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Smore and I are back!

Posted by: | March 16, 2016 | 4 Comments |

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It’s been a long time since I’ve posted here. Oh my, it’s almost been a year! How did that happen? I started a couple of drafts but never published them. Oops. So much for keeping track of our lives together. Need to work on that.

Smore will be turning two sometime this spring. I tend to celebrate it on St. Patrick’s Day because the vet at MSU marked it down as her birthday. It’s amazing just how much has changed since that fateful two hour trip one way to see an orthopedic specialist in an attempt to save Smore’s leg. I still remember sitting in that office room hearing that there may be a possibility to recover and trying to make the decision to save it or amputate. I remember crying at home and in the waiting room and how each time she seemed to touch her face to mine – often to the tear itself as if to wipe it away – as if she was telling me everything would be okay.

My mother fully believed that an animal could not survive on three legs – that it was inhumane and only considering the human’s interests. As I talked to her on the phone looking for answers, she told me that it was only something I could decide. She had seen videos though of animals getting along just fine on three legs. I had seen some on as little as two. But this was a front leg. How was a kitten with one front leg going to play? How would she pounce and get toys? Why had this tiny little creature stumbled into my yard and refused to leave? Most importantly, why hadn’t anyone claimed her? She was so affectionate – someone had to be missing her!

So I went ahead with the surgery to save it. I went home and I recall changing a loud of laundry when the vet called and said it couldn’t be saved. I cried so hard. It seemed like the worst thing to say to someone about their pet aside from the more serious conditions like cancer and death. How could a kitten survive that? How could she live with just three legs? It seemed so cruel. Was I taking my own feelings into consideration first?

I remember making the two hour trip to pick her up, dreading the moment we’d meet face to face again. What would I find? The vet tech who kept me updated every day on her condition told me that the entire vet staff had fallen in love and wanted to keep her. She told me how the 4 pound little creature was playing with toy mice just hours after surgery.

They’re just trying to get my hopes up.

It couldn’t be the truth. I felt that I would see her and feel that I had made the wrong choice. I would realize the terrible life I had set her up for by choosing to amputate or rather having the choice forced on me. If only her leg could’ve been saved! She’d never be a normal cat. She’d never be able to play or run or do cat things. How would she climb? How would she live? Would she blame me?

The vet tech assured me that no she wouldn’t. If she was to blame anyone, she’d blame the doctors there that had cut it off, but she chose to lay in their laps during meetings and things instead. She chose to play and love.

They told me about the medicines and the postop care. Then, they brought her to me in her carrier and she sat up and looked at me. I put my fingers against the door of her carrier, expecting her to hiss or snap at me for the betrayal. She rubbed up against the bars and let out the tiniest little mew that said “Hello! Where have you been?” I pet her through the bars and I think she might have even purred before plopping back down with her body against the bars – as close to me as could be.

A wave of relief passed through me. She didn’t blame me.

And so we began the journey to recovery.

She surprised me every step of the way. From climbing onto her cardboard box, to playing with her toys, to running across the room faster than I could sit down in a chair. My mom was equally shocked. Neither of us ever expected such a recovery. If anything, she was faster and better than before. That broken leg was no longer in the way. It no longer stopped her or dragged her down. Her recovery from amputation was far faster than that of a repaired leg. She was able to play sooner and expend that kitten energy.

But most of all, she chose to lay in my lap and sleep. It was her preferred place to be. To this day, it still is.

She still zooms around the place when she gets energetic and needs to expend some energy. She climbs up her cat tower with ease to look out at the birds and insects, her tail flicking gently as she no doubt plans how she would attack them if they gave her the chance. She uses her cat scratchers and cat tunnels. She climbs in boxes and takes naps on the couch or my bed. Every day I came home, she greets me with her special meow – one she only gives me that I know means “Hello! I’m so happy you’re here!” before plopping down on the ground for a good petting.

When the alarm goes off she comes running over for her morning cuddles and purrs happily. She plays with her toys and honestly, the fact that she only has three legs doesn’t get in the way or slow her down. We’ve made a few adjustments for it – namely in pillows and boxes for step downs and a larger litter box.

