It’s been a big week!
On Monday, I found Painy sitting in the front yard, where he likes to hang out, with one paw held up off the ground. A couple of days before, I’d wondered if he was limping slightly & decided I was imagining things, but now there was obviously a problem.
Neither I nor the vet could see an injury, but just in case it was an infected bite the vet put him on antibiotics for a couple of days, starting off with a good dose by injection. He also mentioned the possibility that given the acute onset of pain, it could be bone cancer. I’m glad he told me so the family & I had some warning to think about this!
By Thursday, with no improvement, Painy had X-rays that showed half of one if his foreleg bones had been eaten away by cancer & was at some risk of fracture. His other legs & chest/lungs looked clear.
We talked about amputation, the vet being fairly encouraging as Painy is only 9 years old. He came home on painkillers pending a decision – amputation vs euthanasia.
That’s when I discovered Tripawds & looked up loads of info on cat leg amputations. I was however quite uncertain – it seemed unfair to burden an already disabled cat with another disability. Painy has been vision-impaired from birth – he can see enough to crash-tackle his mother, Mischief, and sadly also to catch lizards, but he runs into things in unexpected places (has a good memory map). Also he is quite timid – runs away from people until he knows who they are, & doesn’t often go in our backyard with our big dog despite being quite good friends with her, because she moves quickly & unpredictably. He stays outside too, rather than encounter the dog inside the house, & it worried me how safe he’d be in the front yard.
However Painy is also a happy, very purry little guy, who seems to have a knack for survival, including avoiding conflict with other cats or roaming toms in the neighbourhood.
In the end we’ve decided to give him a chance on 3 legs! He’s booked in for surgery on Tuesday (today is Saturday in Australia). We’ll keep him inside in a dog-free zone for awhile & see how he goes. Sadly the vet reminds us that it is still possible the cancer has spread eg to lungs & not showing on X-ray ye
By the way, Painy’s full name is Master Pain – that’s what happens when you let your son & his friend name a kitten! Apparently he’s named after a movie character!
I’ll keep you posted!