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Three Cats, Eleven Paws | Jerry Kitty's Story

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I celebrated my 1 year Ampuversary yesterday with dad, Tom, and Nemesis (aka Gordy). Dad made me a special chicken meal that was very, very good.

Dad here – I bought Jerry a can of Fancy Feast to celebrate. All members of my Pride are on a special diet so Fancy Feast is not his usual food. Jerry really enjoyed it.

Dad made sure I got to eat most of it, and then let me “share” the leftovers with Tom and Nemesis. Then Dad gave us all some treats. Then he gave me a few extra! It was a nice party!

Dad here – Jerry had his annual physical in April; the chest X-ray came back absolutely clear – no evidence of any cancer! Jerry’s in excellent health and spirits (as are Tom and Gordy). Tom and Jerry both celebrated their 10th birthday in April, and on June 2 we (at least Tom and me) celebrated Gordy coming to live with us – I rescued him off the street 4 years ago and he’s been thriving ever since. 

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Dad here today.

I got an email from my vet shortly before midnight last night with the results of the biopsy. There’s nothing but great news – the lump was a benign skin tag. As I wrote back to Dr. C.: Best. Christmas. Present. EVER. There were wet eyes here from relief when I read the results. Now, I can have happy (and in Jerry’s case, hoppy) holidays.

We get the one stitch out on Friday morning, and then we’ll be done with the latest adventure along the journey.

From my Pride to your Packs and Prides – have a safe and blessed holiday season.

Joe (aka dad)

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JerryCollar

 

Here’s the scoop.

I’m just not that excited today. I’m back from the hospital, sporting one of those dreaded collars. But at least this time they gave me something a little more comfortable. I hate it, and despite my trying, I can’t get it off. They also starved me -I think I’m nothing but fur and bones now.

Besides hating the collar, I’m doing well.

Dad here: Dr. C. told me the surgery was successful and while they were at it, Jerry got some needed dental work done. He has a single stitch in his paw and he’ll need to wear the collar for a week. We already have an appointment next Friday to remove the stitch and then we can ditch the collar. As normal, as soon as I opened the carrier door in the house, Jerry shot out of the carrier like out of a canon. He is on some pain meds for a couple of days (mainly for the dental work – a tooth had to come out). As usual before anesthesia and surgery, the staff had to fast Jerry – so that’s why he’s grousing about the lack of food. Jerry is a big cat physically (not Maine coon big, but tending in that general direction) – and he’s at about the right weight now for his size – about 13 ½ pounds. Believe me, he’s far from being just “fur and bones”. And Jerry is back to sucking down his food with gusto as normal.

Dr. C. is 95% sure the lump is non-cancerous, but like she said we’ll all sleep a little better when we’re 100%. We’ll know on Tuesday.

Dr. C. also told me ALL the techs in the vet office were in the operating area with her when she did the operation, cheering Jerry on. And when the staff see me coming in with carrier(s), they get excited and come out front to see The Pride.

This reminds me of the visit I had with the oncologist shortly after the radiation treatment was completed. I sat down in the exam room with him and the next thing I knew he was pulling out his cel phone and making a call. I was a little put out by this until I head his side of the conversation, which went something like this: “Tell them Jerry is in the building.” Then he hung up and apologized for the phone call, saying “If I didn’t tell the staff Jerry was here, they would have killed me. They all want to come and say ‘hi’ to him.”

Jerry here again: It is good to be home again with dad, Tom, and Gordy. I spent the night with dad in bed where, even with that darn collar, I got in good snuggles with him. The best part was when he rolled over on his back, I got up on his chest, and snuggled up to him, cheek-to-cheek.     

Dad here: And Jerry purred his brains out. He also maneuvered the collar so the edge was under my chin and he could get close to my face. This was the first time I can recall that he ever cuddled up to my face like that. It’s always nice to be reminded just how soft Jerry’s fur is. Think of a living cashmere sweater and you’ll know how Jerry’s fur feels.

Jerry is really a hero to me – he just keeps rolling with the punches and comes back purring. Nothing really phases him.  

That’s about it for now. We’ll post an update on Tuesday when we get the biopsy results back.

 

 

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Dad here today.

I have a little scare with Jerry – I noticed a small lump on his front left paw and took him over to the vet office today.

Dr. C. is positive it is not a recurrence of the fibrous sarcoma – great news – and she is very confident it is not cancer – good news. Dr. C. was hoping it was a cyst, but when she tried to drain it, the lump proved to be solid. So, Jerry is going to have the lump removed tomorrow (and he needs some dental work so we’ll take care of that at the same time). Dr. C. is going to biopsy the lump and we’ll know definitely whether it’s cancer or not by next Tuesday.

All positive thoughts, prayers, whatever are greatly appreciated.

Joe

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Here’s the scoop!

Sorry it’s been a while since I posted anything; everything’s going well and I’m having a good life.

Each week, I get more used to my new tripawd status and am learning new ways of getting around and getting back to my old activities. I’ve figured out how to get to one of my favorite places on the top of the easy chair – see how comfy I look?

Jerry_20141129_001

Right now there are just two places I can’t get to because they’re too high for me to jump on my one leg. I keep hinting to dad to see what he can do to help me out…

Dad has pulled a chair away from the dining room table to make it easier for me to get up on the dining room table so I can hang out with him when he eats a meal.

Data here: Jerry gets a pass on the dining room table because he just hangs out with me – I take my meal on one side of the table and Jerry takes a nap on the other side of the table. He never tries to get into my meal. At most, he might play with a coaster or a paper napkin. Tom isn’t interested, and I have to shoo Gordy because I can’t trust him because he will get into everything.

Lately I’ve been figuring out how to climb up the cat tree dad has in his office So far, I’ve made it halfway up (see the picture of me chilling out).

Jerry_20141130_003

I tried for the top level (one above the top one in this picture), and while I could jump high enough to get to the level I couldn’t find a place to put my back leg and boost myself the rest of the way up. So, I had to drop back down. Cat tree: I will conquer you – you’ve been warned!

Dad here: I think the gentleman’s chest in the bedroom is out of the question – I really don’t have the room in the bedroom to add steps. However, the table in the foyer is a possibility – I just need to work out how to put in some levels/steps besides the table so Jerry can navigate up to the top. 

A while back, dad really showed his solidarity with me, and he became a tripod, too! He wasn’t anywhere near as graceful as me while walking around on three legs. Come to think of it, one the legs dad was using really looked odd. I didn’t like that clump-clump-clump noise he was making.

Dad here again: I had knee surgery and was hobbling around on a cane for about a month. 

Then, horror of horrors, Tom, Nemesis, and I were thrown in jail!

Dad: I went on vacation to Ireland and boarded the guys at my vet’s office. Not the ideal situation, but with Jerry’s epilepsy I feel best leaving him and the rest of the pride with the vet. All the staff love my cats and I know all three of them get extra-spoiled. While I was on vacation, I asked the staff to check out Jerry. He’s doing great and his chest X-ray was clear – so no evidence the cancer has spread. 

Eventually dad must have felt really guilty, and he rescued the three of us from jail. I was so happy to get home and be with dad again! I must have purred for hours!

Jerry

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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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