February 13th 2013 3:24 am
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It was December 4, 2012 when I answered my ringing phone to find a friend of mine named Angie on the other end. She told me that the lady she works fors cat had been hit by a car and couldn't walk. She said the lady couldn't take care of the cat anymore and was going to call animal control to come and take the cat. Angie said she told the owner that animal control would just take the cat and put her to sleep. The owner said she didn't know what else to do except call animal control to come get the cat and put it to sleep. Angie said she knew somebody who might be able to take the cat and help her so the cat wouldn't have to get put to sleep and told the owner she'd call me and ask me if I'd be willing to take the cat. After getting the owner's permission Angie then called me.
I asked Angie a number of pertinent questions such as when was the cat hit, what was the cat's general condition, was the cat eating and drinking, was the cat continent-did she have bowel and bladder control, what other symptoms did she have, were there any broken bones or other injuries, as well as other questions to get some history on the cat, assess her condition, and get an idea of the extent of her injuries.
Angie told me the cat had been hit a week ago, was able to eat and drink just fine, that the cat was continent, was urinating and defecating normally and was using the litter pan just fine. She said she couldn't see any broken bones or any other injuries except that the cat couldn't stand up or walk. She told me the cat was an indoor/outdoor cat and that the owner thought the cat had already been spayed because the cat had never been seen in heat, had never gotten bred, and had never had any kittens. She added that the cat was really a sweet cat and that she hated to see the cat get put to sleep especially when the only thing the cat seemed to have wrong with her was just that she couldn't stand up or walk. I felt the cat would most likely be able to recover well enough to be able to get around and lead a good quality of life.
I told Angie that it sounded to me like the cat had a broken pelvis and I agreed to take the cat & give that little cat the chance to live that she so desperately needed.
I prepared a crate for the cat and in it I set up the shallow easy-to-get-into-and-out-of litter pan that I'd used for Hallie during the time she couldn't walk before her broken pelvis had healed. Angie brought the cat to me on her way home from work. She also brought the cat's own bed and food dish. She told me the cat was used to eating canned food.
On arrival, the cat was in reasonably good condition except for being unable to walk. She clearly appeared to have a pelvic fracture. In addition, she was holding her right rear leg straight out. I noted extreme muscle wasting in the back of her right rear leg. She also toed over on the right rear and showed some hypersensitivity on the right rear side near her tail, both were signs of nerve damage. She was a brown mackerel tabby cat and her temperament was obviously good. The only time she showed any objection at all to my gentle examining her was when she meowed and tried to pull away I touched her right rear close to the tail.
I put the cat's own bed and a water dish into the crate. Then I put some canned food into the cat's own dish and put it into the crate. After that I put the cat in the crate and closed the door. The cat snuggled down into her bed and started eating the canned food. I asked Angie what the cat's name was. She replied that the cat's name was Lucy Liu and that she and the cat's owner usually just called her Lucy. I told Angie I would have the vet look at Lucy and that I would keep Angie informed of Lucy's progress.
The next day I had the vet look at Lucy too. She agreed with me that Lucy probably had a broken pelvis as I suspected. . Lucy turned out to have a midline pelvic fracture. A pelvic fracture normally takes six weeks to heal and from the amount of healing that had already occurred in Lucy's pelvic fracture, it was clear Lucy had been injured longer than a week, that she actually had been hit by the car at least two, possibly three weeks earlier. The vet also determined that Lucy had peripheral nerve damage in the right rear but that she luckily did NOT have any spinal cord damage. She told me the nerves might heal although it would take a long time because nerves heal very slowly. She said that Lucy needed physical therapy to exercise the atrophied muscles of her right rear leg, return flexibility to the leg, and prevent it from stiffening permanently into the straight out in front position Lucy held it in. She gave me instructions for how to do daily physical therapy with Lucy's right rear leg.
That day I started doing the daily physical therapy on Lucy Liu's right rear leg. Lucy had no objection at all to the gentle manipulation I had to do for her physical therapy. A week later, she had regained considerable flexibility in her right rear leg.
Lucy Liu's journey toward recovery had begun.
February 13th 2013 5:43 pm
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Although the only detectable injuries were her broken pelvis and the peripheral nerve damage to her right rear leg, Lucy Liu may also possibly have had some jaw soreness when she first came, because at first she would only eat canned food and was reluctant to even try to eat dry food. Two weeks after she came, she started eating dry food very well and I was able to discontinue the canned food. For the first two weeks, I also kept a heating pad set on low under Lucy's bed. After that she made it clear by choosing to sleep in her litter pan, that she no longer wanted the heating pad and so I removed it.
