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Charlie the Cat Amputee

Charlie lost his leg to cancer in November 2015.

Charlie the Cat Amputee

Six Months Out and Doing Great!

May 21st, 2016 · 3 Comments · Uncategorized

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It’s been a busy six months since Charlie had his surgery, so I wanted to come by and give an update! The bottom line is, Charlie is doing great! His pathology finally came back and I am happy to say that it was confirmed that he did have a chondrosarcoma and that the margins were clean. He should be able to live out his natural lifespan and it is very unlikely that the cancer will recur. Great news!!!

On the practical side, Charlie healed up beautifully and has adapted really well to missing his leg. He’s slimmed down a bit on the new diet the vet prescribed (1.5 cans of wet food and a quarter-cup of kibble every day) and is feisty and happy and his old self.

Missing a leg doesn't stop him from balancing on the paper shredder to try to reach my desk!

Missing a leg doesn’t stop him from balancing on the paper shredder to try to reach my desk!

His favorite spot on the back of the couch.

His favorite spot on the back of the couch.

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Missing a leg just means he can curl up even snugger!

Missing a leg just means he can curl up even snugger!

MOM WHY ARE YOU ON THE COMPUTER COME PLAY WITH ME

MOM WHY ARE YOU ON THE COMPUTER COME PLAY WITH ME

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Charlie does well washing on one side, but I have to help him a little with the other now!

Charlie does well washing on one side, but I have to help him a little with the other now!

Charlie still enjoys his cat tree on the porch. He has a box next to it acting as a step to help him get up and down.

Charlie still enjoys his cat tree on the porch. He has a box next to it acting as a step to help him get up and down.

Charlie still loves a good lap nap.

Charlie still loves a good lap nap.

Being a tripod doesn't stop Charlie from  getting up on the counter! Bad kitty!

Being a tripod doesn’t stop Charlie from getting up on the counter! Bad kitty!

Charlie has learned to set his remaining front leg towards the middle so he can balance better.

Charlie has learned to set his remaining front leg towards the middle so he can balance better.

Here is a video of Charlie playing with his favorite Cat Dancer! you can see he’s doing really well!

Tripawd Kitty Playing

 


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The grand homecoming

December 14th, 2015 · 4 Comments · Uncategorized

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It’s been a busy week, but I wanted to catch everyone up!

Charlie finally got to come home on Tuesday. He ended up needing a second antibiotic shot since his wound had taken so long to close, and it seemed to help him make some real progress on his healing. He is getting around really well – note the grainy photo of him on his favorite spot on the back of the couch where he can look out the window!

I’m still keeping him in the bathroom when I’m at work or asleep, but he gets to come out and spend time with the family in the evenings, and is doing really well. He is pretty much back to his old self, behavior-wise! Hopefully he will be able to get the rest of his staples out by the end of the week- we are being conservative with them since he reopened the incision so many times.

It is so great to have him back home! Now if only the path report would come in…

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Charlie’s doing well at the vet!

December 5th, 2015 · 5 Comments · Uncategorized

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I went to visit Charlie at the vet yesterday. He’s doing well! They say that he is mainly laying quietly–which is GREAT–though he did wiggle a bit of bandage off overnight, but it was quickly fixed. He seemed really happy and spry, and was really happy to see me, with lots of purrs and headbutts and rubs to leave all his remaining hair on my pants. 🙂 He is shown here exploring the cat room at the vet for a little while before settling back into his bed. The boarding solution is working – HOORAY!

He’s going to board until at least Monday. My hope is that he will be able to get his staples out and then come home. Fingers crossed!

It’s also been good for me, giving me a chance to recover a little from the terrible stress of the last two weeks and clean the house. It was the right decision to board Charlie. I miss him, but it was the right thing to do!

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In which Charlie tries to turn me gray prematurely

December 3rd, 2015 · 3 Comments · Uncategorized

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So Charlie went to the vet on Monday. She was really pleased with his progress at healing and said she wanted to try him without the bandages, to let the wound get some air so it would heal faster. He had some fluid accumulation, but not an abnormal amount; I should just watch for if it started seeping. She would see him back in a week to hopefully take the staples out. Also, it was fine to stop the narcotic that Charlie had taken so strongly against and continue with just the NSAID as long as he didn’t seem to be hurting.

I went home and let him out of the carrier. He was ECSTATIC to be free, free at last! …free to rub his face and body enthusiastically all over me, and the carpet, and the wall. Free to make his new naked incision start oozing bloody fluid everywhere, dripping off him and puddling on the floor. So… less than an hour after coming HOME from the vet, Charlie was back, getting sedated again and re-bandaged again. (He has to be sedated because the placement of his incision means that the vet cannot restrain him safely, and now that he’s feeling feisty again if he fights them he could hurt himself.)

Tuesday was my first day back at work. I work long hours, so I was a little concerned about leaving him… turns out I was RIGHT, because when I got home he had managed to wiggle his bandages around such that his incision was almost entirely exposed and there was a giant wet spot of cat ooze on his bed. I nearly burst into tears. HE was fine – I swear he was smug, like he was saying “look, mama, I WON!” If I weren’t so worried that he would infect himself I would be happy to see his familiar attitude and personality back, not to mention seeing him so spry, hopping around on his remaining legs. I didn’t know what to do; he gets out of cones, he gets out of bandages… he only needs five or so more days before he’ll be healed up enough to be stitch-free and able to resume a much more normal life, but you can’t reason with a cat!

Finally, upon consultation with the vet, we decided to try boarding Charlie at the vet so he can be carefully supervised and they can catch any signs that he’s managed to damage himself. I know he won’t love it there, but he also doesn’t love bathroom jail, and at least this way I will know that he’s somewhere safe and being looked after. It is a tremendous weight off my shoulders to not have to worry anymore that I will come home from work or get up one morning and find him in a puddle of his own blood. For the first time in days, I’m not walking around constantly on the verge of stress tears. Hopefully, this time when he comes home, I can let him wander a bit and sleep in his favorite spots and be out with the family instead of in isolation in a tiny bathroom!

I am so jealous of those of you who have mellow cats who never bothered their stitches! Alas, I should have known; Charlie has always hated having anything on him. I can’t even get him to wear a collar; even if I got one on  him it was off again in minutes.

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Feeling better, behaving worse!

November 29th, 2015 · 7 Comments · Uncategorized

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Sunday morning, and Charlie is very obviously feeling more himself. He is alert (though you can still see his huge dilated opiate eyes!) and curious – see here him investigating the camera. His wrap has ridden up a bit and a couple inches of his staple line show at the bottom, but he hasn’t shown any interest in that area at all. He does try to groom his good leg and can lick over the part of the bandage there, but doesn’t turn toward the bad side at all so far. I may try to put him in a t-shirt or onesie just to add a layer of further protection as he gets more active, because he seems not to mind the wrap and HATED both e-collars with a passion.

The downside of his new sprightliness is that he is growing more intolerant of getting his pain meds with every dose. He won’t even let me near his mouth with the syringe anymore and his incision is so large that I worry I’ll hurt him if I try to hold his body. At first he was letting me hold his head but now as soon as I approach he starts flinching away. Fortunately there are only three more doses, and we go to the vet again tomorrow – I will ask if they have an option I can put in his food, because he is eating super well still. There are plus sides to owning the furriest piglet on earth…

He also isn’t loving bathroom jail, but I go every few hours and sit on the floor with him for a petting session so he won’t get too lonely. I can’t wait for him to heal up enough that he can go back to a more normal catly life.

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