Lucy Liu Against All Odds

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How Lucky I Am

August 8th 2013 6:44 pm
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I lay in the dark, battling a migraine headache. Gently Lucy Liu rises from where she is lying purring on my lap, walks up my chest, and gently starts licking my forehead and then licks my chin. It seems she senses that I'm miserable and is doing her kitty best to make me feel better.

As Lucy washes my forehead, my chin, and then my arms in turn, I think about her. I think of how she came to me injured, broken, and damaged. I think of how lucky she was that my friend called me to take her. I think of how glad I am that I was able to save her from being euthanized.
I think of how lucky Lucy is to be here living with me.

Gently, Lucy put her nose near my ear, purring softly, comfortingly. All the while I was suffering the worst of my headache, Lucy stayed right with me, laying on me or beside me. I was touched by Lucy Liu's love, caring, and devotion.

I think I'm the lucky one, I think of how lucky I am to have Lucy, such a sweet loving little kitty who has been through so much yet never lets things get her down.

 

Undaunted

July 15th 2013 9:21 pm
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To summarize Lucy Liu's known injuries from when she was hit by a car before coming to me:

1. Broken pelvis
Although healed her pelvis is misshapen.
2. Peripheral nerve damage & hyperesthesia in the right rear. She's regained a lot of muscle tone in the right rear and her nerve damage has healed a lot, but it probably will never completely heal.
3. Severe toe contractures in the right rear, evidence of hyperesthesia and pain in the joint just above and behind the toes. This hopefully will improve some but probably will never heal completely. She may need to be declawed on her right rear foot because with the toe curl, it's a challenge to keep her claws from trying to grow into her pads.
4. Missing her incisors and a number of other teeth, likely due to her head striking pavement when the car hit her rear.
5. A tendency to not open her left eye as fully as she opens her right eye, also likely due to her head striking pavement.

In spite of these handicaps, Lucy Liu manages to get wherever she wants to go. She manages to get to the tops of the highest cat trees. How she does it, I don't know. I always find her on the top shelves of the trees, I haven't yet caught her in the act of getting up there!

Most of the time when she walks, Lucy walks on all fours, sort of walking on three legs and taking a quick hop when it's the right rear's turn to push off of the ground. When running slowly, she uses all four legs. When she's really in a hurry and runs fast, she holds up the right rear and runs on three legs.

Occasionally Lucy will misjudge when jumping up onto something or when trying to walk on something narrow. Sometimes she falls, usually she manages to make a compensatory move and recover her balance and get where she was trying to go. When she misjudges, Lucy will act embarrassed and look around like she's hoping nobody saw her slipup. I politely pretend not to notice it. I've also seen other cats nearby politely look away as if they didn't notice Lucy's slipup either.

Whether or not anything else can be done for her, whether or not Lucy's injuries manage to heal any further, one thing's for sure. Lucy makes the most of what she's got left to work with. Undaunted, she manages to get where she wants to go!

 

The Unknown Road Ahead

July 3rd 2013 4:40 am
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Examination of Lucy's right rear leg revealed that her toe curl has become a bit worse and there is some hyperesthesia in her foot. Together the vet and I weighed the psychological disadvantages of trying to continue physical therapy against the possible gains of therapy.

Lucy Liu has already come a long way in her recovery, she's come a lot further than was ever expected. As badly smashed as she was to start with, it was a miracle she wasn't rendered incontinent by her injuries. She's gone from being unable to sit or stand, to being able to walk, jump, climb things, and function fairly normally in spite of having only limited use of her right rear leg due to her curled toes and possibly other nerve damage factors. It is also possible her nerve damage may further heal on its own.

I have found that during a petting session, Lucy will now let me gently massage her right rear foot for a short time until I feel her start to tense up, at which point I give her Pounce treats which she loves, and then go back to scratching her neck etc which she loves. Thus I'm able to sort of mix in a little therapeutic massage with her petting and end the session on a positive note. Whether or not this little bit of massage, done regularly, will help or not I don't know. Whether Lucy Liu will heal further or not, remains to be seen.

The road ahead remains unknown.

 

Something Better To Do

June 20th 2013 8:01 pm
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Since I stoppesd Lucy Liu's most recent physical therapy, she's become a different cat. She has now become one of my "bed cats"-a group of cats who usually can be found laying on my bed. When I'm in the bedroom she comes to me for attention. When I'm sitting or lying down on the bed, she'll curl up beside me and talk to me (anyone who has ever lived with Siamese or Siamese mixes will know what I mean). Last night, Lucy was laying beside me and Carina came up and lay down on my chest with part of her body resting against Lucy. Carina didn't even try to run Lucy off. This is the first time Carina has allowed another cat to have any prolonged physical contact with her. Perhaps Lucy, like Buddha, has a gift for getting along with other cats.