Lucy's way of getting around at first was by dragging herself around using her front and sort of flopping over on her side when she got close to where she was trying to go. Although she did her best to get to the litter pan when she needed to, sometimes she didn't make it and would accidentally soil her bed, sometimes she dragged her bed into the litter pan or the water dish with her, and since she had to lay down to use the litter pan because she couldn't yet sit or stand sometimes she got fecal matter in the hair on the underside of her tail and the back of her right rear leg. Since she was hypersensitive on the right rear in those areas, cleaning her up was a difficult painful process for her. Shaving the hair off those areas solved that problem.
2 1/2 to 3 weeks after Lucy came, her pelvic fracture had healed to the point that she was able to again bear weight on her left rear leg, use it to push off with, and get around in a way that's sort of part crouch, part crawl, part dragging & part hurling herself instead of just dragging herself and flopping on her side. This also confirms that she was actually injured approximately 3 weeks before she came here, because it takes an average of six weeks for a pelvic fracture to heal.
A month after she came, Lucy was able to stand on three legs although her stance was more of semi-crouching stand. She continued using her part crouch, part crawl, part dragging & part hurling herself method of locomotion to get around. She occasionally would appear to be trying to bear a little weight on the right rear when standing although she still toed over and when she had to move around, she held her right rear leg flexed. However Lucy didn't get up and move around unless she absolutely HAD to. She preferred to spend as much of her time as possible in her bed. About the only way I could get her to move much was to take her out of the crate. She would half drag, half walk, half hurl herself right back into the crate as fast as she could propel herself.
Hoping that Lucy would move around and exercise more if given a larger space, in addition to her daily physical therapy I started taking her out of her cage and putting her in the front porch, which is a totally indoor room. Lucy moved only enough to go lay under a chest of drawers. I blocked the spot under the chest of drawers so she couldn't get into it. This only resulted in Lucy going to lay in a covered litter pan. Even after an hour or two, Lucy would still be laying in the litter pan. I'd pick her up, move her to the center of the room, give her some toys. She would ignore the toys and in her peculiar part drag, part walk, part hurling herself method of locomotion, she would bolt right back into a covered litter pan. Somehow I had to figure out ways to overcome Lucy's inertia and motivate her to get up, stay up, move around, and start exercising and using her body more.
Lucy Liu's "feline inertia" was (and still is) proving to be a difficult challenge.
February 15th 2013 3:19 pm
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Lucy Liu graciously thanks everyone who has given her virtual Catster treats, stars, rosettes, and Valentines. She told me she was really surprised that she got some Valentines when she's been on Catster for such a short time. She told me I shouldn't have waited so long before putting her on Catster. She added that she wants to get as popular as others of my feline family who are on Catster. I told her I don't know why all of my feline family's friends fail to show on all my feline family members profiles. I told Lucy I'm glad she actually feels well enough now to CARE about being put on Catster. Lucy stated that since she got Valentines, I should follow Uno's advice about giving cats something REAL when they get virtual Catster treats, stars, rosettes, Valentines and other special gifts. Then Lucy added that since she doesn't really care about treats or toys yet, I should give her three days of not having to do any physical therapy, one for each valentine! I told Lucy that three days of not doing any physical therapy would do her more harm than good and possibly undo what progress she's already achieved. Although I tried to tell her that she'll be glad for her physical therapy progress when she's able to run and play again, Lucy replied that she doesn't really need to make progress because she prefers to just stay in her bed in her crate and only have to move around when she needs to drink her water or use her litter. Her food dish is by her bed and she stays in her bed when she eats.
Lucy Liu actually can get around pretty quickly when it suits her purpose. Unfortunately the only time she thinks she has any purpose to really use her body and make much effort to get around is when I take her out of her crate. Then she will immediately bolt and speed across the floor with her part crawling, part dragging herself, part hurling herself forward by pushing off with her now functional left hindleg, and fly right back into her bed in her crate. If the crate door is closed so she can't get back in, she will use a forepaw to frantically attempt to open the crate door. While repeated taking her out of the crate and letting her speed back into it is one way of making her get exercise, doing this would only encourage her to cling to her crate "security blanket" even more. I want her to gain the confidence to move around, exercise, use her body, play with the toys etc, outside of the crate. So I started putting a figure 8 harness and a leash on her when I take her out of her crate. This way I can stop her from bolting back into her crate. Also, the figure 8 harness and leash give me a safe "handle" on her to safely retrieve her if she should try to crawl under the couch or into any other place where it might be difficult to extract her from. Lucy Liu has now learned that when her figure 8 harness and leash are on, it will squelch any of her attempts to bolt back to her crate or to any other hiding place.
