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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
April 12th 2013 6:08 pm
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Today at approximately 4:30 pm, Lucy Liu came to the threshold of the Rubicon, the point of no return. Once you go forward, there is no going back. Lucy paused there at the threshold, clearly uncertain of whether to turn back or go forward. She started to take a step forward. Then she paused, turned around, went back to her bed, sat down, stood up, and again came to the threshold of the Rubicon.
It was as if Lucy Liu knew that this would be the very biggest surge forward her progress has ever taken. Once she took that first step forward, things would never be the same again.
Lucy Liu has already come a long way from the condition she was in when she was first brought to me. In the first photo I ever took of her, where she's curled up in her cat bed in her crate, her right hindleg is stretched stiffly forward. The muscles were so atrophied that her right rear leg resembled a stick more than a leg. In the picture it's difficult to even recognize where her right hind leg is at. The muscle atrophy at that time also is the reason her head and body proportions look strange in that photo. Compare that photo to her recent photos and her progress is obvious.
On 4-4-13, Lucy Liu made her very first leap since she came to me on December 4, a leap that sent her 19 inches up onto the lowest shelf of the new cat tree. While leaping a height of 19 inches is nothing for a normal cat, it was quite a feat for a cat who was hit by a car in mid-November, suffered a broken pelvis and peripheral nerve damage to her right rear and who:
First was able to sit fairly normally on March 15.
Stood on all four legs for the very first time on March 17.
Stood on her hind legs in her crate for the first time on March 29.
Now Lucy Liu stood at the threshold of the Rubicon. One step forward and Lucy's life would be changed forever, she would never be able to go back to the way things were before this first step.
Gathering her courage, Lucy Liu stepped out of the crate onto the top step of the stepstool. There she paused. Then she stepped down onto the second step, then to the floor. She'd done it!
Lucy Liu now has entered a new life of freedom to come and go between her crate and the rest of the house as she pleases. As long as she is still dependent on the crate as her "security blanket" and refuge, I'll leave the crate door open with the stepstool in front of it so Lucy can enter and leave the crate at will.
Lucy Liu walked over to the new cat tree, leaped onto the lowest shelf, and entered the treehouse there where she proceeded to curl up and stay until 8:58 pm. As I was writing this, she then jumped down off the cat tree, returned to the stepstool, and went up the stepstool back into her crate.
Today at approximately 4:30 pm, Lucy Liu bravely crossed the Rubicon. And her life will never be the same again.
April 4th 2013 10:39 pm
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Tonight at 12:53 a.m., Lucy Liu made her very first leap and reached her greatest milestone yet.
Earlier tonight, I put Lucy into the room I use for letting each individual newcomer cat exercise, run, play, etc. Lucy as usual immediately made a beeline to try to beat me to the door, wanting as usual to get back to her crate. She is secure in her crate and really dislikes having to come out of her crate for any reason. If she had her way, she wouldn't ever have to come out of her crate. After making Lucy spend a couple of hours in the exercise room, I went to return Lucy to her crate.
As soon as I opened the door to the exercise room, a small dark object flashed past me with what seemed to come close to approximating the speed of light. Evidently the height from the floor to Lucy's crate is higher than she wants to jump & evidently she wasn't inclined to try to go up the steps on the step stool either. After a quick glance at her crate, Lucy ran to the new cat tree & with a flying leap she propelled herself straight up onto the lowest shelf of the tree which is 19 inches from the floor, and ran into the little kitty house that is on that shelf.
Now 19 inches is a height that's nothing at all to a strong healthy cat with full use of all four limbs. But when a cat hasn't been able to jump at all for months now, this first jump of 19 inches is a major accomplishment.
As with Lucy's other accomplishments, her left hindleg supplied most of the rear power. However, she did bear some of her weight on her right rear in her mad dash across the floor and when she made her jump, she did move her right hindleg along in a weak imitation of what it's normal motion in a jump would have been. She also put some weight on her right rear when she landed on the shelf.
Now, approximately a half hour later, Lucy Liu still is laying inside the little house on the cat tree's lowest shelf. The step stool sits beside Lucy's crate. I decided at least for the next couple of hours, I'll just wait and see what Lucy does next. After that, or whenever I decide to go to sleep, I'll return Lucy to her crate for the rest of the night if she hasn't returned on her own accord already.
Tomorrow like it or not, Lucy will again find herself in the exercise room. When the time arrives to come open the door and let her out of the exercise room, I hope she will give me an encore performance of tonight's leap, her first.
March 29th 2013 4:22 pm
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Today Lucy Liu reached yet another miraculous milestone in her recovery journey. I don't know quite how she manages to keep progressing as well as she does when she keeps being so reluctant to exercise and use her body. I also don't know what motivated Lucy today, jealousy perhaps since Karina, one of the newcomers, is crated in the crate below Lucy's crate. Lucy's still in the the top crate although she still stubbornly refuses to even try to climb the step stool to get in her crate and insists on curling up at my feet and refusing to move until I either run out of patience or feel sorry for her enough to pick her up and put her back into her crate.
As Farrah and Moose have said, we acquired three new family members yesterday. When we have new family members, 3 or 4 times every day Mom closes off one of the rooms where some of our litter pans, food dishes, and water dishes are (we have other rooms with food, water, and litter in them so its no problem to us) and lets each newcomer have some time alone in that room to exercise, sharpen claws, play, and check out our family members scents, etc.
About an hour ago, Mom again let each one of the three newcomers have a turn in the room. Karina, whose crate is below Lucy Liu's was the last newcomer to go. When Mom brought Karina back to her big crate, Lucy Liu meowed and suddenly stood up briefly on her hind legs and tried to reach out to get Mom to pet her. True Lucy braced herself with one forepaw against the door while using the other forepaw to try to get Mom's attention and her left rear leg was supporting most of her weight, but the fact remains...albeit briefly, Lucy was standing on her hind legs just about an hour ago!
March 26th 2013 5:30 pm
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Lucy Liu thanks Catster, all her friends, & everyone else for your overwhelmingly touching appreciation of her diary, your beautiful DOTD & DDP pictures, your treats, your rosettes & gifts, & especially for all of your hopes, prayers, wishes, and interest in her progress toward recovery.
The caring and enthusiasm Lucy's many friends show us was especially heartwarming & encouraging when Lucy reached her two biggest progress milestones so far:
March 15 when for the first time she sat in a semi-normal position instead of her usual sitting position with her weight all on her left side
March 17, St. Patricks Day, when she stood on all four legs for the very first time since I got her, a giant leap in progress even though she only bore a little of her weight on her right rear.
(And no Lucy, sorry but you STILL must do your physical therapy! You especially must do your physical therapy now so you continue to gain progress & don't lose any you've already gained!)
Since December 4, 2012, the day Lucy Liu first came to me, in her healing progress she's come a long long way. I still have to massage Lucy's right rear foot to help try to encourage the toes to uncurl and to try to keep them flexible. I also still have to apply vaseline to Lucy's foot pads on her right rear foot daily to prevent her pads from getting too dry, cracked, or painful from lack of use.
It's still a battle of wills to try to find a way to get Lucy to walk around or try to climb something. I tried the idea of making her climb steps to get back into her crate. She curls up at my feet, looks imploringly up at me with the most helpless look she can muster in her big kitty eyes, and begs me to pick her up and put her in her crate. She can beg at me longer than I have patience to wait too. I've stood there as long as ten minutes waiting for her to give up waiting for me, take initiative, and go up the steps into her crate and she won this little standoff easily. When it suits them to do so, cats seem to have a natural gift for infinite patience.
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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