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Nini Love

Nov 21

Last week was Nini’s one month ampuversary! It’s hard to believe it’s been a month since that scary night I came downstairs to a cat who couldn’t stand up and an emergency room visit.

But we are getting through it! There are ups and downs, but mostly ups, and I am just so happy that Nini is still with us. I’ll start with the ups.

Ups: Nini is getting better and better at adjusting to walking (hopping mostly!) on three legs. She has completely adjusted to going up and down her stairs to the bed, and can even jump up on the bed from the floor (which is 3 feet!) when she feels like it. She seems to do better going longer distances. If she’s only walking a few steps, like to the water dish, she really has more of a hopping gait. But if she’s heading to the sunny spot in the garden that she likes, she’s still hopping, but her gait is more even, and she looks more comfortable.

She is also showing more interest in expanding her time outside. We live on a walking trail, and our back yard fence opens right onto the trail. A few days ago, she asked me to open the fence, and we spent some time on the trail, staying very close to home. I think Nini really enjoyed exploring, sniffing, and watching the people and leashed dogs go by. Our other yard fence leads out to a few parking spaces, and an open concrete area. Not as picturesque, but Nini also wanted to go out that gate. So, I think it’s really encouraging that Nini wants to branch out past our back yard. Maybe in another month, she’ll be interested in going out the front door, and into our little courtyard. Oohhh!

Nini starting to explore the big wide world again

I want to say that Nini is always 100% supervised when she’s outside. Even before her surgery, she never went very far. I think since she’s an old gal now, she just wants to stick close to the comforts of home. So I’ve never worried about her roaming very far. But as a new tripawd, I still want to keep an eye on her, even if she’s just in the backyard. At least for a little while longer.

She’s completely adjusted to using her litter box. I actually didn’t even have to modify the box! Even before her stitches were out, she was hopping in there no problem. And her appetite is still really good.

Downs: Nini still has a day or two in a row where all she wants to do is sleep. Of course, she’s been through so much, so I shouldn’t be surprised by that. But I still can’t help but worry a little when she prefers to be under the covers on a beautiful sunny day. That never happened before her surgery. If there was sun, she was out in it.

She hasn’t really been interested in being outside the bedroom in our condo. She came upstairs a couple times, not long after her surgery, but hasn’t shown any interest in being upstairs with us in the last few weeks. One night I even carried her upstairs to watch TV with us. I thought the change of scenery would be good for her. And, let’s be honest, I wanted her company! I set up her heating pad on the rocking chair, but she wasn’t interested. She sat for a minute, then went downstairs and got back on the bed.

I feel like she is still adjusting to having three legs. There are often times when she doesn’t seem to enjoy walking very much. I get the impression it feels laborious to her. She just has this look on her face that she did not have before surgery. And, once she gets to where she’s going, she plops down and just seems so happy to be there and not have to walk anymore.

Yesterday was the first time she tried to scratch her shoulder with her missing leg. I could see her little stump moving underneath her skin. It kind of broke my heart a little. I went right over, and scratched her side and shoulder and up to her ear for her. I think I got the spot she was aiming for. But what happens when she has an itch, and I’m not there to scratch it?

I guess the ‘downs’ are mostly related to my idea of how Nini’s recovery should be, contrasted with how her recovery is actually going. I want Nini to be back to the confident, elegant, social, vocal and active cat she was before she lost her leg. And that is going to happen on her schedule. Not the schedule that I would like it to be.

And overall, her recovery is going great! So I just need to relax and support Nini moving through her recovery at her own pace. If she needs to sleep for two days in row, that’s fine. It doesn’t mean she’s falling into some deep depression. In the next day or so, she’ll be more active. There are little signs she’s coming back to herself almost everyday. In the meantime, I will cherish every day I have with her.

Nini relaxes with a view of the walking trail. Raspy prefers the safety of the back yard.

1 comment so far

  1. jerry
    5:25 am - 11-22-2022

    Wow I can’t believe it’s been a month already. She is doing pretty darn great for a senior gal! Going outside, exploring, being curious. All good signs!

    I know it’s hard going through some heartbreaking moments like the occasional air scratching and some changes in her behavior. We all feel that as parents to our Tripawds, knowing that we agreed to an amputation that is supposed to give back quality of life. You do have a great attitude about her situation though, and all I can add is that she is probably still adjusting and getting used to expending more effort to get what she wants. Obviously she’s not pleased, and maybe a bit moody about it too, thus wanting to be alone sometimes. Grumpy old lady cat syndrome? New Tripawd syndrome? Probably both.

    As long as what you are seeing isn’t pain-signal type behavior, it’s probably just a matter of time and more healing for her to get more of that sparkle back. As you said, it’ll happen on her timeline! Keep re-introducing her to those activities she loves, you’re doing great!

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