When I do my daily routine of taking Lucy Liu out of her crate and bringing her into my bedroom to lay on her favorite towel on my bed for awhile, at first she will be nervous and insecure. Then she relaxes, and enjoys interacting with Buddha and the other cats who come up to interact with her. Lucy Liu's attitude toward the other cats is really quite unusual. Most cats will be nervous and fearful and show fear aggression toward other cats they don't yet know. From the beginning Lucy's shown no fear at all when the other cats have come up to her. Her attitude toward the other cats is friendly and passive. My other cats who are friendly and social respond to her in kind. The other cats who are more reclusive or insecure simply don't attempt to interact with her. Buddha, as is his typical way, has taken on the role of guardian, best friend, mentor, and comforter to Lucy the moment I began allowing her to start interacting with the other cats.
As I write this, Lucy interrupts me to tell me to stop trying to distract everyone from the most important subject here....The "fact" that since she got 3 Valentines, she deserves me to give her three days off from having to do her physical therapy. Sorry, Lucy this is one argument that for your own good, I simply cannot let you win!
March 2nd 2013 8:10 am
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Anybody know how I can make Mom drop this exercise idea? The problem is she wants ME to exercise and try to run around and climb. I don't want to exercise, I don't want to run around, I don't want to climb. After all, in my crate my bed, my food, my water, and my litter are all right there handy. I even rearranged my bed so I can eat laying down.
Today Mom took me into the bedroom and set me on the floor in there so I had to go all the way across the bedroom and living room to get back to my crate. No sooner had I gotten back in my crate and made myself comfortable in my bed again, then Mom took me back to the bedroom and put me on the floor again. So I had to go all the way across both rooms again to get to my bed.
Mom did this to me four times before she finally wised up and figured out that when I'm already comfortable in my bed, there's no reason to take me out of my bed. I don't want out of my crate, I don't want out of my bed. Let Mom exercise and run around and climb if she wants to. I'm perfectly content to just take it easy in my bed.
Now Mom says she's going to take me to have my leg checked to see how much progress there is in the healing of my nerve damage. That means I'll have to go for a ride in the car and the doctor will probably move my leg around and have Mom make me do more exercises and physical therapy. I overheard them talking on the phone about a really disgusting idea of making me swim in the bathtub to exercise. I sure hope they forget about that idea.
I'm perfectly content staying in my nice comfortable bed in my crate. My food, my water, my litter is right there. I can curl up in my bed and see most of what's going on in the house. After everything I went through getting hit by a car and all, I think I deserve to be able to stay in my nice comfortable bed undisturbed by nuisances such as exercise and physical therapy!!!
I'm a cat. Cats are supposed to be lazy. Mom give up on this exercise thing and let me be lazy like a cat's supposed to be!
March 4th 2013 8:15 pm
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The ordeal of going to the vet is over, thank God!
First the good news:
The vet said that although it's still a long way from healed, my leg is definitely improving. She said my muscle tone in my leg is better than it was. When she made me move around she and my mom noticed that even though I prefer to get around on 3 legs when I HAVE to get up and move, I'm starting to try to use my leg a little bit now. This SHOULD BE PROOF that I don't NEED physical therapy! However....
The bad news is that I still have to do physical therapy.
Even worse news is that the vet told Mom she could try making me swim in the bathtub and see if I get too pissed off or if I'll get used to it after a few tries and settle down and swim. I hope Mom doesn't try making me do this although Velcro likes taking baths and swimming in the tub and he tells me its FUN! (Velcro, you're a CAT! How on earth can it be FUN for you to take baths and swim in the tub?)
One other problem Mom had noticed and that the vet subsequently explained, is that my pads on my right rear foot are thickened and dry. A couple of my pads were cracked and painful. The vet said that was caused by disuse. Mom now has to put Vaseline on my foot to try to soften the pads, heal the cracks, and prevent my pads from cracking again. I don't like the Vaseline. I tried my best to shake it off and Mom LAUGHED at me. She said it looked so funny because I was sort of trying to lift my whole rear off the floor and use my left rear to provide momentum in my attempt to shake the Vaseline off my right rear foot. I can't shake my right foot at all yet so I did the best I could. It didn't work though. The Vaseline is still on my foot.
