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Adjusting to Daily Life

Posted by: | August 4, 2014 | 4 Comments |

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Grooming and the Litter Box

Smore looking inside door at husky

Smore (pre-amputation) introducing herself to my dog, Pebbles

I made sure Smore could not climb up on much because I was worried she’d have trouble getting back down. Aside from that, I made very little changes to anything in her life. I also did not remove the lid thing to her litter box. She has one of those guard rails as it were to help keep the litter in, but it is not covered completely. Hopefully that makes sense?

While she was recuperating, it was obvious that she needed some help in, uh, certain areas.

Covering her poop was not something that came right away. She would sometimes try, but I think stoned kitty was pretty stoned from her meds. I think after 3 days she was able to do that again.

Grooming herself though was no easy task. I would see her lick her shirt, and I would see her lick her front paw. However, I never saw her groom the rest of her body. After pooping, her butt was sometimes covered in poop.

I invested in some between bath cat wipes to help out with that. She surprisingly tolerated it quite well, but I highly doubt she enjoyed it.

I fed her wet food because she wasn’t pooping every day; a combination of meds and worms made it sometimes rather, uh, slick. To the point that she once scratched her ear with a back leg and pooped in the process. Yeah, so not supposed to happen…

Anyway, I cannot tell you how excited I was when she finally resumed cleaning her own butt. It was a joy. I’d say she figured it out by the end of the first week. So don’t be alarmed if your cat has problems with this.

cat on curved scratching post

Smore in the middle of playing on her curved scratching post


I had heard that cats amputations have trouble using a normal scratching post. I ended up buying the curved one thinking that Smore would enjoy it. She enjoys lying on it and using it to hide from her “prey”, but I hardly ever see her scratching on it unless she’s going for a toy I’m dangling above.

She took it upon herself to scratch at a piece of wood we had lying about. She also scratched at my jeans. While I was standing. I took that as a sign that a normal scratching post would be just fine.

I bought one that had a feather attached to the top, and Smore immediately fell in love with the feather. She kept licking at it and just stood there with it for like five minutes. She still enjoys it, and while I usually never see her go after the post just for the sake of scratching, her nails do get some work done while she plays. And boy, does she love to play!

Smore scratching on scratching post

Smore and her one true love

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under: Uncategorized

Tripawds is a user-supported community. Thank you for your support!

At only 3-4 months old, Smore obviously has energy to spare, so I did my best to let her burn off her energy without doing anything to tear out her stitches. I was shocked by how soon she began playing as if she had never even had four legs to begin with.

On Sunday I actually recorded a video of her playing with a toy mouse to send to my mother, who was very anti-amputation because she didn’t think it was a good quality of life. Remember, the surgery happened on Thursday. You wouldn’t have known that if you watched the video however. She acted completely normal. She continued to act like an ordinary kitten as well, and it was obvious that she was becoming used to the medicines’ effects or something because she didn’t act stoned for much longer. She never acted as though she was in any pain either. When I figure out how to upload it/get more internet data, I will post a video of it.

I read that some cats pretty much hide for the duration of their healing. Smore did not read that. I was fully prepared to let her hide in several locations. There were at least 3 boxes for her to hide away in and her carrier (but what cat would want to go back in there after this experience?).

So where was her favorite place to hang out?

My lap. To be honest, it’s still actually her favorite place to go. This kitten will actually prefer to cuddle over eating. I usually have to pet her for a while and then set her in front of her bowl or she’ll just come back to me. Didn’t I say this kitten was sweet? 🙂


under: Uncategorized

Surgery and Immediate Post-Op

Posted by: | August 2, 2014 | 3 Comments |
x-ray of Smore's broken leg

The Broken Leg

Surgery and Picking Her Up

I left Smore with the vet on a Wednesday because the orthopedic surgeon who was trying to save her leg was 2 hours away. The surgery was scheduled for the following day. They called me about 3:30 to tell me the amputation was a success and that she was already playing.

She stayed at the vet until Friday afternoon. I received a call each morning and each night as well as one during the surgery due to the complication and one afterward to let me know how she did.

Before I picked her up, I did lots of research, most of which came from Tripawds. I looked at pictures of cats with amputations, which I think helped prepare me for what to expect.

When I picked her up, they put her in the carrier in the backroom and brought her out to me. She had a bandage on her and an e-collar (aka the cone of shame). She meowed when she saw me and put her nose against the carrier door as if to say, hey where have you been? I was grateful for that because part of my worry was that she would blame me for what had happened or something. The vet staff and vet techs assured me it wouldn’t be the case since they did the surgery and she was willing to cuddle post-op with them.