What seemed like a death sentence then was really a chance at life. As I look back, I know a great part of it was because of this forum – this site that showed me that life hopping on three legs can be just as beautiful and full as a life on four. For everyone who helped us with that in those first few months in 2014 and beyond, THANK YOU. Your support has meant the world to us, and I don’t know that I’ve ever taken the chance to thank you all.

Here’s hoping I can start posting more regularly here. I’ve missed connecting with so many of you, and I see there are so many more we haven’t met yet. Hope everyone is doing well!

 


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Traveling with Smore – part 2

Posted by: | June 20, 2015 | 11 Comments |

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I didn’t think traveling by car with a cat would be a good idea, but it turned out pretty well.

By the time I got to my parents’ house, I was wondering how it’d be to let her out. Would she dart under the bed and hide until I dug her out to go back home? Would she stay in the carrier until her bladder exploded? I left her alone in the room in the carrier for a bit to take in the smells  while I went to get her litter box and blankets she sleeps on from the car. When I returned, I looked around my childhood home and got rid of some potential dangers before letting her out.

The meerkat pose

The meerkat pose

Here I was thinking she’d hide inside out of fear from the strange smells and my nieces’ loud voices and excitement. (They wanted to see what she’d do too). Instead, she came right out and started sniffing around. I approached her and carried her over to her litter box just in case. She sniffed it and everything else in the bathroom, so I went to the window and opened the blinds. She knows what that means: window time! She ran up the couch and sat down like a meerkat.

She explored some more and I finally got her to use the litter box when I placed her in there a second time ten minutes or so later. My nieces left and it was just us again. She loved sitting on the couch and looking out the window. I let her do that while I checked some email and heard the strangest noise. It was sort of like smooph.

Smore had fallen behind the couch.

I looked over it and found her wedged between wall and couch. I moved it (the couch obviously), and she came out unharmed but covered in some cobwebs from no one being up there in over a year. She was clearly more miffed about the cobwebs covering her than anything else. I dusted them off, and she went back to exploring.

I left her alone for a bit to see what she’d do and to finish unpacking. When I returned, I found her on my bed lying there like she was the queen of the castle, which in her defense is quite likely because my bed is REALLY high up. I put a tote on the side of it so she could use it to get off.

Before long, her exploring caught up to her and she began to doze on the couch. I left her alone to nap and visited my family.

At bedtime I wondered again what she would do. Smore is not allowed upstairs where our bedrooms are because of possible allergies that others in my family have. My bedroom at my parents’ house uses a different ventilation system, so we figured it’d be okay. Plus, my sister rarely comes here. The dog they have bothers her allergies too.

For that reason, I’ve missed out on seeing Smore sleep because she always stays awake when I’m around, and I wasn’t sure what she’d do when she saw me sleep. I took a nap once on the couch while she played and woke up to find her curled up on my hip. Then, I moved and she tried to bite me. She’s had a couple instances when she’s tried to bite me while I’m laying down on the floor or the couch, so I was certain she’d do it while I slept. I think she’s trying to play with me when she does it, but I always leave the room for a bit to teach her that biting is bad. It still scares me though. I’m always afraid she’ll do some damage. I figured she’d want me to play with her in the middle of the night or wake me up at odd hours for breakfast too.

She was sitting on the couch looking out the window when I went to bed. I turned out the light and laid down. She looked over at me, jumped off the couch, and jumped onto the bed to join me. I figured now she wanted to play since she didn’t really play much with me that day, though I did try before we went to bed. Instead, she plopped down at the foot of the bed, rolled over to her side, and went to sleep. She remained there all night (or at least every time I woke up she was there) until about 4 am when I heard her get up and go over to her bowl. She didn’t ask for food though. Instead, she got some toys and kept herself occupied between them and then window until I sat up in bed and called her over. She hurried over and curled up in my lap for some cuddles.

Hopefully, she’s always that well behaved at night. Granted it’s pretty hot and humid to do much else. I need to hook up the air conditioner.