The best thing about the whole day was coming home and finally being able to get back to my nice warm snug comfortable BED!
March 6th 2013 8:08 am
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Hey everybody, friends & future friends, Uno went and started a new Catster group called Special Kitties (Kitties With Disabilities).
When I saw this I thought I better speak my piece before its too late.
Please nobody tell Mom any more ideas for physical therapy!
Luckily yesterday & today Mom's been too busy to try out that disgusting swimming idea on me. I hope she forgets all about it!
Do me a favor & tell Mom that even though I like to spend my time moving around as little as possible, my leg is improving & that should prove I don't need physical therapy & I don't need Mom doing things to try to make me move around.
I hope everyone will join Uno's group & make it a success. Besides, if everybody keeps Mom & my fellow feline family members busy talking about everybody elses Special Kitties, maybe Mom will stay too distracted to make me do physical therapy or try that swimming idea on me.
Shhhh don't tell Mom I told you to say anything to her.
Purrs & Thank you, Lucy Liu
March 12th 2013 3:55 am
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Thank you so MUCH for my DDP yesterday. It makes me feel better about myself. You see, I'm just an plain ordinary little brown mackerel tabby kitty with a screwed up leg that doesn't work right. My coat on my right rear doesn't look good. The hair hasn't totally grown in from when it was shaved to keep me clean when I couldn't stand up at all and had to use my litter laying down. Brown mackerel tabby is the most common color and pattern found in cats because it's the natural wild color and pattern. Ordinary brown mackerel tabbies like me sometimes have a hard time getting adopted because they are ordinary, although black cats have the most difficult time of all getting adopted. If you have room, adopt an adult brown mackerel tabby or black kitty from your local shelter. Do what my mom does, go in and ask what kitties have been in the shelter the longest. Then choose one of those kitties who otherwise may never ever have a chance at life.
Now my human mom's been having to keep putting vaseline on my right rear paw pads at least twice a day every day lately. My pads are thickened and tend to crack open and hurt due to the leg not being used. The vaseline helps soften my pads and the cracks in them are healed but Mom has to keep putting the vaseline on them twice a day to keep them from cracking again, at least until I can use my leg if or whenever that happens. I can't shake the vaseline off and when I try to wash it off, it tends to spread around and make my hair on my right side and leg look greasy.
My human mom says that another plus of the vaseline she has to put on my paw pads is that when I lick it off, I ingest enough of it that it's helping me with my constipation. I have mild constipation due to my inactivity.
Although my DDP didn't get me any time off physical therapy, I haven't had to go into a top crate yet because Mom put Gabe in there for now so she can easily make sure he's peeing ok. She told me don't think I lucked out yet. Gabe won't have to stay in the crate for long. He'll soon be able to come back out again although he may still have to get crated or put in the bathroom so he can eat his special urinary food without everybody else stealing it from him. Also, mom already has brought the step stool into the room, another sign she will soon start trying this new physical therapy idea on me.
How can I get Mom to stop worrying about me and just let me be happy curled up in my bed? I don't need to exercise. My water and litter are only a step away from me. I have my food right by my bed so I can eat it without even getting up. If mom doesn't put it by my bed, I just reach out my front paw, hook it over the lip of my dish, and drag my food dish up beside my bed where I want it!
Once again, THANK YOU SO MUCH CATSTER for my magical DDP day yesterday & thank you to all my friends who are so sweet and kind to me, who made me DDP pictures, who congratulated me, and all the rest of my wonderful friends, THANK YOU ALL! It was sure nice to get to feel special and beautiful and loved by so many for a day, I felt like a pretty princess yesterday!
March 13th 2013 4:09 am
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Mom switched me and Gabe last night so he's now in the bottom crate and I'm now in the top crate. I was hoping that with my DDP and Gabe's FUS attack, Mom would forget all about that newest physical therapy idea of making me climb a step stool to get back to my crate.
I asked Mom what if I refuse to climb the step stool. She replied, "Then I guess you will have to sit on the floor in front of the step stool until you change your mind because the only way you're getting back into your crate is up that step stool."
