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Fredo and the stairs

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Happy Friday everyone,

Fredo is as close to pre-amputation Fredo as he can be, I think.  He is going back to so many of his old behaviors, it’s really great to see.  He was even playing and running around with Daphne yesterday and keeping up with her really well.  Of course, he has a big naked behind still, but that’s growing in slooowly.

I got a video of him on the stairs, finally.  It isn’t great and he wasn’t super cooperative (shocker) but I still think it’s cute.  Enjoy!


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Why is my cat sneezing?!

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Happy Saturday all,

Fredo has been sneezing the last two days.. well, day and a half.  I haven’t heard it in a few hours, but it still freaks me out.  I don’t know what this could have come from, since he’s an inside cat, Daphne is an inside cat, and his only exposure to the world lately was his vet visit Wednesday which, as I said, was 10 minutes long.  There were also no other animals there when we were there, and we’ve never had an issue before.

Note to self and others:  Don’t google this.  Feline leukemia comes up.  COOL.  But I’m just monitoring for now.  It’s just so bizarre.  Any ideas?

On another note, look at this adooorable picture.  He’s always had a little snaggle tooth, gives him some character.  You see it more in this picture than normal because he was sleeping in a roly poly ball.  And covering his head.. something he missed during the collar days.  So basically I’m obsessed with how cute he is.

 

 

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No stitches! No collar!

Exciting day in Fredo’s world…

First, let me explain the last few days.  We’ve been occasionally taking the collar off the kiddo if he comes to hang out on our laps, since we’re able to monitor his licking behavior… he has been LOVING the opportunity to clean himself up and basically just grooms for like hours.  It’s excessive.  But also very cat-like.. haha.  So most of the time when he’s been doing this, he’s laying on the incision side, no biggie, but then he’ll go just sit and chill.  And then he would go for the stitches, and we would say noooo… and this would happen 12 times.  Then he would stop and be like, oh I get it.  BUT he’d wait for us to lower our guard a bit and then turn and YANK on the stitches.  This would happen in the span of about .3 seconds.  FAST little bugger.  Of course, the collar goes immediately back on when this happens, and then he’d sit there and avoid all eye contact or not give any sign that he was acknowledging our existence.  Stubborn..

Last night when this happened, I jumped up, he jumped up and RAN out of the bedroom and down the stairs.  And I got to him on the stairs, and he RAN back up.. so, he is very capable, is my point.

Anyway this is all sort of an irrelevant story these days because he is out of the collar and out of the cone as of this morning.  We had a 10-minute visit to the vet (which I wish I could have explained to him because he meowed in great distress both on the way there and the way home–chill, little dude) and the stitches were removed, and the doc said the incision is healed and looks great.  He also said, “He is a normal kitty again.”  Aww.  So, no more weird litter, he can go wherever he wants, lick wherever he wants.. etc.  Wooo!

To celebrate, a video and a couple pictures.

The good life.

The good life.

Stitch-less incision.. a little dirty but I imagine he'll fix that.

Stitch-less incision.. a little dirty but I imagine he’ll fix that.

 

Two weeks post-amputation

Heyo,

Not a whole lot to update, two weeks after the surgery.  I remember when I brought him home that I was pretty freaked out.  He smelled weird, he had a very fresh incision, he was grumpy and drugged.. I didn’t want to hold him or deal with him much.  This isn’t meant to sound mean or insensitive, but I was pretty stressed so I just left him in the crate for the most part (which he was fine with and I think that healing time was valuable), even occasionally when I was home.  As the drugs came off and he was a little more clear-headed, we saw a lot more progress, and of course his personality came through a lot more.

We started to let him expand his boundaries a little bit.  He lived in the closet for a few days, and then we upgraded him to a smaller room (with just an armchair, so no risk of jumping).  This past Friday I decided to see how he handled the stairs, and he’s fine.  So he’s had free reign of the house for a few days.  I am only okay with this because his incision looks great and is not showing any sign of distress.  So even with that considered, it did seem like he was self-regulating pretty well.  His sister is still kinda weirded out by him (and the collar), so no risk of them playing too aggressively.  He still stayed close to his bed.  All good signs.  He’s very frequently laying on the incision side… we joke that maybe it’s more comfortable, not having to lay on the leg (that probably hurt him pre-surgery, honestly).  Plus even us humans know that it’s awkward to lay with an arm pinned underneath us, so there’s that.  🙂

No call from the oncologist office, so I’m assuming that means they do not believe his case is urgent enough to be seen before May 2.  I will try to sleep easy with the assurance that they are the professionals here.

A few pictures from the weekend.  His walking is honestly about the same.  I will get some more once the collar is off because I swear he’s a different guy without it.

