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Three Cats, Eleven Paws | Jerry Kitty's Story

Archive for July 2014

Jul/14

13

July 5, 2014: Amputation+1 month

Here’s the scoop!

Today I celebrated my one-month ampuversary! Dad gave me EXTRA treats today, one of my favorite things. What I can’t understand is why we don’t celebrate this daily–just for the treats, of course.

I’m feeling well and doing great. Over the last week, I started getting into bed with Dad again. Typically, I jump atop the chest at the foot of the bed and then hop up onto the bed.

Dad here – I have seen Jerry go directly from the floor to the bed in one leap…

I sometimes like to snuggle with Dad at night – usually under his right arm so I can lay my head on his shoulder. What can I say, I really like being around him anytime I can–and what cat doesn’t like a snuggly, warm place to sleep?

Dad and I started playing one of my favorite games again: “Pounce!”. The reason I like it so much is that the moment Dad puts his hand under the blankets, it transforms into some kind of monster that I simply am compelled to kill. Typically, I prefer method #3 from the Feline Handbook (grabbing the sheets and shaking them to get at the monster) as it always works. I’ve not yet leaped across the bed as I used to, but I will–and Dad better watch out then as that monster is in for serious hurting!

Dad here – this game has been the one Jerry and I have played since he was a little kitten. I’m so glad he’s feeling well enough to kill the “monster” again!

For some reason, my getting dressed in the morning gets Jerry extra excited – I get lots of bumps on my legs, tail shakes, and chat. This was the first day I’d seen him do this since the amputation. Yet another reminder of just how well he’s adapted to the new reality in which he lives.

Jerry here – I was able to knock Dad on his back! Yes!

Dad again – Another favorite game of his is “Knock Daddy Over”. When Jerry is on the bed and kneading my legs, I pretend he can knock me on my back. He then gets up on my chest and is as happy as can be.

Jerry here – don’t believe him! I take him down all by myself!

Another thing Jerry did (before amputation) when in a playful or very happy mood is to get up on his hind legs and lightly paw my leg for attention. While he has not yet tried balancing on one leg, today he did sit up on his haunches and pawed at my leg, just as he used to.

Every time another one of his typical behaviors re-emerge after the amputation, I smile as it’s one more way he’s proving that he’s truly the “Whatever” cat–and that nothing’s going to stop him now.

 

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Jul/14

13

June 29, 2014: Amputation+24 Days

Here’s the scoop!

Today, I graduated! Dad has finally become convinced that I can handle the steps and jumping onto lower furniture without any embarrassing incidents like before – no more hanging by the front paws!

So, Dad opened the door the door to the recovery room and I went downstairs. I noticed my food bowl appeared alongside those of Tom and Nemesis. I saw Dad taking Nemesis’s litter box back into the den and cat related stuff is back where it belongs again.

The clincher here is: Dad did NOT take me back to the den to stay alone at night! Finally, getting back to some normalcy around here again!

Here am I on the coffee table with Nemesis acting like he can actually see something out the window with the faux stained glass. Have I mentioned previously that he doesn’t seem terribly bright?

Here am I on the coffee table with Nemesis acting like he can actually see something out the window with the faux stained glass.
Have I mentioned previously that he doesn’t seem terribly bright?

 

Dad here: Over the last week, I noticed Jerry getting more confident with the steps and moving from the sofa to the arm chairs and back. He’s been doing so well that I figured it was time to let Jerry have the run of the house again.

This decision was not made lightly as I’m out of the house for long periods of time during workdays. While I just live with the Pride, I wanted to be confident that Jerry was navigating the stairs well and unlikely to harm himself as that had been my biggest worry.

Having seen him zip up and down the stairs as he used to and otherwise just live normally has put my mind at ease. He’s doing so well that I thought it best that he again gets to enjoy his days with the rest of the Pride, just as he did before the amputation.

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Jul/14

13

June 28, 2014: Amputation+23 Days

Uncle Tigre here:

I’m a relatively new regular to show up in Jerry’s world. Unlike Uncle Mike, who’s known him all his life, he doesn’t know me that well.

As he’s a bit standoffish until he gets to know someone, his usual greeting to me is one of the standard Feline responses: when a stranger tries to be social, give the “I don’t know you THAT well yet face” followed by running like hell in the opposite direction.

