Purrkins is in his fourth month of being a Tripawd kitty now; I meant to update on his 3rd and started this in his 3rd month. 🙄
There never seems to be enough hours in the day. Time has just flown by. We are grateful every day, we had a choice and were able to amputate and cut that cancer off!
When we were faced with the decision, it was our worst nightmare! But we can most certainly say we did the right thing for Purrkins no matter what our future holds! He is such a joy to watch and does amazingly well. He is absolutely just as happy on three as he was on 4!
I still get nervous leaving him and that will never 100% change for me.
Life experiences change who you are as a person or pet parent. We had a 16-year-old cat named Garfield, he was sitting on the kitchen table, one of the boys jumped up on the table, and Garfield tried to get away and slipped off the edge of the table, he tried to catch himself, and in seconds he fell on the wood floor and not on his feet! I tried to catch him and there was no time it was a blink of an eye and Garfield was on the floor with a compound fracture bleeding from his back leg.
We rushed him to the emergency room at MSU, and we were told the worst, the break was so bad they could not repair it, on a younger healthier cat they would have amputated. At Garfield’s age and health, he was not a candidate for surgery we had to say goodbye to our Sweet Garfield that day! I bawl as I type this three years later, it is still the same heartbreak.
You never hear anything about cats breaking bones due to falling, that doesn’t happen, right? Cat trees to the ceiling, Cat walls, cats climbing trees outside, cats jumping all over and landing fine.
Well, unfortunately, we are here to tell you it can happen. I do not know if it is never shared or if we are one in a million.
When we were faced with the decision to amputate with Purrkins years later it was truly unreal!
We have had so many new kitty members join lately I felt like I needed to share Garfield’s story.
If we can prevent accidents or mishaps, we should take that step. We are all joined by the love of our animals and want the best for them.
We are extra cautious with Purrkins he has steps going to all his favorite spots! A set at his window seat a set at the coffee table, he goes from the coffee table to the sofa. A set at our bed. He always uses his steps! We are not taking any chances if we can prevent an accident we are going to. We are doing the better safe than sorry approach!
When a new member joins, I suggest stairs or any way to make the landing or jumping up & going down easier and safer!
We also moved furniture closer together, so it’s like stairs, graduating down to areas, we added floor mats and rugs, anything to make things easier and safer on his remaining limbs! Purrkins brother also uses the steps just because he can;)
We had steps for our Garfield because he was up there in age and had arthritis. He always used them. You can use boxes and furniture if you cant get steps. Just think safer ups and safer landings!
We also put some sisal carpet on the window sill. Secured with some double-sided carpet tape, Purrkins was slipping on the window sill when he was relearning his new life. Cats love sisal anyway;)
We live in a SMALL house, do we have room for these stairs and do they look nice NOPE do we care NOPE sure we would love the house to look great but again life changes how you look at things, and it is what it is! All that truly matters is safety and to allow our animals to be themselves and happy on 3 or 4 legs.
Purrkins is still getting acupuncture treatments done he was off for two months we go back the 21st for another session.
We do see a lot of improvement with each treatment. Purrkins comes homes and plays and has more energy. He seems to tire less frequently for the first week afterward. Dr. Matt said that that is all the endorphins working. He has two bowel movements on his acupuncture days. It obviously stimulates everything.💩
Dr. Matt also does chiropractic and checks Purrkins alignment each visit. He said he is holding his adjustments (alignment) well and that cats usually do hold their adjustments for longer periods then dogs do.
That being said he also said he doesn’t have a lot of cat patients. Dr. Matt will also learn from Purrkins & Purrkins brother Saxton. We are not sure what the long-term plan is on acupuncture and will keep you posted on what we are doing and what Purrkins ends up needing and benefiting from.
Some things we have noticed with Purrkins are ~
● He tires easier, He plays just as hard as he did before, he just doesn’t last as long.
●His one remaining front right leg is getting a lot bigger! It is really impressive to see how the body compensates
for the increase in size!
●We have seen a decrease in him trying to use his missing limb. He was trying to use his missing arm a lot the first month and each month that is decreasing. Dr. Matt said that is normal, the brain is still sending him signals the leg is still there.
● We have seen him be startled a couple of times and he goes to take off running, without thinking and then flops frantically, then seconds later he gets his wits about him and off he goes on his 3 legs! He must realize oh yeah my leg is gone this is not working. I imagine in fight or flight mode that’s normal too.
●Purrkins has figured out some new ways to clean his one side. He props one side up on the window, wall, or his humans and can now reach everywhere except his one side of his face.
He also seems to prefer having his amputated side propped up now when sleeping or cleaning. He always uses a pillow or wall or again us humans for support. He prefers his head elevated too. He likes to lay on the sofa between two cushions (crack) That spot no one usually wants to sit in because you sink down in between😉
●He does appreciate his one side of his face wiped off and his one ear to be scratched more often. We are happy to oblige.
●When he sits, he now brings his 2 back feet in closer to the front leg.
●Purrkins has decided to go back to using the non-handicap litter box;) We have three litter boxes total, we cut two of the boxes out in the front for him to have easier access. His brother Saxton didn’t mind the alterations. In fact, he still is using the easy access boxes. Purrkins uses both the cut and uncut ones now. updated (all the boxes are cut now)
●Purrkins stopped sleeping in his regular bed after surgery it has a warmer in it. We noticed him laying on the air ducts on the floor. We took the heater out of his bed, and he still did not use it. He prefers to be cool now rather then warm and how smart is he!;) I didn’t think of the cool being comforting to him. I saw the cooling beds on tripawds gear and that it was beneficial for joints and aches. I ordered him a cooling pad on Amazon, and he loves it. I put it on the sofa during the day and bring it to our bed at night.
●Purrkins fur is not entirely grown back in yet but almost, Its fuzzy and cute. It will be nice to have him fully clothed again, and we can keep on hopping on! I suspect next month he will have his full coat back. (total of 6 months from bald to full coat. Just in time for winter;)
We are working on both of the guy’s weight now. There was A LOT of complaining at first, and there still is, but it is getting better. We calculated what their daily calorie intake should be. We slowly cut back on portion size, we write down everything they have eaten and tally the total calories for the day.
Its essential in cats to not lose weight too quickly, they can develop hepatic lipidosis or fatty liver disease, both can potentially be fatal.
We use a digital pet scale, we put a cardboard box on it and zero out the scale then put them in the box to weigh them. We weigh them both weekly, and we are slowly making progress. After all, the complaining its rewarding to see the scale move in the right direction!
We do core strengthening with Purrkins every day a couple of times a day. He is getting really good at standing on his back two legs;) We do them on this balance pad. He now swats his toys standing on his back two feet;)
I just started to put his food bowl on the balance pad, and he now eats on it. That took some time and coaxing at first, but the food is motivating 😉
Saxton is also strengthening his core; we don’t exclude him, they get rewarded with bonito flakes or freeze dried treats.
The boys being brothers enjoying an Indian Summer day! Notice the arms. Saxton really couldn’t be a better brother to him he is so courteous to him!
Saxton watches Purrkins more closely then he used to and allows Purrkins to hop in front of him and lead the way, he always stays back a little for Purrkins to go first. We do make sure to give Saxton just as much love and attention as we have before and give them both equal care and love. Saxton just doesn’t have his own blog, and I am obviously not a blogger 😉 We just wanted to share Purrkins experience hoping his Tripawd journey might help another kitty or kitty parent someday!
We will update again in or around our 5 or 6 months hopefully more time will appear when the snow does.👀
Until then we hope everyone’s fur and non-fur families are doing well. 😘😽