I wonder how she’ll feel about that. It’s a window unit unlike the one at home.

So far, I’m glad I brought her with. It’s good to know that if I have to travel again that she will quickly adapt to her new environment and the car ride too. It’s a good sign too considering I hope to find a new job and move soon.

I should’ve known a cat who could handle losing a limb would be able to adapt to something as easy as a new house.

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Almost 11 Month Ampuversary

Posted by: | May 31, 2015 | 9 Comments |

Well, things have been quite busy here! I’m a teacher and the year is wrapping up really fast! I don’t have the right certification to keep teaching at this school, so I’ve been job hunting. I hate not knowing where I’m going to live. I know I can continue to live here or with my parents if need be, but I’m really ready to find a place of my own that I can design however I want to.

Smore recently went in for a weight check on the 13th so we could start Cosequin. The last time she went in to see the vet (in January), she was 9 pounds and 10 oz, and Cosequin doses change at 10 pounds. I don’t have a scale that works, so I figured I’d bring her in to see her weight. I had the vet do a general check up while we were there too since she had started to get a lumpy belly. Turns out she’s just one of those cats that has the tummy flab. I was really hoping she wouldn’t be, but oh well.

Turns out she weighs 10 pounds now. She was 3 pounds and something when I first found her. My vet clinic is run by a husband and wife. The husband is who originally saw Smore and who has dealt with her the most, but he hasn’t seen her in a while. He told me he was surprised she turned out to be so large and said he thought she’d easily be a 12 pound cat if she still had her other leg. Apparently she’s at a good weight for her frame though. She’s just big boned I guess. He’s hoping I can keep her at that weight.

He was really pleased with how she looked and how she’s grown. She was officially a year old by our estimates in either March or April. And next month we will be celebrating her first gotcha day and her first year ampuversary!

For our dogs’ birthdays, I always just gave them a can of dog food as a special treat. Smore has wet food at night though, so I’m not sure what to do to make the days extra special. I know she probably won’t know the difference, but I want to celebrate somehow.

 

What do you all do to celebrate ampuversaries and gotcha days?

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String Theory

Posted by: | May 2, 2015 | 4 Comments |

I like to play with Smore before I feed her because in my mind it will somehow make her feel like she had to work for the food. It’s probably not how she thinks at all, but whatever. Her favorite toys are wand toys and string. I’m not sure if it’s because it’s stringy or if it’s because she can only play with them when I’m around.

So, we were playing and having a good old time. I had two wand toys tonight. Actually, I’ve been using them a lot lately. One of them is Da Bird by GoCat, and the other was a red wand I got at the pet store on clearance. It has detachable items on one end so you can change out the prey. Her favorite way to play with it though is with no prey attached. I also had a piece of string that I cut off the blinds.

Well, I had Da Bird going and she wanted to play with her red wand instead. At one point I had both going because I was moving one to get it out of the way while really playing with the other. She loved that. She pounced at them and life was good.

Then she ran away to reset herself like she normally does. Girl knows it’s a game. She knows these birds don’t die. Well the red wand with her, which I wasn’t too surprised about. She does that on occassion. She starts sitting on her hindquarters and batting it with her one front leg, which is also no surprise. Then I realize that this isn’t ordinary.

Gravity is not working. The string isn’t falling out of her paw.

I’m sitting next to her, so I look more closely and realize that the string has wrapped around her finger. I try to slip it off, but it’s too tight to go past her knuckle. Thankfully it’s not too tight to cut any circulation off either. At this point, she decides that she should get it off herself and tries kicking me away. But I’m worried she’ll pull the knot tighter, and I know there’s no vets open this late unless I drive two hours.

I try to mess with her, but she’s not a fan. I scruff her then and start talking all nice to her. Thankfully she decides to just lay there. I think she started purring too. Maybe she was trying to calm herself down. I grabbed the right part of the string this time, and it loosened up immediately. I let her go, and she just lied there and licked her paw. All things considering, she was very good through the whole ordeal, so I gave her a treat as a reward before we went back to playing.

And that, my furiends, is why I don’t leave string lying around.

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we can post again!