On Saturday, I was over at the Pride-stead doing my thing for the family when I came into the dining room and saw Jerry. He did the standard response mentioned above and took off like the proverbial rocket up the stairs to the living room. To witness it, one would be forgiven to think the cat had all four legs under him when he did this.

While I was a bit disappointed that he’s not greeting me yet as he does Uncle Mike, I was delighted that he was as fast as lightning on just three legs.

Jerry here: Sorry, but a cat just can’t be too careful. I’m not taking any chances as you could have mutated into an axe murderer since your last visit for all I know!

Dad has seen Jerry run and leap, but he missed that moment Jerry regained the speed of light running from the dining room. I am so thrilled that this illness was isolated and removed and that Jerry cat is himself, the trooper that just lives in happiness and takes everything in stride…”whatever”.

My heart sings for Dad and the Pride as all is well and back to normal 🙂

 

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Jul/14

13

June 25, 2014: Amputation+20 Days

GOOD NEWS!

Dad’s been letting me out of the room more lately! Sure, it’s only when he’s home, but who cares? I get out of that boring room for awhile to be with the ones I love.

Dad kind of hovers closer than usual, keeping a close eye on me when I’m out of course – but in a good way.  I don’t know what “sea legs” are, but he keeps telling me that he’s going to watch me until I get them under me.

I’ve had the occasional slip, such as on Sunday. One minute I’m on the arm of the easy chair, crossing over as I always do,  the next minute I find myself slipping off it and I ended up hanging off the side table with my front paws. Thank goodness Dad was there to rescue me and give me a hug as that was really scary to go through!

While on “liberty” today, I was in a great mood and feeling frisky. First, I tried to wrestle with Tom. Then I went over to try and play with Nemesis, but he just flopped over on his side, once again making me wonder what use he serves around here beyond annoying me.

Anyway, when he and Tom started running, I tried to follow, but couldn’t keep up with them–at least not now. 🙁

I know that it’s only a matter of time before I fully master getting around like I did before (well, as close as I can anyway). As it is, I can already feel myself getting a little stronger and regaining a little more agility every day.

On the bright side, I am slowly getting the hang of going up the steps. I now know I can’t just bound up the steps like I did before. I now prefer a more sedate–and dignified–pace, as befits a proper feline, I like to think..

Dad keeps encouraging me to practice on the steps. As he knows I’ll follow him anywhere, I’ve been doing more steps daily as he moves about the house. I can tell that the practice is helping make this task a little easier each time I try it. While I still have to tackle them sideways, I’m at least starting to climb the stairs now.  We have lots of stairs as we have a few floors in the house, so I know it’s important that I get the hang of this again.

Overall, I’m doing well and loving life–even more so now that my room escapes are becoming more frequent. Of course, I’ve allowed Dad to naively believe he lets me out. I’m really enjoying more quality time with my Pride mates. It’s so nice to be out that even Nemesis looks good!

Of course nothing beats Dad; he’s been just great. I can tell he loves me just as much with three legs as he did with four. He’s told me time and again that we’ll be forever friends, no matter what. Luck was definitely on my side long ago, because I couldn’t have gotten a better Dad if I made one myself.

I think I hear the pantry opening, so I’d better run as that almost certainly means TREATS!!!

 

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Jul/14

13

June 22, 2014: Amputation+17 Days

Dad here today.

I left Jerry out of his room this morning. Rather than waiting for me to walk down first, he actually BEAT me in getting to the kitchen first!

Later when he was up in the living room, I opened the pantry door, which the entire Pride recognizes as the signal for treats. Whenever I do this, Jerry is almost always the first there and today was no exception. He flew down the stairs so quickly that one could easily be forgiven in thinking for a moment that he still retained all four of his legs.

While he’s still sizing up how to jump atop the wine boxes he uses as a perch in the kitchen, he hasn’t quite managed to figure it out. That said, I could definitely seeing him doing whatever Cat Math they do to determine how to gracefully leap onto something.

I’ve began to notice that as far as mobility is concerned, Jerry acts as if  his  leg is still there. For example, yesterday he leapt into the armchair and attempted to cross over the gap between to be on my chair. While his first attempt failed due to a slip and fall (which as near I could tell, did him no harm at all), he didn’t give up.