Just within the last few days, Lucy Liu has joined Buddha's cat washing crew. Cats like to have hard to reach places on their bodies such as the back of their necks, behind their ears, their heads, faces, and under their chins washed by another cat who they have a friendly close relationship with. Buddha, living up to his name, is friendly and close with all the other cats who are willing to be friendly with him.

(143eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee222222222=interesting what cats can add to your text when they play with the keyboard while you're outside walking the dog, isn't it MOL)

For a long time, Buddha ran his kitty washing service all by himself. Then Buttons became Buddha's protege. Within the past few weeks, Lefty too has started participating in Buddha's kitty washing service.

Now just about three or four days ago, Lucy Liu too joined Buddha, Buttons, and Lefty in washing other kitties. Lucy seems to really love washing other kitties. Yesterday she kept washing Uno so long that Uno became a bit annoyed and just took one paw and placed it on Lucy's forehead, looked Lucy in the eye, and made a muttering sound. Lucy got the message. Grooming somebody until their neck gets wet is just a little bit too much at one time.

As for Lucy, she definitely thinks helping Buddha with his kitty washing service is definitely something better to do than physical therapy!

 

PT Plateau

June 15th 2013 2:44 pm
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Lucy Liu has reached a plateau of sorts in her progress in healing. She really dislikes this new physical therapy. For the last few days I haven't been doing any physical therapy at all with her and she has stopped running away, hiding from me etc, and is now back to coming to me for attention and being lovable again (as long as I don't try to touch her right rear foot!)

It's getting to be a situation of whether the benefits of the physical therapy are worth it when this PT causes Lucy to run, hide, and avoid me as much as possible. Lucy's been cooperative previously, she's never acted this way with any other physical therapy she had to have. Although she doesn't show pain duriing this PT, I feel it must cause her some kind of intense discomfort because of the negative changes in behavior and also the fact that when I stopped doing this PT, Lucy's behavior returned to normal again.

All this means another discussion with the vet as to other possible options for trying to relax Lucy's right rear foot and ease the toe contractures so Lucy will be putting her weight on her footpads as should be instead of walking on the tops of her toes.

BTW, although Lucy gets along amicably with the other cats, she hasn't yet really engaged in any interactive play together with them, probably because their play is too rough for her liking. All this positively changed recently when Lucy and Noon (a shy insecure quiet kitty who doesn't play with the other cats either) suddenly both discovered they like to play the same gentle way. They've played together a number of times now. It's good to see both Lucy and Noon playing now and enjoying it.

 

The THING

May 27th 2013 12:52 am
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Thanks to Kimberly's demanding mom's constant attention during her last days before crossing the Bridge, and thanks to this....this THING Mom brought home Saturday evening, I've managed to skip some of my physical therapy. I actually managed to skip two days of PT in a row when Mom was so busy with Kim!

About this THING Mom brought home Saturday evening...she says its a puppy, I say it's a nuisance that's clumsy, noisy, and has to be escorted outside to potty (it hasn't even tried to figure out how to use a litter pan yet although it's big enough it should've figured that out ages ago!)

Most of us are just ignoring that thing Mom calls a puppy. However, Mika is delighted. You see, Mika came from a home where he was the only cat living with three dogs. Mika is insecure, nervous, and a bit fearful of the other cats but Mika got excited and acted the happiest and most alert Mom said she'd seen Mika act since he came here (which hasn't been long enough for him to adjust fully yet.)

Oh yeah, now that things have settled down somewhat after Kimberly's crossing, Mom is back to making me do PT every day. Ugh!

 

The Dichotomy

May 20th 2013 2:17 am
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Too often in a situation, its "damned if you do, damned if you don't" difficult to weigh the pros and cons and figure out which action is best to take. Right now I've reached such a situation in Lucy's physical therapy. On the one hand, Lucy's physical therapy has been tremendously beneficial to her. On the other hand, Lucy tends to avoid me or even run and hide from me when she thinks I'm going to catch her to do her physical therapy.

I've described this physical therapy to try to straighten Lucy's toes on her right rear and return more flexibility to her foot. A closeup of her right rear leg on her profile clearly shows the problem with her right rear toes and the joint immediately behind them. When I do this physical therapy, Lucy doesn't show pain. When I do Lucy's physical therapy, between the times I'm working on her foot I also give her praise, scratch her in ways I know she likes, and give her Pounce treats (she loves Pounce treats!) all in an effort to make her physical therapy a positive experience for her. On Mothers Day when Russ was here, he distracted Lucy by moving a laser light around close to her while I did her therapy and she let me apply the downward pressure on the joint immediately above and behind her right rear toes and stretch her toes and work with her foot for several minutes without any protest whatsoever.

