Sebastian went to his first regular vet visit since his amputation today. It was his annual check up, vaccines, etc. He did AWESOME! A+ health report card and no one was hurt in the process. He does need to lose 2lbs. He actually weighs slightly more now than he did before his surgery…oops. We’ll get on that ASAP.
On the way to the vet and while there he still cried, hissed, and grumbled. Fortunately the vet tech sprayed the room with Feliway and it helped significantly. This was his 2nd trip to a doctor since his amputation (first time was the post-surgery check) and both times he has been a million times better than he used to be. Once he screamed so much at the vet that he was hoarse the next day (the vet visit was sad, the hoarse voice was HILARIOUS). So he did well this time, even letting us rub him and feed him treats while there. Good job, Sebastian!
The vet gave us some useful tips. He said to regularly check his lymph nodes for bumps – specifically around his neck and his back legs right where the leg meets his belly. He also said that even though his tumor was not a vaccine associated sarcoma, we should still be careful about where the vaccines are put just in case he were to get a VAS in the future. So he said that the vaccines should be put on the opposite back leg or at his amputation site since there’s no bone there anymore for a tumor to attach to. That’s no fun to think about but totally worth it.
Oh, and don’t think Sebastian is turning some new leaf where he is happy now. Nope. When we let him out of the carrier, he ran through the house complaining (seriously, it sounds like he’s cursing and back talking and it just gets quieter as he gets further away), then he got mad at the dog, and finally he demanded food. Yep, still Sebastian!
Sebastian’s 6 month ampuversary was on Wednesday. He’s doing great! Nothing new at all. He’s still cute, moody, and wants all the love (and food) he can get. I was just looking at him today and thinking that I can’t believe that 6 months ago he had a huge scar and was half bald. He looks and acts as if he has always been a tripawd!
In other news, I made these. I’m not very good at crochet and for whatever reason I find the little animals to be easiest. My father-in-law saw the green one and requested a Sebastian!
It has been 3 months! Can you believe it!? I can’t. It’s crazy. Sebastian is…Sebastian!! Still the same ol kitty cat. Only, that’s not true. He’s BETTER!
When I wrote about his 1 and 2 month ampuversaries I talked about how well Sebastian was doing with getting around the house and playing. What I didn’t mention is how he is doing psychologically. I know what you’re thinking…seriously, Jenn? Cat psychology? Is this necessary? Yes, yes it is!
So here’s the breakdown of how he has changed. You’ll notice that Sebastian is a little all over the place when it comes to kitty cat psychology…this is why he’s so great. Sanity is boring, right?
He’s more sociable Before: Sebastian always hung out with me while I worked, and he always joined us for dinner when we had people over. Most of the time he even got his own chair!
Now: I now have to meet a Sebastian-love-time quota daily. If I don’t, he will sit in front of my computer monitor until I do (and moving him just makes it worse). When we have people over for dinner, he actually STAYS in the room after the food is gone! Plus he expects guests to also meet the Sebastian-love-time quota. I think this is because we spoiled him rotten with attention while he was recovering.
He’s less terrified of the world Before: Sebastian was pretty jumpy. Any loud noise and he was gone. He didn’t like the dog barking, didn’t like children running around, didn’t like it if you dropped something…you get the point. He usually cried in fear/anger and then ran away.
Now: Sebastian has manned up! Now he just yells/growls and glares at the offending person/dog. I think once he realized he couldn’t run away as fast, he made a choice…and he made the RIGHT choice! Go Sebastian!
He’s still playful, but a little different Before: Sebastian could entertain himself for hours on end. He spent most afternoons chasing a toy back and forth across the kitchen. He loves catnip and feather toys. And he spent a lot of time wrestling with his brothers, sometimes against his will.
Now: No more chasing toys back and forth across the kitchen. His (somewhat) new hobby is stealing things from me. He’s also still thrilled with catnip and feather toys, and still on the fence about wrestling. I think the change in his play habits is also why he is more sociable now (Hey you. You chopped off MY ARM to keep me here, and 3 legged cats aren’t as good at kitchen soccer, so you must entertain me. Now.).
He’s still super chatty
Isn’t there some thing about black cats being talkative? Well all of my cats are pretty talkative, but you can practically carry on a conversation with Sebastian (in that crazy cat lady kind of way). This is really about the same, but it’s one of my favorite things about him.
He’s less violent Before: Sebastian has always been a little moody. I think it goes hand and hand with his anxiety. People (and dogs) can’t walk into his “personal space” without getting a dirty look and yelled at. You’re also not allowed to touch his back feet or tail unless you want to face some very sharp claws. And if you tell him to get down from somewhere, he will do it but make sure to complain the whole way down.