She was given amoxicillin (anti-biotic she was actually on before surgery due to her wound), metacam (nonsteroid anti-inflamatory), and burprenorphine (pain). Metcam was once every 24 hours, and the other two were every 12 hours. Her pupils were pretty large, and I’m pretty sure the pain meds made her pretty stoned. I imagine she saw lots of fun things. Unlike most tripawd blogs I’ve read, she did not have the pain patch.

Smore resting post-op

Smore resting post-op

Post-Op at Home

I brought her home, and it was obvious that she was a little disoriented. I blame this on the cone, however. It had white lines and the name of a veterinarian practice on it, which I’m sure made it hard to maneuver. Like all coned pets, she began running into things.

I had heard about using onesies for post-op, but I hadn’t purchased one before bringing her home (bad pawrent!). She stayed in her bandage and cone overnight. I kept her in a large dog kennel I had actually used when my husky was a puppy. It contained her box to sleep in, her blankets, her water, and her litterbox. As soon as I left the room, Smore decided she’d rather sleep on top of her box rather than inside it. Typical cat, no?

She later managed to jump down as well with no trouble. I fully believed I had to let her figure things out and tried not to baby her too much, so I actually didn’t do anything special for her. The only change I made was to move a box away from a table she liked to climb onto so that she wouldn’t climb up there, which surprisingly worked. She used her litterbox with no problem, but covering her poop did not happen. I did help her with that.

She slept in her kennel at night and remained there unless I was there to supervise her. Well, the second morning I woke up to find that she had tipped the box over on top of herself. Later that day she also managed to undo her e-collar (it was only tied on with gauze instead of an actual collar). She let me slip it back on and I went to the store in search of he onesies since her bandages were coming off. Plus, the instant she got free of the cone she began licking her stitches.

Cat in stars and stripes shirt

Smore rockin’ her shirt

Keeping Her Stitches Protected

When I found her she was 3 pounds and pretty much just fur and bones. Before surgery, she was only 4 pounds.

Onesies are not easily found for a kitten that size. The store didn’t have newborn or premies, so what’s a girl to do? I got creative and bought her an XXS dog shirt designed for yorkies, Shi tzus, and other tiny puppies. It fit perfectly, though it definitely made her butt look big, haha. We sewed up the one arm and Smore was able to spend the rest of her post-op cone-free, much to everyone’s delight. She also did not mind the shirt. In fact, I’ve come to discover this girl will basically let you do anything, including giving her nasty amoxicillan (which I despise the taste and smell of. ICK!).


under: Uncategorized

Introducing Smore

Posted by: | August 1, 2014 | 10 Comments |

image A few weeks ago as I took my husky outside to go to the bathroom before bed, I was welcomed by a hiss. I looked down on the porch and there it was: a small and unhappy cat. I was taken by surprise as well and had let out my own terrified litle shriek. My nieces wanted to know what was going on. I took a picture and showed them.

Cue the aws.

They have always loved cats. Well, actually anything with fur. They’re like me in that aspect.

As my husky and the cat stared each other down, I was starting to worry that it wouldn’t leave; however, the cat finally slinked off and life continued as normal.

The following morning though, as I gathered leash and collar for my dog, I heard the distinct sound of a kitten mewing. I opened the door and there it was again. It reached up and pawed at the door. I opened the door and managed to shoo her off to the otherside of the porch so that my dog could go out. I found her sitting outside on the welcome mat an hour or so later as I left for work.

Her paw was obviously causing her trouble; she didn’t put any weight on it at all, and there was a visible wound. I thought of her the whole time I was at work, and when I came home, I found her curled up near the air conditioner with her back against the house. It was obvious that the two structures and the shade of the area offered her some comfort. After calling animal control, who advised me that she may be dangerous and to leave her alone unless I had a trap, and the vet, I decided to trap her. We happened to have a trap, and she went into it easily with some tuna.

imageThe vet tech let her walk out of the cage and we discovered she was really friendly and enjoyed purring. Doc decided she was likely shot, which I’ve heard happens in some places here as a method of population control of females. She was treated for fleas, worms, and ear mites too.

After trying to find an owner and coming up empty handed, I decided to keep her. My uncle thinks she was one of the two kittens that was born under his trailer earlier this year, but he hasn’t been here to see her yet to confirm it.

Amputation was deemed the most likely surgery; however, I went to an orthopedic surgeon to attempt to fix it. During surgery though, the vet discovered her nerve was completely severed. She also decided it was more likely that she was bit by something due to the lack of gunshot residue in her wound.

I was heartbroken; I had a hard time believing she’d be okay on three legs despite the fact that she pretty much hobbled on only three the whole time she was with me.

I had a hard time believing she was playing with a toy mouse a mere three hours after surgery too, but they assured me it happened. And so, we welcomed a little kitten into our family. She’s only three or four months old and I swear she’s the sweetest and by far the best cat in the world.

under: Uncategorized

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