Friday, January 20, 2012

Tripawed Adventures: Week Three

So I believe it has been three weeks now since we brought Asuka home from having her front leg amputated. She's getting around much easier now: her walking is smoother, I just saw her come downstairs almost as fast as she goes up, and she's figuring things out.

There are still a few moments that wrench and warm my heart at the same time. She's eating less of the canned food and more of her usual dry food now, which means her little puking moments are back again. (Oy.) I've been giving her a couple of drops of the ES Clear every day on some canned food. For a while I was giving it to her twice a day, but she's less interested in the canned food now, so I've only been able to get her to eat it once a day. She seems lively and bright eyed, as I will explain more of soon.

I've watched her using the litter box. I assumed she'd probably never be able to cover up her stuff since she has to hold herself up with her only front paw, but she proved me wrong. She's figured out how to brace her back feet while leaning on the side of the box to scratch litter over her mess. She's still trying to use the missing leg though, which I admit is hard to watch.

Today, all my cats are impressing the heck out of me. Our shrew population in the house seems to be thriving, as my cats have caught three of them this morning alone! Daisy has caught two (one of them as I've been writing this post), and I believe Dusty caught the other one. I only think it was Dusty because he was down here hunting for one. But when I went upstairs, not only was he playing with it, but so was Asuka! Again, she braced herself with her back feet wide so she could reach out and bat the poor thing with her front paw. She picked it up in her mouth and tossed it into the air. I'm so proud of my kitties (though it just kills me when the poor little things aren't dead yet.)

All three cats are in hunting mode now. They are guarding certain places and sticking their paws in cracks and crevices. I have the most fantastic cats on the planet. :)

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Tripawed Adventures: More Good Signs

Bringing her out of hiding seems to have done Asuka a lot of good. Last night, I heard her eating from the dry cat food that is out for them all the time. Today, she actually jumped up onto the futon to sit in my lap, a movement so natural, it was like she had all four legs again. The motivation seemed to be the can of cat food and the spoon I had in my hands. ;)

And just moments ago she used the litter box, came out to the living room, and sat down to clean herself. I can see she's having issues figuring that out; she keeps trying to go the way her missing leg would have allowed her to go. Right now she's making a mess trying to clean litter off her feet. But I'm so proud that she's trying, that she's not just sitting depressed in a corner of the house.

I'm sure my Facebook friends are getting bored with my constant Tripawed Kitty posts, since I make several every day, but what can I say? I'm a proud kitty mama!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Tripawed Adventures: A Week After

It has been a week since we brought Asuka home from the vet missing one of her front legs. Some things have improved a lot, some we're still working on.

For one thing, she still doesn't want to move around hardly at all. When she does, it's more like bunny hops. Which is a bit of an improvement over the heavy galumphing she did the first few days.

Also, she still prefers hiding. When I bring her out, though, she seems happier. She spent almost two days hiding behind the bed, where I had to do the earthworm wiggle to feed her. I finally decided last night that I'm going to bring her downstairs for every feeding. It's not an easy task when she hides back there (think long, skinny tunnel where I can't lift my head or my rear as I go along), but I think the results have definitely been worth it.

When I bring her down, she appreciates the warmth from the stove. Yesterday she even spent some time laying in front of it, toasting her tummy like she used to.

Her appetite seems pretty good, though I'm not sure how much water she's getting. When I see her, she's usually hiding. I don't know if she uses the litter box or drinks water when I'm not around to see it.

My ES Clear has been sent, so we'll be trying that as soon as it arrives, see if it helps her feel better.

Today when I brought her down in the afternoon, she was so comfy curled on the futon with a blanket partially covering her that I decided to leave her downstairs while I went to teach class. She was still there when I returned home. And she is still there now. Dusty spent some time laying next to her, and I even got some video of him licking her head. It's so hard to catch them doing that because Asuka usually doesn't tolerate it.

I called to move her appointment up a few days. I could have made the appointment for earlier before, since the practice is ten to fourteen days after surgery for checkup and staple removal. But I wasn't sure what my schedule was going to be, and I wanted to see how Asuka was feeling. I think perhaps the bandages are starting to hinder her, and maybe that's why she doesn't want to move too much. By the time the appointment rolls around, she will have been healing for twelve days after surgery, so I think she will improve more after everything is removed.

And then I'll have to figure out how to wean her from spoon feeding and tuna. She's definitely enjoying the combination of good food fed to her by her human servant. XD

Monday, January 2, 2012

Tripawed Adventures: It's Getting Better All the Time

So I expected that we'd have issues with Asuka's food and water intake. Also, I learned she really hates to be force fed anything, especially her meds.

It wasn't until shortly after midnight, when we'd finished kissing the old year goodbye and ringing in the new year with sparkling cider and poppers, that I finally got her to eat something. I'd been reading different blogs and forums about what to do to get a cat to eat or drink, so I thought I'd try a few tricks.

I put a little clump of canned food (the A/D stuff the vet gave us) on her only front paw. After a few seconds, she licked it off. I did it again, with the same result. Finally, I offered her some canned food on a spoon and she started eating it off the spoon. Only about a teaspoonful by the time she turned her head away, but I was dancing around the living room because she ate!

She still refused water, no matter what I put it in: cat bowl, small plate, the syringe (she really hated that.) I tried dripping some on her mouth, on her paw. She simply didn't want it at all.

I read on some forum that tuna water was something to offer a cat refusing to drink, and that tuna was "kitty crack." Indeed, today this proved true. She gobbled tuna like a starving cat, and even drank the tuna water I offered.

The last hurdle remaining: the litter box.

After a couple of tuna water consumptions today, I decided to place Asuka near the litter box. At this point in time, she's still not walking much. Well, at all, really. She's been behind the bed for one entire day, and on the bed all last night and most of today. I figured with almost two days of meals in her, perhaps all she needed was a little help getting there.

Sure enough, as soon as I put her next to the litter box, she hauled herself into it and piddled. Then hauled herself out and hobbled to one of her hiding places. Never thought I'd be so happy to see a cat pee. >.<

So I thought maybe she'd want to hide for the rest of the night. So I went downstairs with my husband. He was on the computer while I was sitting in my "gamer chair" playing Saints Row.

And we heard a thump. There sat Asuka on the second highest step.

I held my breath as she tried the next step. She wanted to go straight down and skip a step, but I came over and patted the correct next step, which would be easier to reach. She landed heavily on it, then decided to take a rest. I petted her and debated on whether I should let her come the rest of the way down herself. She's still VERY wobbly.

So I went back to my chair and played my game until she moved again. When she skipped a step again, I almost leaped to my feet, expecting to grab her as she came tumbling down, but she managed to right herself. She came down a couple more and was almost all the way down, when the sound of Daisy in the bathroom scared her. She scrambled back up a step.

I came over, picked her up, and put her in hubby's lap. There she curled up, and they both fell asleep for a while.

Now she's sleeping on the futon next to me as I type this. :)

She's amazed me with her leaps forward in improvement. I'm going to give her another medication tonight, but with how lively she's becoming, I'm thinking she might not need anymore after this. He meds were only to last four days anyway, which is tomorrow.

I have a little fighter of a kitty. Warms my heart to see that she's not giving up. This was the best start to the new year I could have asked for.