Directly after he fell, he jumped up on the chair again. Before moving further, I could see him doing the “Cat Math” to figure out how best to  get across. Calculations complete, he moved towards me, successfully stepping up onto the arm of the chair and crossing over to mine.

He then put his front paws on my chest, paused for a bit and then hopped over to me. Directly after, all paws were on my chest and he settled in for a hug and purrs.

At that moment, seeing just how well he’s adapting to his new realities led me to shed more tears of joy. Every day, I marvel at how fully he lives the mantra “whatever”.

Today showed yet more evidence that he’s heading towards eventual mastery of the stairs as he seems to find them a little easier to navigate daily.

Another area of improvement is play. While he doesn’t play often, he does on occasion like to wrestle his brother Tom. Today, he approached Tom in what looked like a prelude to one of their wrestling matches. Apparently, Tom wanted to be chased instead because he took off, with Jerry in hot pursuit directly after. As he returned alone, I presume Tom made it clear he wasn’t in the mood to play after all.

 

Here I am learning how to come up the steps. I can do this! I can do this! I just wish it were as easy as going down!

Here I am learning how to come up the steps. I can do this! I can do this! I just wish it were as easy as going down!

 

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Jul/14

13

June 21, 2014: Amputation+16 Days

Here’s the scoop!

On Monday, Dad put me in the-box-that-shall-not-be-named and took me for a ride in the car. As happens every other time that damned thing shows up, I ended up at the doctor’s office.

While she did some things I really didn’t care for at all, she did do one thing I most definitely did: she FINALLY got rid of that horribly annoying Elizabethan collar! I was so happy that I just kept shaking my tail and prancing around on the floor in the doctor’s office. While I got a pedicure (which was nice), that collar removal was the best part of the visit!

Over the next couple of days after the visit, Dad would leave the door to my room open. While my initial escape was to prove to him that I was able to do it, I wasn’t all that into leaving the room when I was allowed to do so. Just like any other cat, I don’t like to ever let a human think I’m doing what they want me to out of principle, if nothing else.

Of course, each day my Nemesis-in-Residence would come up to the room and say “hi” to me before going and EATING MY FOOD! What a mooch–as if he doesn’t have his own downstairs!

 

Dad here – of course Jerry would NEVER even consider eating out of one of the other cats’ bowls…

 

Anyway, yesterday, Dad opened the door as usual and walked down a couple of steps. As always, I really wanted to hang out with Dad, so I came down three steps and let him scritch me while I sat on the step next to him.

I then went back up the steps to my room. As I’m not yet totally accustomed to climbing the stairs with one less leg at my disposal, I did manage to make it up the stairs to the room.

I don’t know why he’s so excited and happy about me doing something so basic to getting around our house, but then again I don’t ask too many questions. After all, I know we trained him well enough to instinctively know that praise is just our due.

Today, after opening the den door he called for me so I peeked around the corner, saw him at the bottom of the stairs and went down. He then went up the stairs, so I went up there, after which he went back down again.

I don’t quite know why he’s doing this, but I don’t care because each time he stopped, I got to rub against his leg, shaking my tail a lot, as is my way when I’m as happy as I was at that moment. While the stairs are still a bit of a challenge, I definitely think they’re getting to be a little easier every time I take them. I’m betting that it won’t be much longer before I’ll finally zip up them as I used to before the leg was gone.

I finally saw my brother, Tom, after so long when I made it down to the lowest level. He came over to me and started grooming me and I him. I’d not seen much of him lately, so it was nice to spend some quality time making him look his very best. I missed him and I think he did me as well.

Tom and I get to catch up with each other.

Tom and I get to catch up with each other.

Then Dad broke out the treats and the three of us had some goodies, after which he brought out that black box that clicks a lot. Don’t know what it is, but he seems to like it as we see him with it rather often.

Afterwards, I went up to the living room and jumped up on the coffee table. Perhaps not in my typically graceful manner, but that doesn’t matter as the important thing was to make it all by myself, which I did!

Of course, Nemesis had to come over to me and make me move because that’s what he does. I jumped off the table and landed just fine. I then decided “Screw it” and went back up atop the table, Nemesis be damned, I’m going to enjoy the coffee table!

I’m starting to feel drowsy and think I’m going to take a nap now – it’s been an exciting day.