Edited to add–we haven’t had any smell issues lately.  People think I’m joking or being rude when I say he’s functioning like an actual tripod, but he does.  He puts his two front legs farther apart to help out his back leg, and as a result, he’s not having as many issues peeing on himself.  This is a win.  Yay!

Happy Monday!

Lapcat

Lapcat

Chilling in "his" bedroom

Chilling in “his” bedroom

Collar break.  I love this picture.. so handsome.

Collar break. I love this picture.. so handsome.

Ignore my ghostface, but more exciting was the purr-y laptime I got with the big guy.

Ignore my ghostface, but more exciting was the purr-y laptime I got with the big guy.

Oncology update

Okaaay so I took my vet’s advice and reached out to his recommended oncologist, who has no availability for new clients until MAY 2ND.  GAH.  The guy I spoke with said that they will request the medical records from the two offices we have visited, and if there’s an urgent need, they will move his appointment up.  Of course, I am like YOU MUST SEE HIM NOW, IT’S SPREADING.. but I am no professional, so I’ll just chill and see what happens.  Maybe I should call the surgeon and ask him to write a note about how dire the need for an oncology appointment is.  Ehhh.  Whatever, we’ll see what happens.

As I said before, Fredo has been living between the closet and the big dog crate.  Guess what big dog crates have?  HOLES.  I assume this particular hole (about 8 inches long by 6 inches tall?  maybe) is to put food in for dogs when they’re in there, or something.  Who knows.. either way, I figured that hole was not cat-sized in this particular case because Fredo has a pretty hefty cloud collar on.  But, it turns out, when a cat BACKS OUT of said hole, the collar comes off, and the cat is home free!  HA.  I can only laugh.. animals crack me up.  So, I was half asleep while he managed this Houdini maneuver, and I looked down at the side of the bed and saw my tripawd kitty with no cloud collar, just trying to get my attention.  He was so stinking cute and affectionate, I gave him approximately three minutes with no cloud collar.  If it hadn’t been almost 11pm I would have maybe let him chill without it for a little bit.  He does not leave stitches alone though without a collar or cone on, so the unfortunate reality for that guy is that he is living with the collar for another week.  But, man.  Totally different cat!  It was like he loved me again.

OH.  I should also mention, we decided to put him in the crate and push it up against the wall so that he couldn’t use the sneaky hole.  This worked until he stood in the litter box and danced around (aka made as much noise as he could) trying to find another escape method.  I looked over there and he was BITING THE BARS.  We ended up closing our bedroom door (much to Daphne’s disapproval) and set him up with a blanket in the corner, and he happily plopped down there and continued to try to lick his tail, and when that didn’t work, he just licked the collar.  He did this intermittently all night.  I hate that noise.  I was so tired this morning.  Cats are supposed to be the low maintenance pets.  🙂

Anyway, enough cat shenanigans.  I’ll hear from the oncologist’s office hopefully tomorrow but probably Friday, so we’ll have a better idea of where we’re going next with the kiddo.

Just one picture today!  He joined me on the recliner, again.. But this time he was laying on the incision and you can’t even tell he has three legs.  I felt this was positive in terms of evaluating pain.  I probably wouldn’t lay on a painful incision, so I’m assuming he wouldn’t either.  Good signs!

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One week comparison

Hey there,

First, I realized yesterday that my posts are going up on the Tripawds Facebook page.. ha!  I am sorry if it seems like I’m inundating the world with my cat updates, but I love you all for the input and support, so I’m only a tiny bit sorry.  Thought it was funny though that one of the preview pictures on the Facebook post just showed me and no cat HAHA.

I had the thought that I’d get some new videos of the little man to show the world what’s up with his walking.  I feel it is a bit more deliberate since the medication stopped, but he does occasionally surprise me with some speed (like when he doesn’t want me to pick him up–whatever, man).  I do think the collar impedes him a bit too.  Anyway, I took the first video and he just stopped and stared/meowed at me.  The second video I got a few more steps captured.  Eh.  I will try again later, but here they are anyway:

I won’t even apologize for the messiness of our house.  We just have water bowls and litter boxes all over the place (and shammy thingies for when I spill-ha).

Also, I took a look at his incision (INCISION WARNING! lol) and some of the stitches are very loose.  He can’t reach it with the collar, we’ve tested this out.. so our theory is that maybe some swelling went down and that’s why they look looser?  The incision itself looks 97% good, there is a weird bubbly spot that bugs me a little, but in general it seems to be healing well.  And his little fur is coming through!

Incision comparison (top: 3/30, bottom 4/6)

Incision comparison (top: 3/30, bottom 4/6)

 

That is all from me!  Have a lovely Tuesday.  🙂

Phase 2

YES hi!  Me again.

So after I complained about the big ole impersonal surgeon office not calling me….. they called me.  I should have actually remembered that this particular surgeon works Monday-Thursday.. ha.