Posted by: | April 9, 2015 | 13 Comments |

It’s been difficult visiting the site because my Internet seemed to have some beef with it and would deny me after clicking on so many tripawds links. But now I can post again! It’s been 3 months since the last post. Wow!

Smore is doing wonderfully, though she’s becoming more like a marshmallow in size. I’m not sure what I did, if anyhimg, to contribute to that. The vet said maintaining a cat’s weight is hard. We think she’s a year old as of March or sometime this month. I’ve switched her over to adult food mixed with a little kittem food that’s still left. I’m thinking kitten food probably has way more calories than adult food, so maybe she’ll slim down.

My cousin visited, and I discovered Smore no longer remembered her and was very frightened. She came to sit by me and eventually went near my cousim when I went to sit by her.

Two weeks later my parents visited. Once again Smore was skittish. Then my dad started being loud and doing what he does, and Smore decided she didn’t like him and hid under the bed. I went to check on her, but when I touched her she got scared I think. I’ve never experienced Smore that scared before, so I left her alone because I honestly wasn’t sure what she’d do. I’ve mever heard her hiss or show any signs of aggression, but then againshe had never shown signs of that kind of fear before. Well, she had hints of it when he was around in the summer too, but this seemed worse. Maybe it was because I didn’t remember it as well either.

I went back to her a little later and looked under the bed. She turned to face me when I said her name, so I started talking to her. Within minutes she was rolling around under the bed and letting me pet her. She even came out to me.

He eventually left the room, and she was hesitant with my mother but eventually warmed up to her. She became her normal self until whenever my dad came was around. One day he had to fix a leak, and I was sitting in between my dad and her when he came in. I think that’s the only reason she didn’t bolt that time, though she did think about it. I honestly think she was scared he’d spot her, so she stayed behind me because she figured I’d protect her. Before long, I got her purring in my lap and then playing. By the end of their visit, Smore was just fine and quite comfortable as they came in and out of her space.

the following weekend my dad returned with my nieces. They’re 7 and 6. They were here when Smore asopted me back in July. They havent seen her since. I thought for sure Smore would be scared, but she never once showed any signs. She started playing and purring with them from day 1.

smore hiding under a blanket

You can’t see me. I’m a master of disguise.

In less than 14 weeks, she’ll be celebrating her first gotcha day (adoption day) and shortly after her first ampuversary. Ot seems hard to believe my little furball has grown up so much. Having my nieces around made me remember gettimg that phone call a lifetime ago saying her leg couldn’t ne fixed because the damage was too severe. I still remember standing in front of the washer and dryer and just crying because it felt as if it was the equivalent of her death. I wasn’t sure I should have even brought her to the vet or given her up to let someone else care for her.

now though, I am so grateful that I made this decision and that she’s part of my family. I never thought cats were capable of such love and affection. I swear she’s the best cat in the world. I’m so glad she found me. I wouldn’t have been able to get through losing my dog as easily if I had been without her. Her purrs and cuddles were so therapeutic and even now after a bad day of work she knows just how to cheer me up. She still loves to play, and she cracks me up when she pounces and attacks her toys because of how cute she looks. She also has started a new habit of hiding under covers and pouncing and zooming under them like some crazy blanket shark. I need to bring a camera and record it one day. It’s so hilarious to watch.

I don’t know if tripawds have shorter lives or if arthritis will catch up too soon, but I do know I am blessed to have her here. So we’ll just take each day one hop at a time, and in the end, I know I’ll have so many precious memories to make me smile. Here’s hoping for a long life together, my sweet friend.

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7 months a tripawd!

Posted by: | January 29, 2015 | 3 Comments |

Smore became a tripawd 28 weeks ago! It seems hard to believe she’s been around that long let alone a tripawd for so long! Time really does fly, and tripawds really do adjust quite well.

She’s put on weight, too much of it really.  I’m hoping after winter, she’ll slim down again. The vet said her food intake is spot on, and there’s not much you can do with cats because they can control their own metabilsm, which makes weight control difficult. She’s also been spayed, which could contribute to it. Who knows? All I know is it obvious worries me, but what can I do? She gets her exercise playing, and she eats right.

