Lucy Liu Against All Odds

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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.

 

New Torture for Me?

May 1st 2013 2:18 am
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Today I need to find a place where I can disappear all day long so mom can't find me. But I also worry what will happen tomorrow? I can't stay disappeared in the house 24/7. And humans cheat when they REALLY need to find you. They shut doors so you have less places to escape TO and get out flashlights so they can see better and use things such as squirt bottles to flush us out of places they can't reach. Either that or they play this game of pretending to be unaware of you, then suddenly swooping down on you right when you think you're safe napping in a place where you're visible.

Mom is plotting some kind of new torture for me. I overheard her telling somebody on the phone that today she's going to take me to do something to my right foot to try to help my toes uncurl. I told her I'm ok the way I am now, I don't need anymore help. I get around ok with my right leg and foot the way it is now. But Mom says we need to get my leg and foot back as close to normal as possible for my own good.

In a futile attempt to ease my worry, Mom even told me that a splint and bandage on my foot will make walking more comfortable for me because it will stop me stepping on the top of my toes everytime I try to use my right foot. She also told me that there's a big collar that goes around a cat's neck that prevents the cat from being able to mess with the splint and bandage but that if I'm cooperative and don't mess with my splint or bandage and don't try to take it off, I won't have to wear any collar at all. I'm not sure that I believe these things she's telling me, although I must grudgingly confess she was sort of right about physical therapy. I do have a lot more fun now that I'm able to get around.

You kitties reading this know how it is whenever we go to see a person called a vet, it usually ends up with us being handled in ways we don't want to be handled and in having tortures done to us while the vet tries to tell us its for our own good. You also know that no matter how had we struggle or how fierce we act, the vet will win out in the end.

 

Two steps forward, one step back

April 22nd 2013 3:13 am
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Progress rarely ever consists of all forward movement. Instead, progress usually consists of making steps forward, backward, and sometimes getting stuck on a plateau for awhile. Lucy Liu's curled toes (also caused by her nerve damage) and her hyperesthesia in her right foot are hindering her progress in using her right rear leg.

Lucy's going to have to wear a padded splint on her right rear foot for awhile. I hope she will accept it without too much fuss and without trying to remove it. Otherwise, she may also have to wear an Elizabethean collar so she can't mess with the splint. Cats generally hate things like bandages and splints, usually making Herculean efforts to remove them the instant they get the chance. However they usually hate wearing such things as Elizabethean collars even more.

Lucy's already upset with me for having to give her antibiotics for her chin problem. The abscess has almost totally receded but she still needs antibiotics for a while longer. Being a typical cat, she hates having to be pilled. She's too smart for her own good too. When she sees me get out the bottle that has her antibiotics in it, she immediately does a disappearing act (one drawback of her having freedom of the entire house now.)

It's tough when you have to do things like subject your cat to having things done to them that they don't like, but that are for their own good. I wish it was possible to just tell Lucy that these things that have to be done are for her own health and quality of life. I wish she could understand that if she just tolerates these things that must be done, this difficult time of antibiotics and splints will be over with soon and the result for her will be more than worth it.

 

Onward & Upward!!!

April 19th 2013 6:51 am
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On 4-12, Lucy Liu stepped forward, crossed her Rubicon, took her life into her own paws and changed it forever. She never returned to the crate again after that day. One of the very first things Lucy very quickly learned to do that day is to jump up, grab the top surface of my bed with her forepaws, and use the momentum of the jump along with the power in her front end to heave herself onto the bed. Once having worked this out, Lucy equally quickly claimed a spot on my bed as her new "security blanket" replacement for the crate and I moved her bed to this spot for her.

Several times I've seen Lucy rather ineffectively use her right rear to scratch behind her right ear. When her attempts didn't succeed to her liking, she came to me and talked me into scratching the itch behind her right ear for her. Still, the fact that she's even using her right rear to try to scratch her ear is a major gain in her progress.

An unrelated problem Lucy developed was an abscess in the bottom of her chin. Antibiotics and switching her from a hard plastic food dish to a stainless steel dish are effectively clearing this up.

Now except for really high places, Lucy Liu freely roams the house. She's learning very quickly how to get around and compensate for what her right rear leg cannot yet do. Although her toes on her right rear are curled under (and she has hyperesthesia in that foot, reacting in pain to any attempt to relax the toes with gentle therapeutic massage), she still is bearing some weight on the leg and using it. Her way of going is rather clumsy, kind of a 1-2-3- quick thump rhythm with her right rear only bearing weight for a fraction of the time her other legs bear weight in motion, but it is a 4-legged rhythm. In spite of the clumsy appearance of Lucy's movements, she can run fast too!

Lucy Liu continues to work on balance and walking across narrow places. She also continues to work on developing strategies for climbing. I'm sure that one of these days I will look up and find her on one of the highest shelves, prime kitty real estate for watching everything going on!

 
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