However, for the past few days Lucy has been doing her best to stay out of my reach totally. If she was laying on the bed and I moved to get up, she'd immediately bolt out of the room and flee to her cave under the couch. Perhaps she sensed I didn't feel well enough to pursue her. Cats are keenly sensitive to such things. She was right too, she did get to skip her physical therapy for a couple of days because I felt so rotten.

Finally tonight, Lucy again started coming up to me to have her neck scratched and to get petted again. She's back to her usual normal affectionate sociable self but the instant I moved a hand in the direction of her right rear leg, in a flash she bolted for her cave.

I don't want Lucy running and hiding from me, I want her (as I want all my cats) to see me as the source of positive things. At the same time, I need to do what's best for her in the long run and unquestionably what's best for her is for me to continue her physical therapy at least until I reach a point with her where her toes become flexible enough that at least part of her main paw pad touches the ground when she puts her right rear foot down. Once she reaches that point in flexibility, her own activities will likely bring about continued improvement in her foot.

Cats are tremendously loving forgiving creatures.

Thus the only logical choice for me to make is to continue Lucy's physical therapy until the point is reached where her own activities can continue to encourage further improvement without my help. I'll just have to hope that after Lucy reaches that point, she'll forgive me and show me her sweet lovable contented side again.

After all, Lucy, being Mom sometimes means loving you enough and caring enough to have the courage to do things that while they may not be so pleasant for you at the moment, will definitely benefit you and help you make the most of your life in the long run.

 

Happy Mothers Day to my Human Mom!

May 13th 2013 4:02 am
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Even though I don't like my physical therapy, my Mom deserves some of those freebie Mothers Day trophies I've seen other Catster cats talk about, for all the work she's done with me because if it wasn't for Mom & the hell of vets and physical therapy etc she puts me through, I wouldn't be where I am today, able to stand and walk.

The vet says I've made more progress than I was ever expected to make. She also says the difference in my overall condition & muscle tone between the day I came here, December 4 2012, and now is amazing.

To show my appreciation for Mom yesterday (Mother's Day), I never ran away from her once all day. I even let her pick me up off the bed and do my physical therapy. Then I came back to have her scratch my right side of my neck. My right leg and foot don't work well enough yet for me to really scratch itches very well with it and Mom always understands and scratches them for me.

But that's what makes Moms special. They do things that seem small to them, but are important to us kitties who love our human Moms!

Thank you Mom for all your tireless patient persistence in helping me overcome life's obstacles to reach the point I STAND at today. I wish I could say I won't protest any more of my physical therapy etc but I know I couldn't live up to that because after all, I'm still a cat!

 

Humans Are So Sneaky

May 9th 2013 3:36 am
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Humans are sooooo SNEAKY! They do things like talk to and pet another cat nearby you, then suddenly they reach out and grab you before you can react, restrain you, and do physical therapy to you. They do things like block one entrance to the hiding place behind the couch, then come after you from the opposite side. When you turn and try to run out the opposite side, there's this big heavy box in the way and before I can figure out how to maneuver myself over it in time, I'm caught! They cheat by shutting doors and reducing the number of rooms you can run and hide in. Then they try to fool you into running down a hallway toward a room that SURPRISE! has the door shut. By the time you realize you've been had, the human is waiting at the only open end of the hallway. Sometimes you can get lucky and dart past the human fast enough to avoid being caught, but if you do that, then the chase will only start again and inevitably you'll get caught just because the human cheated by closing the doors to the other rooms!

Once Mom has caught me and I know I can't escape, I really don't mind the new physical therapy that much. All Mom has to do is put downward pressure on the joint on top of my foot behind my toes on my right rear foot and at the same time gently reach under my foot and stretch the toes out. In the closeup picture of my right rear foot on my profile, you can see how the joint behind my toes is raised and how the toes curl under and you can visualize what my new physical therapy looks like.

Thing is, now that I can get around fairly well and have the freedom of the whole house, I being a typical cat, don't like to be caught or restrained against my will!

 

Luck is a Double-Edged Sword

May 4th 2013 6:28 pm
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I got lucky and don't have to wear a splint. However in my case, luck is a double-edged sword.

It turns out that the joint on top of my foot that's right above my toes is the source of my toe contracture problem. So instead of having to wear a splint, I have to endure a new kind of physical therapy. This time Mom has to apply firm but gentle downward pressure on that joint and at the same time gently stretch my toes and hold my foot in that position at least a minute at a time, two or three minutes or longer at a time if I will allow it.

I don't know which is worse, having to wear a splint or having to do another new kind of physical therapy. Luck is a double-edged sword.

 
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