I’m hoping to find a new job this summer and move to my own place where I can let Smore go where she pleases.

after losing my dog, I also realized that in the end,  I want there to be lots of photos. Photos of my dogs are all scattered in albums and sd cards. Therefore,  I made an instagram acciunt just for Smore,  and I’ve been taking daily photos of her and posting most of them (at the beginnimg I wasn’t so good at that!). As long as instagram doesn’t die, I’ll have a vidual record of her life, and if it does die, I have the backups saved on my tablet. If you want to follow, it’s smorethetripawd. I’d love to see more tripawd photos! Ok, nontripawds are cute too, lol.

And, as always, a photo though it’s not current.

(Media uploader won’t work on my tablet, so that’s a link to recent instagram photo…)

– Tina and Smore

 

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4.5 Months!

Posted by: | November 14, 2014 | 9 Comments |

Where does the time go? It is hard to believe that it has been 4.5 months since Smore went from injured, starving kitten to loving tripawd. So what’s new since my last post?

Smore apparently heard me complaining about how she stopped being affectionate because ever since she’s been cuddling with me. Perhaps it’s because I started propping my feet up om the ottoman? Whatever the reason, I’m glad. I find her purring and warmth comforting and therapeutic,  especially after a bad day.

I also think she’s finally learned her name. Now when I say it she comes running to me and jumps up into my lap.

She’s also seen her first glimpse of snow out the window. I’m glad she found me. I’d hate to think of her out there in the cold with an injured andnunusable arm. I know animals can adapt, but I know she’s better off here as an indoor cat. I once thought it was cruel to have an indoor only cat, but smore seems happy and I don’t have to worry about her getting hurt again out there in the big world.

I’ve seen tons of cats wandering around outside, which means there’s a lot of competitiom for resources out there. I’m sure her bad leg would’ve made it difficult to hunt efficiently. I think a lot of these cats are barm cats since it’s so rural here, but it’s hard to say. I’m still convinced she’s a former barn cat turned garage cat.

And soon she’ll be a former garage cat. My father just told me tonight that I could bring her into the basement. For those who don’t remember/don’t know, my father is allergic to cats, as are my nieces and sister who visit in the summer. My mom said Smore could never really be an in the house cat because of allergies, even when my elderly dog, who hates small animals, passes on. Which is why Smore has been living in our garage, which I turned into a cat cave. I stopped parking the car in there and took out a lot of stuff that would be dangerous and brought in some furniture. And she didn’t go outside anymore either because I didn’t want her to be an outdoor cat.

My dad said he doesn’t care though. He even said he was surprised I never did that in the beginning. He didn’t know Mom said no. Granted, my dad originally said no to Smore in the garage too and didn’t want me to keep her.

I know a lot of it has to deal with my parents worrying about me sitting in the cold garage with her and staying warm, especially right now because I have a cold. That and my dad wants me to be able to park in the garage and not have to worry about digging out my car this winter, which has apparently already started. 🙁

My dad even went on to say he’d be ok with Smore being in the main floor of the house if it wasn’t for my dog’s dislike of cats and the cat’s possible dislike for dogs. At Pebbles age, I don’t see the point in trying to teach her to like and tolerate Smore. So instead,  Smore will just get half the house and Pebbles will get the other half. Our basement is the same size as our first floor,  you see. It still has mostly concrete floor, and now she won’t be able to see outside again until we build something to get to the super high windows.

I don’t know if there’s really a difference in her living arrangements other than it’ll be more comfortable for me. The basement stays cooler than the rest of the house, but it’s obviously better insulated than the garage. The garage is 52 degrees right now despite the 28 degree westher outside.

Still, I’d like to think of it as a victory. I had a feeling my parents would eventually cave and let her in the house. I just figured it’d be after my dog died. Of course, I was less confident of that when I realized it was allergies that caused her to stay in thebgarage versusnwe don’t want more pets.

