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The stumbly tale of a rockin' old cat

Rear leg may be gone but he doesn't half-ass it.

The stumbly tale of a rockin' old cat

A Kitty Tail: Xerox rocks…and stumbles…and then falls down.

November 18th, 2012 · 1 Comment · Uncategorized

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…but then he got right back up on his 3 legs and hopped back to bed like nothing happened.

(The following is cut/pasted from my 1st forum post, repeated here so that the rest of the blog makes sense.)


Zzzz’s n’ Purrs


   Xerox is a 15-year-old European domestic shorthair tabby who loves to snuggle, purr and be held in anyway. In his healthier days he would sleep on my pillow and I would wrap my arm around him like a teddy bear. Sometimes I’d be on my stomach and he’d climb up on my back and give me a purr-massage.  :)   Needless to say, he’s my bebe. haha

 Just after Labor Day weekend, I come home from DragonCon in Atl. to find him limping. In the coming months, his right rear paw began to swell and after plunking down a chunk of change for his biopsy I find out he has a carcinoma in his foot and if we don’t remove his leg, it will just get bigger and bigger and pop his foot like a balloon.

I finally got it done last Wed (Nov.14). He came home that night so high on pain meds (the vet had given him the 1st of 3 Onsior pills), he spun one side like a breakdancer, purring the whole time.

I put him to sleep on a heating pad on my bed and settled in next to him so that if he got up, I did too. it would be my last full night of sleep.

Day One: Thursday

I gave Xerox his first pain pill on the vet’s instruction that morning. He immediately started purring, although that may have been because it was hidden in a treat.  :)   He let me clean his stitches/incision and put Neosporin on it. My vet said it was OK to use either that or Vaseline to keep the wound clean/less itchy. I had also used it on his foot before (after the biopsy) with good results.

He’s already hopping around since he’s basically been on 3 legs since his foot started hurting 2 months ago…although the drugs make him so loopy, to say his balance is off would be an understatement. It was clear that he was hammered. I felt like a drunk sorority girl’s friend (thankfully w/out the holding hair bit – he hasn’t thrown up yet but I think he’s nauseous from the meds).

The first day was odd. He’s quite hilarious and sad at the same time. It was a day of him discovering that he couldn’t lie on his right side, figuring out the litter box, and only getting water because I would squirt it in his mouth with a syringe. He ate pretty well considering…a wet food from the vet for animals in recovery.

I worked from home that day so I carried him downstairs and put him on a bed of blankets by the fireplace. My laptop is set up where I can watch him and make sure he doesn’t go for his stitches. He only licked near the site one time and once I let him know that was a no-no, he didn’t go for it again.

The litterbox is a challenge. He can get in and out OK but he hasn’t quite gotten the stance down and I think he’s using his tail for balance which results in a little bit of a wet foot and tail. (Gross) I have these pet wipes at the ready to clean him up as soon as he gets out (insert servant joke here).

Then the pain meds wore off. He started grunting and moaning a bit. I was worried that the tubes from being intubated during surgery had hurt his throat. Google and a quick talk with my vet assured me this was normal…but it was still hard to hear.

That night I put him back on his heating pad on the bed. He got up about 3-4 times to either eat, go to his litter box, or just change positions, grunting/moaning the whole time. I found a Thermacare heat wrap and put it near his stump (wrapped in the sleeve part of the Snuggie he’s lying on no it’s not directly on his skin) which he seemed to like. I also cleaned/medicated his incision again.

Day Two: Friday

Purrs n’ Tweets

I was so happy to get up and give him his pain meds to end the grunting/moaning. I just wish I had more of them. He again let me clean/medicate his stitches with a q-tip with no complaint but had no interest in getting out of bed so I brought my laptop upstairs to work from home again.

He was not nearly as high/active as he was the day before but I could tell he wasn’t feeling too much either. The grunting stopped and he just relaxed on his heating pad. Bonus: he started drinking on his own and his appetite was picking up too.

Finally around 2 or 3 he wanted to go downstairs so I followed him down and he set up camp by the fireplace again. A couple of times I would catch him licking but it was never near his stitches, thankfully.

Bedtime was similar to day one, but he got up a lot more – to eat, pee, drink – until the pain meds completely wore off and he settled down on the heating pad with another Thermacare on his stump…grunting moaning again but a little less.

Day Three: Saturday

For some reason, at the crack of dawn, Xerox just had to go downstairs so we got up and he took his place by the fire. I didn’t want to leave him unattended but I was exhausted so I passed out on the couch for a few hours. When I got up, I checked his stump and it didn’t look like he had messed with it and he hadn’t moved much so I guess all was well.

This is his first day sans pain meds so I’m keeping a really good eye on him. No grunting/moaning yet which makes me happy and he’s eating/drinking like a champ. Then all hell broke loose.

Walking away from his food bowl, he starts stumbling, tripping and acting like he has roller skates on. He tap dances across the kitchen into the dining room and collapses, letting out a howl that makes him sound like he really does belong on this site – a dog-like howl that (coupled with the spastic scrambling) scared the heck out of me.

I race over to him. He’s lying on his side and I start stroking his fur, trying to cam him and myself down. I massage his legs and then pick him up and put him on his three little feet and he just hops off like nothing happened…back to the fireplace and stays there, napping away.

Meanwhile, I’m freaking out. Is it phantom pain? After reading up on what that’s like, I don’t think so. I wonder if he got a cramp in one of his other legs..the whole ‘using muscles he’s not used to using’ kind of thing. He’s curled up next to me on the couch now (he jumped up here all by himself).

Tomorrow is another day at home but Monday scares me too. I don’t want to leave him alone but I have to go back to work. I have a cone, but he hasn’t needed it thus far. We’ll see I guess…

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