Thing is there's no reason for Mom to even make me get out of my crate in the first place. I have everything I need right there, my litter, my bed, my food, my water. The things I love to do most, sleep and talk to Mom when she goes by (she always answers me too btw), I can do without ever stepping one foot out of my crate. Mom you have plenty of other kitty family members who run and climb and jump and play all the time so why not just let me enjoy being lazy in my crate?
Yesterday Mom got everyone a big new cat tree with lots of shelves and almost everybody is going crazy checking it out. I don't know why they get so excited over a cat tree. They have to climb it to get to the little houses and sleeping shelves on it. I can just curl up in my bed here in my crate without having to ever climb anything. I tell them they're silly to waste their effort. They tell me that I simply don't know how much fun they have and that they think I'm silly for wanting to stay in my bed all the time instead of coming and having fun with them.
Then yesterday, Lefty who usually doesn't ever embarrass anybody else, had to go and announce to the world in her diary that I had...uh....hmmm...a little...shall we say...gas problem. I complained to Mom about it. Mom just told me I need to exercise and do my physical therapy, that my gas problem is just one more consequence of my inactivity. Geez I can't get any sympathy from anybody lately!
March 16th 2013 11:13 pm
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But I'll let Mom tell my story...
Lucy Liu finally decided to "sit up & take notice" when she got her March 15, 2013 DDP.
I was standing several feet away from Lucy Liu's crate when she "spoke" to me the morning of March 15, 2013, the same day she got her DDP!.
When I turned around to look at Lucy and see what she wanted, I got a surprise even bigger than the DDP Lucy got on 3-15-13. I instantly saw that for the very first time since she's been here, Lucy Liu was actually sitting in a semi-normal kitty sitting position.
Prior to March 15, the closest Lucy's come to assuming any sort of sitting position was a 3/4 lying down position with her left side bearing most of her weight, her right foreleg partly helping prop up her front, the side of the crate providing something to lean against, and her right rear either stretched out or folded against her body, bearing no weight at all. It's taken Lucy Liu a minimum of almost 4 months to heal to this degree. Her broken pelvis healed quickly and easily-taking the usual approximately 6 weeks time. However, Lucy Liu's broken pelvis was only one of her problems. It also was the easiest problem to heal. The second injury Lucy Liu suffered from being hit by a vehicle was peripheral nerve damage in her right rear. Nerves take a long time to heal, months or even years.
In her day to day struggles, the three things Lucy Liu needs most is time, patience, and persistence.
IN THE SAME WAY, a shelter cat you adopt, a rescue cat someone brings you, a stray you take in, a feral cat you're working with, a gift from a friend, a Special Kitty, or even if you're buying the top show cat in the world-no matter where you're getting a cat from, be mentally prepared to give that cat a loving lifetime forever home, ALLOW THAT CAT A MINIMUM OF AT LEAST 2 MONTHS to adjust, settle in, and get used to everything before his real temperament will even BEGIN to START showing!
March 17th 2013 8:20 pm
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TODAY, 3-17-2013 at 11:02 pm LUCY LIU JUST NOW STOOD ON ALL FOUR LEGS FOR THE VERY FIRST TIME!!!
As usual, Lucy Liu meowed at me as I walked past her crate.
As usual, I stopped to see what she wanted.
As usual, her food bowl was getting close to empty and she needed it refilled.
As usual, I petted her, took the bowl, and went and refilled it.
As usual, I came back, opened the crate door, and set down Lucy's food.
AND THATS WHERE "AS USUAL" PROMPTLY ENDED
Instead of beginning to eat her fresh food as she usuallly does, Lucy Liu turned AWAY from the food and looked at me. Then she meowed at me as she does whenever she wants me to pet her. And then....
LUCY STOOD UP ON ALL FOUR FEET and meowed again. Of course she got her petting, she had more than earned it! Lucy wasn't bearing a lot of weight on her right hindleg and she was using the entire area of the leg from the hock to the toes to bear what little weight she was putting on the leg but she DID it! Lucy Liu is finally is able to stand on all four legs again.
Interesting...it's St. Patricks Day, a holiday where good luck is emphasized, and Lucy chose today to finally reach a big milestone in her recovery, BY STANDING ON ALL FOURS FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE I'VE HAD HER!
Maybe now Lucy'll realize how good her physical therapy is for her....NAH! She's a cat. It doesn't fit her feline agenda to ever acknowledge being WRONG about anything!
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