The pathology came back on his little leg, and he said “complex adenocarcinoma.”  And then a lot of unhappy sounding words about how prognosis isn’t always great, and we can only monitor because surgically we’ve sort of reached our limit, so we should talk to an oncologist to come up with the next plan.

Google searches for adenocarcinoma are not entirely helpful.  Like this:
Adenocarcinomas, on the other hand, affect glands and organs and are systemically aggressive.

AWESOME.

Oh and this,
The prognosis for most with organ-based adenocarcinoma isn’t favorable because these fast-growing malignant tumors metastasize. If treated for organ-based adenocarcinoma, your cat might experience a good quality of life for a year or more. If a mammary adenocarcinoma is found early, before it is has spread, your cat can live for years after surgical removal of the tumor.

So, at this point, I have no idea.  I don’t know how early we found it.  The vet said the visible tumors were cleanly removed, so it could be fine.  But making a jump from sarcoma to adenocarcinoma seems very bad.  So, chemo it is??

Cats don’t care.

Here is something I’ve learned throughout this process.  Cat owners may have the very best intentions of letting their kiddos rest after surgery, but then we start to feel bad.  And I think to myself, he should have a little more room to move, I doubt he’ll do too much anyway.

No.  This is not correct.  I talked about the closet thing the other day… basically, whenever we’re upstairs, he slinks off into the far corner of the closet and stays there until nature calls or he’s hungry.  As a result, we’ve had to push the crate up against the closet door (which I posted a picture of).  The other night we did not do that, and instead just closed our bedroom door, which was fine until our other kiddo meowed until we let her out.. so I barricaded the door with some things with the hope that she’d be able to get back in, but he wouldn’t be able to get out.  This is like a 3am brainstorm session on barricading, mind you..

So, no surprise then when I heard the whole thing fall down and a galloping cat go down the hall.  Daphne was next to me, which means Fredo was apparently the galloper.  He ended up in another bedroom down the hall, and we’re like, well what the crap.  Apparently he’s pretty quick on his feet.  I’ve also mentioned how he always wants to use the big litter box, which is downstairs.. so we thought, maybe he wants to go down there.  But before we could pick him up, he just went down the stairs while we stood at the top and freaked out.

Soooo… cats don’t care.  I think that’s what I’ve always liked about cats anyway (cat person through and through), they do their own thing.  He didn’t want the litter box though, so after a few minutes we put him back in his crate house, and he stayed there for about 18 hours.. seriously.  We opened it up and were like, hey, come out.  Nope.  He was standing firm in his defiance LOL.

He did come out eventually though, and I brought him downstairs.  Pre-surgery, one of his spots was on our chaise lounge on the couch (we would joke that it’s a good thing we got a couch with a chaise lounge, for Fredo), and I saw him walking toward that and decided to see how it went for him.  I don’t think it was necessarily easy, but he pretty smoothly jumped up there and got comfortable.  But then his OTHER spot is the back of the couch, so he gave that a shot a little later with pretty minimal effort.  Good stuff!  Two pics ahead… I swear I haven’t seen him as relaxed thus far as he is in that second picture.  Cracks me up.

Our regular vet also called to check up on him.. the office where the surgery was actually performed has not called.  I’m not trying to be a whiner about it, but I am surprised.  I’m used to the smaller office, I suppose.  But at least that guy did call to see how recovery was going.  I can’t complain.. it’s all going well.

I can’t believe a week ago today I was a nervous wreck in the vet’s office.  This has been a really fast week, comparably.. the last two recoveries felt like they were dragging.  I think that’s the e-collar’s fault.  Cloud Collar for the win!  Happy Monday everyone!

20150405_193221

Couch nap

Couch nap

Cruising right along

Hi there,

Not too much going on over here.  Our big guy has one dose of his Buprenex left.  I tapered him down… randomly, I work for a prescription insurance management company, and one big part of my job is assisting pharmacists in implementing taper schedules for some of our members who are on high doses of meds (usually narcotics).  So, when my vet was like, three times a day and then he’s done!  I was like, hold on, this is buprenorphine.. we’re going to take it easy.  I know, I’m not a vet, but in my head I was thinking, let’s ease him out of this.  When I’m not working, I’m a counseling student so the psychological side of me was like, he’ll like this better…  Anywayyy.. with that said, I dropped him to every 12 hours at first, and now it’s been about 22ish hours since his last dose.  He has one left, so we’ll give him that before bedtime and hope that he doesn’t struggle too much when there are no more doses.

