Sebastian has been a tripawd and cancer-free for THREE YEARS! WOOHOO!
OK, now that the celebrating is over, here’s the real reason for my post: Sebastian is looking for work. I’m not sure he knows it yet, but I’ll be sure to keep reminding him. He needs to pay off his vet bill!!! So who’s looking for a mouser? He might only be able to chase at 75% speed but I can assure you that he’s got the skills.
Just kidding. He’s retired. (Unless there really is a job out there!)
Sebastian is currently sleeping in my office (in the dog’s bed, of course) while he recovers from surgery. For the past month or two he has been having the dreaded male cat urinary problems, and it got real bad. He had 3 blockages in a week, had a catheter placed each time, and ultimately failed to stay unblocked. He had PU surgery to hopefully “cure” him. The vet calls it the sex change surgery. I guess I can finally say I have a little girl? Sorry.
The silver lining is that I’m pretty sure Sebastian can live through anything. But let’s not test that theory anymore!
I totally missed Sebastian’s 2 year ampuversary! It was March 17th (St. Patty’s Day). I have a good excuse though, I promise. My excuse is…HE’S SO NORMAL!!
Yeah he has a limp, and I do enjoy teasing him and asking him if he lost his leg in an epic battle, but other than that…he’s a super friendly, chatty cat (with the occasional lovable bad attitude).
Also, Sebastian had his senior wellness visit a couple days ago. All is well! And he’s just barely a senior. He’ll be 9 this year.
I guess I should answer a question that is probably now being asked, since every person that enters my house asks it: Why are your animals drinking Orange Crush in their fountain? Because if you leave a clear bottle of water out, Sebastian bites a hole in it. No joke. Fortunately it only took one kitchen flood to figure that out.
Halloween is Sebastian’s favorite time of the year. Well, not really, but we can pretend! We asked Grandma to make Sebastian a costume and it ended up AMAZING!
In order to achieve these photos, which aren’t even that great, we had to bribe him and distract him with food. We also had to get the pictures quick because he was mostly interested in eating and attacking the peg-leg.
Before we tortured the poor kid, we took some nice photos. Sebastian is difficult to photograph for so many reasons:
Black cats (and dogs!) always come out blurry
Cats don’t do what you say, or at least not when you say to
Sebastian wants rubs all.the.time
So once he stopped demanding attention, he realized what we really wanted: super cute poses, DUH!
You may notice in some of these pictures that Sebastian’s front leg is shaved. Why, you ask? Well, I did say that Sebastian likes attention. A few weeks ago we had to rush him to the emergency vet because he couldn’t go #1 and was feeling really terrible. He was crying a lot and it was absolutely heartbreaking. He also wasn’t attacking the vet which is the #1 sign that Sebastian is SICK! Fortunately the vet was able to fix him up and Sebastian was back to screaming, hissing, and growling in no time! Mom & dad are going to go broke and have a few more gray hairs, but we’ll do anything for our furry children!
I know Sebastian & I have been pretty absent from Tripawds lately. I’m sorry. Everything is going great, just super busy! We’re in the process of moving to a big house out in the country, among other things. Best wishes to everyone out there!
I leave you with a game titled “Find the Sebastian”
I have been meaning to give you all a quick update on how Sebastian’s vet visit went, 1 year post amputation. I’ve been slacking but I’m here now!
Sebastian still hates the vet. No question about it. He gets really loud and flails a lot when I put him in his crate, but he’s a lot easier to capture now. Poor guy, he’s so scared. But he did great, didn’t hurt anyone, and came out with a mostly clean bill of health!
The vet tech had to put a muzzle on him (I think he scared her…he’s still got some spunk, I’m tellin you) and I guess that helped a lot. Then the doctor decided to be brave and check his teeth. They were awful…probably haven’t been checked in a couple of years because he’s so bad at the vet.
So Sebastian got to go back the next week for a teeth cleaning! A drugged up 3 legged cat is something else…I wish I took video. But now his teeth are sparkly white, his breath is so much better, and all is well!
Can you believe it? Sebastian has been a tripawd for a whole year! He’s doing spectacular with no new news really.
It has been a learning experience, to say the least. We (the humans) learned that animals are incredibly resilient. We had 2 cats and our dog undergo surgery in 2014 and they all were troopers. They barely complained at all! We also learned that even the clumsiest, silliest of cats can handle life on 3 legs like it’s no big deal. And we learned that spoiling a sick animal with human food has long-lasting (forever-lasting?) consequences. I’m not sure Sebastian will ever stop begging at the table.
** Sorry, I have to pause. Sebastian realized I’m writing about him and is sitting directly in front of my monitor. ***
Anyway, I posted a lot when Sebastian had his surgery and was recovering, but what have we learned since then? Life really isn’t that much different, but there are some things worth sharing.
As soon as we found out Sebastian would be losing his leg, one of my main concerns was the health of his remaining joints. Even though the vet and many people assured me that cats do just fine on three legs, I wanted to be extra cautious. I started Sebastian on Dasuquin supplements within a few weeks of his amputation. It’s powder you sprinkle on his food. I wasn’t sure if it was doing anything, so after a while I took him off of it and sure enough, he became less active and would even stop to lick his front leg (indication of discomfort). So he’s back on that and the maintenance dose is quite simple – one capsule of powder every other day or so.
Muscle takes time Sebastian has always been really active, but any animal is going to need time to adapt to life on three legs. Cats seem to adapt immediately – running, climbing, playing all within a couple weeks. But we did notice that at first Sebastian was less active, he hesitated to jump and climb the same way as before, and he would stop to take breaks between play sessions. It wasn’t a concerning change at all, but it was noticeable. Over a month or two he got more and more active and hesitated less. And then we actually started to notice his right arm was getting visibly bigger. The boy’s got some serious muscle now! But it took some time – so if your tripawd has slowed down a bit, be patient. You’ll be amazed.
Muscles get sore Sebastian has been tense his whole life, no joke. He has some anxiety, and he gets angry sometimes. So when another tripawd kitty mom mentioned massage therapy, I had to try it. Now, I’m no expert and in fact have no clue what I’m doing, but kitties like to be rubbed. I just lay him down on his amputated side and give his remaining shoulder a good massage. He LOVES it. He purrs, drools, and chirps in a strangely cute way.
A little paranoia isn’t a bad thing
I do worry about Sebastian falling from high up, or getting his claws stuck in something. He’s the clumsiest cat I know. I now keep the claws on his front foot trimmed so that he can’t get stuck in something and be hanging by one arm (eek). And we recently tore apart the giant cat tree we built and will be building a safer one in the next few months (one that his jerk brothers can’t push him off of).
So that’s it! Life is good. Sebastian is healthy (knock on wood) and happy. You will be seeing a couple more posts in the next few months. One for his annual vet visit – has he forgiven the doctor? I’m not getting my hopes up. And another because we are moving – the last move was traumatic for him, to say the least. Will his new “can do” attitude help? Stay tuned!
I leave you with this adorable conversation with Daddy…
I really wanted to get a video of Sebastian playing with one of the feather toys so everyone can see how great he’s doing, but of course every time I turn the camera on he just sits there. Check out what happened this time.