like. I commented that he was pretty happy the collar was off while in the carrier but could make no promises. So, gingerly we took the top off the cat carrier and Diesel went back to his old self, scared of vets but not about to attack them. She said it was like he was trying to blend into the blanket! But, he let her examine the scar while we talked about his progress – hell, he even let her prod it a bit – something we’ve not dared to do. And she said she was really really happy with his progress and we could now remove the collar when he was supervised (ie. when we’re home).

I tried that once we got home and found him a bit later on with a very red looking scar. So the collar’s back on for a day or so, but with big long gaps while we watch him. In a few days he shouldn’t need it anymore, and thanks to some advice from Bella’s family, I now think perhaps he was annoying scabs rather than hassling the scar too much. But, I’m still too chicken to remove the collar altogether just yet.

He’s doing great with adapting, but is still a lot better without the collar on (it really affects his balance, unsurprisingly, and he also can’t see Larky sneak up on him). Just saw him manage to cover his litter – something he barely did on 4 legs! It was quite a feat of determination for him, as he has to balance on his back legs while he does it. Very proud of him!

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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.