He does seem to be better once he’s had more time between doses.  Case in point, I was just chilling here on the couch, and he jumped up onto my recliner foot rest thingie.  This is his usual spot when we’re watching tv, he likes to hang out near us.  He has not shown any real affection since pre-surgery so the fact that he wanted to sit near us was a win!  Not to mention, he JUMPED up here.. his back leg is such a champ.   (see picture #1)

His new thing is to hide out in the farthest corner of our closet that he can manage, hidden behind some stuff.  He was there at bedtime last night until we pulled him out today around 6pm, so LOTS of rest for his little body.  His incision looks so good.  During the last procedure when he had the bump removed from his ankle, it got swollen with liquid that we had to drain, and that just freaked me out. I was convinced it was infected and he would die from it.. LOL.  In this case, the surgeon actually said that this may happen and it’s normal, but so far there’s nothing.  I was told it is a result of muscles rubbing together and liquid forming underneath the surface, so it’s generally not a big deal.  But nevertheless, if we can avoid it, that is ideal for me.  And I think initially there was some bruising near his incision site, that seems to be gone.. the incision has no weird crusty stuff and no redness.  I’m pretty happy with our ability to get this guy healed!  The recovery the last two times just wasn’t as smooth as I’d wanted, so that’s why I was worried this time.  I added a picture (picture #3) of the closet setup… when we were out, we pushed the crate up against the closet door so that he wouldn’t have TOO much roaming room, but also so we didn’t have to lock him in the crate while we were gone.  One of our unframed wedding pictures served as a barrier because in my neurotic head, I imagined him trying to jump over the crate.  Unlikely, but whatever..

I took the picture of him (#2) in the litter box (I removed the lid to make it easier for him) because he just looked so funny staring at the ceiling.  I feel like if he could talk and see things on the internet he’d be like, UMM HELLO, untag me please.  But, on that note, I did swap out the litter for giant pine-y pellets which didn’t thrill him at first, but oh well.  Life goes on, buddy!  He is so stinking graceful getting into that box though.  Once his first two feet are in, he’s able to push off that back leg and somehow make it look smooth.  Impressive.  Cats are just remarkable.. or maybe that’s true for all animals?

Last picture is Fredo with some flowers from his human grandparents.  I imagined something much cuter; instead he was like, I’m really thirsty…. that is all.

I shall return with many exciting stories of non-medicated cats.. actually I’m pretty sure we’ll have more of the same updates until his stitches are out (April 15) and he can start increasing his activity a bit.  Still, I’ll probably at least come back with some pictures before then.  I’ll try to get an updated picture of his incision when he’s not adorably comfortable next to me.  🙂

The pictures are out of order, and I am not motivated enough to fix them (when I get good at this blogging thing, I’ll add the pictures IN the text so it’s not like a giant clump of pictures at the end).  You get it though!

#4

#4

#3

#3

#1

#1

#2

#2

Day 3

Hi all,

So three days since surgery, and Fredo is progressing well, I think.  I assume his incision is healing.  The stitches are intact and there’s no weird redness or swelling.  His walking looks good, and we have dropped him to two doses of pain medication (every 12 hours) which seems to be working really well.  He’s been much more vocal today, although his “talking” does seem like yelling, if that were possible.  Or like a cranky old grandpa.  Anyway, I’m cool with it.

Oh, so we were told one of the side effects of the Buprenex is constipation, so we haven’t been terribly bent out of shape about him not going #2 since he’s been home..  but remember his displeasure with his tiny litter boxes… today he got into the laundry room and before we found him, he’d hopped into his old box, spun around a few times, squatted and did his biz!  My husband and I literally high-fived, and then took a moment to wonder how this was our life.. HAHA.  We don’t have kids yet, but I imagine there are a few moments like that coming up once we do.  Yikes.

But seriously.. yay!  I was worried about the logistics of the #2-ing, like how does one get enough leverage with only one leg?  But he did just fine.  Even dug a hole before he started.  And then he jumped out of that box with the most spring in his step that I’ve seen thus far.  And now it becomes very aware that I must go buy newspaper litter like, TONIGHT.  So, that’s the plan.

The cloud collar was worth the investment (of $12, so not exactly the most expensive endeavor for us lately, Fredo-wise).  I think most of his problem with the e-collar was that it was so much work to turn his head to see things (because it involved turning his whole body), and now he’s able to turn his head like a normal guy.  🙂

We have four doses of medication left, which will bring us to Saturday morning.  Hopefully at that point we don’t have too many issues with pain??  I hope.  We are finally really good at squirting that stuff into the cheek.  He’s probably like, WOOHOO this is so much better than last time.

Side note – we bought a “Love Glove” which is just a cat brush that you wear, and Fredo was pretty indifferent about it, but Daphne loooooved it.  Plus we got a ton of fur off her with it.  Just fyi if your cats typically don’t like brushes.

No exciting Fredo pictures today, since sadly I was not able to ambush him with a camera while he was in his litter box (ha), but here are a couple pics anyway.

 

Daphne, for good measure.

Daphne, for good measure.

Enjoying his post at the patio door

Enjoying his post at the patio door