Ah, the joys of FINALLY getting back into one my favorite spots: on the coffee table near Dad. Did I mention that I hopped up here all by myself, just as I used to? He and I were SO happy when I did that. Now, if you’ll excuse me  I think I’ll nod off here  for awhile…..

Ah, the joys of FINALLY getting back into one my favorite spots: on the coffee table near Dad. Did I mention that I hopped up here all by myself, just as I used to?
He and I were SO happy when I did that.
Now, if you’ll excuse me  I think I’ll nod off here  for awhile…..

 

Later, I decided to try one of my other usual moves: jumping onto the seat of the easy chair, followed by a short leap to the arm of the chair before heading to the top, one of many favorite napping spots.

Unfortunately, once I landed on the arm of the chair I ran into problems as I totally forgot that I’m getting around on one less leg these days. Thank goodness Dad was there to catch me. He managed to get his hand under my one back paw right in the nick of time. He then eased it back onto the arm while I tried to figure out just what happened and what to do next.

I eventually made it to the table between the easy chairs and then came over to Dad’s arm chair. I got the front paws up on my chest but didn’t know what to do to get the rest of my body onto Dad’s chest. Dad eventually gently pushed my butt over to him. Once I realized I reached my goal, I was happy, began to purr, and kneaded Dad’s shoulder.

After a couple of hours, Dad took me back up to the room for the night.

 

Dad here – Jerry got the stitches out on Monday; Dr. C. was thrilled at how well he looked and how well he’s doing. With Jerry doing well with the steps, the Pride is complete once again. When Jerry made it to the dining room level, Tom and Gordy (AKA The Nemesis-in-Residence) came up to Jerry and greeted him.

It was as completely drama free as I expected it to be. It was really moving to see Tom just go up to Jerry and start grooming him. Of course, they had to check out each others’ butts. All is well.

 

The pride is finally reunited. Tom is at the top, I’m in the middle, and Nemesis is on the bottom. It was so good to get back together with my pride-mates.

The pride is finally reunited. Tom is at the top, I’m in the middle, and Nemesis is on the bottom. It was so good to get back together with my pride-mates.

 

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Jul/14

13

June 15, 2014: Amputation+10 Days

Here’s the scoop!

Today, I made the great escape from my recovery room. As a service to my fellow Tripawd felines who may be reading, I offer the following checklist for you to use in your own escape plans:

Step 1: Get Dad’s attention.

About 4:45 AM, things were fine but I was B-O-R-E-D and knew Dad was up at that time. I decided to take advantage of his being half awake by brushing my E-collar against the door to the room where I’ve been confined since coming home from the hospital. I understand Dad calls this “making a fuss” or “good lord, what now?”–never been sure which, but either way it works to summon him as needed.

As I felt like going for the gold, I decided to do a “level two Staff Call” for attention. I started by rubbing the cone against the door frame, which makes a lot of noise and added a nice  layer of “HEY LET ME OUT OF HERE” in Cat repeatedly.

I figured the vocals were a good flourish, sure to get some response out of him. I was right because he came up the stairs and….

 

Step 2: Make it as hard as possible for Dad to get into the room.

I made sure to position myself right at the door and wouldn’t move much (an inch or less) each time Dad tried to open the door.  Eventually, I moved enough so he could finally enter the trap (oops, I mean room.)

 

Step 3: Run for it!

As soon as Dad got the door open, I circled wide and headed out the door. I didn’t get that far – I got to the top of the stairs and wasn’t sure how to deal with them yet. My nemesis-in-residence, Gordy, was there to witness the event. Finally, he’s good for something!

 

Step 4: Get busted.

Once I stopped to size up the situation, Dad was able to catch me and take me back into the room.

When I was back in the room, Dad took the E-collar off and I had a good breakfast, so at least I got SOMETHING for the Level Two Staff Call (which takes a lot of work, let me tell you!).  He keeps making noises about “1 more day” but I have no idea what he’s talking about.

Apologies to any feline Tripawd readers seeking recovery room escape tips….but as they often say on that show Dad likes to watch, resistance is futile.

 

Dad here: It was so great to see Jerry moving at a good clip to get out of the room! His progress just continues to amaze me as he’s such a trooper. His stitches come out tomorrow, and then he’ll lose the collar completely. He’ll slowly be reintroduced into the rest of the house and get back in touch with The Pride, AKA his housemates, Tom and Gordy.

 

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