I know cats like predictability and become attached to their surroundings. How well do you think she’ll adjust to the move? Anything I can do to make it easier? Cats are still an alien species to me. Hopefully she doesn’t start any bad bathroom habits and continues to use her litter box. I’d hate to have her screw this opportunity up. Hopefully she’ll like her new living area. I might even bring a tv and dvd player down there and watch some movies with her. Hopefully all the sounds won’t scare her. I know she’s afraid of my dad because he talks so loud…

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[Video] Smore Playing with her toys

Posted by: | October 5, 2014 | 2 Comments |

Here she is from October 3rd playing with her whale and a flying squirrel. There’s bunny kicking around 1:00. Sorry it’s not the best of quality.

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almost 3 months!

Posted by: | October 2, 2014 | 9 Comments |

It’s been 11 weeks as of today since Smore had her surgery. I had every intention of posting daily or at least weekly, but my Internet is limited and apparently the first site to be blocked is this one when my data expires. It also loads pretty slow even when I do have some. Stupid rural internet.

calico in chair

Relaxing in my chair

Smore went in for her last set of kitten shots a month ago and weight 6 pounds,  6 ounces.

She’s got her own ramp up to her window and lots of toys. She’s become less cuddly as she’s gotten older. She doesn’t lay in my lap anymore. Instead she lies on the ottoman in front of me for pets. She still enjoys to he petted, and she loves to be brushed. If you get her brush out, she goes up to it and starts brushing herself.

Her favorite toy is a knockoff beanie baby whale. She carries it around and then bunny kicks it. She throws it around too. She gets pretty excited about it, and I’m not gonna lie, it’s adorable. She still runs quickly and is just living life to the fullest. She’s going to be 7 months I think this month. It seems hard to believe how much time has passed.

cat with stuffed whale

Having a whale of a time

I was so upset when they said she needed to have it aamputated. However, Smore is happy and healthy, and I couldn’t be happier with the decision I made.

She is starting to get more vocal, especially during our evening play. I think she’s trying to ask for her canned food, but I could be wrong.

I’ve missed you all. Hopefully everyone is doing well too. Eventually I’ll finish her ribbon and send it in. Maybe this weekend I’ll upload some videos of Smore playing. Shes super cute. Her second favorite toy is a stick with string that has different attachments. She enjoys the attachments, but she’d much rather prefer to chase the string. 🙂

Smore's expression when she's hyper

Smore’s expression when she’s hyper

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Hoppy One Month Ampuversary, Smore!

Posted by: | August 14, 2014 | 5 Comments |

It’s been 4 weeks today since Smore had her amputation! My oh my how the time does fly. I know I said I’d post pictures of her possible cat family, but I forgot it was Thursday today! It seems so lomg ago that I gave her to the student vet who would be overseeing her care for surgery. I remember being terrified and thinking I might never see her again if something went wrong. But she’s been a trooper.

She continues to shock me with her ability to adapt and with her amazing attitude. She’s not a very typical cat.

Over this past month, she’s learned to stalk her “prey” again and catch it midair with one paw. She can balance on her back end longer than I thought possible. She’s learned to jump up and rest on my shoulder. She’s taught me how to play cat games.

I swear she reminds me of a wrestler. She’ll attack a toy and then tap out by running into my lap or behind me. That’s my cue that it’s time to set up the hunt again.

Sometimes she goes straight for the poles to knock them out of my hands too. She’s intelligent enough to know I control them, and she seems to know her best chance lies when I lower the wand.

If I’m not paying attention, she’ll pounce on the toy to make it move for her.

her favorite toys are DaBird and a wand toy that has interchangeable ends. Her favorite though is when there’s nothing attached and she can just chase the string.

she has begun to climb again, and she’s also starting to try to use that invisible arm to cover her food and litter, which seems to pain me more than her.

She’s taken her first stroll outside on a leash and harness too. She’s also done flips in the air while playing. Seriously, there’s nothing she can’t do, except use that paw.

She has come such a long way. It’s been a little over a month since she hopped imto my life, yet I can’t remember life without her.

So here’s to Smore and all the memories she’s given me this month. I look forward to all those that are yet to come!

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