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…