After: Personal space is still an issue. That’s fine. But he puts up with us touching him more now. I was really worried that after his amputation his entire left side would be “off limits” too…but nope. He does still grumble about being touched, but it’s less than before. Part of me wonders if he puts up with it because he can’t get away as easily now…maybe we’re cruel, cruel people? Whatever, it’s good for him to develop some tolerance!
He’s still awesome
Sebastian still gives me high fives. With one arm. Whenever asked. Yes, you read that right! I was really worried he wouldn’t be able to anymore…selfish, I know. He can also speak on command, probably because he likes talking so much.
He didn’t kill the vet Before: Taking Sebastian to the vet required careful planning, lots of Feliway spray, super quick reflexes, warnings to the vet techs, and a very patient vet. At one point we were afraid we would have to have home visits, because he practically went feral cat on the doctor. Part of my emotion over this whole amputation was fear for him being in a vet’s office for multiple days.
Now: Well, we know the vet stay went as expected (horribly) because he got to come home really early! But here’s the thing…we had to take him in for a follow up 4 weeks later. The surgeon had put in dissolvable stitches because he’s a smart guy and doesn’t have a death wish. I honestly thought that the follow up would consist of forcing him out of the carrier, a 30 second once over by the doctor, and getting him back into the carrier before anyone got hurt. Instead…he did so incredibly well that the doctor was able to pull the remaining undissolved stitches out and clean up the scabby spots. Sebastian let us hold him down while it happened. All 3 of us (me, my fiance, and the doc) were in shock. Fluke? I hope not!!
So all in all there have been some significant improvements in Sebastian’s life. I’m not saying all cats should have 3 legs, but it worked out pretty well for this one!
I fully expected that when Arthas got home, Sebastian would flip out. He hates the vet. Hates, hates, hates!! Anything that smells like the vet, anything that looks like it could be remotely related to the vet. When Barney (the cutie pie in the banner up top) came home with a cone on, Sebastian hissed at him and was mad for days. We have to wash everyone with Feliway wipes when they come back from the vet because we don’t want Sebastian to flip out.
So needless to say, this is absolutely shocking and adorable:
I mentioned earlier our dog Arthas was really sick. So for a little while I will interrupt Sebastian’s story to share his…
He had to have emergency surgery today…sigh, what a rough few months. 2 cats with cancer – 1 skin cancer, 1 Sebastian, and now this. Arthas started getting sick Tuesday night / Wednesday morning – throwing up everything, not eating, not drinking, lethargic. The vet took some x-rays and did some other testing and they couldn’t see a blockage but they got worried that his stomach had twisted or was going to (I’m not sure what they saw exactly). Something didn’t look right on the x-rays. So they took him in for surgery thinking it might be that, and it ended up actually being a blockage.
Now he’s recovering at the vet…we went to visit and he was pretty out of it at that time. If all is well he will be home on Saturday.
The blockage was a piece of hollow plastic. We can’t figure out what it’s from! But from now on he will have to go in the crate when we’re not home, and we’re taking away the cat’s toys that could be harmful and tempting (they’ll get over it). Unfortunately Arthas is a big chewer, but he never actually eats anything (that we know of). This thing must have been swallowed whole, whatever it is. We feel terrible that this was preventable.
So that’s about it for now, we’ll see how the next few days go. Our poor, poor baby 🙁
P.S. When they thought it was the stomach issue, I immediately remembered that Wyatt had the preventative surgery for that and had a blog post about it. Before that I had never even heard of it. So I immediately jumped online and was able to talk to Jim and Rene – THANK YOU again, for the information and for being around at exactly the right time.
Sebastian’s doggy brother is very sick and in the hospital today 🙁 If anyone will understand the pain and anxiety, it’s all of you. Fingers crossed and lots of well wishes from Sebastian (we’ll pretend he understands!).
Today it has been 2 months since Sebastian’s amputation! He’s doing well, I think. There have been no new lumps or bumps, no illness to speak of, and he’s getting around like an almost normal cat.
Mobility wise, he runs just as much as before but it’s somehow cuter now. Maybe it’s just me. He has always been pretty darn cute. He also doesn’t play with the same toys he used to. He used to love chasing those little plastic balls with the bells in them, but he hasn’t touched one since before the surgery. Now he prefers anything he can pick up in his mouth and carry around. My yarn, for example:
Sebastian still jumps up on top of things all the time, but he takes the long way up now. Sometimes I worry about him jumping down from places, especially if he gets spooked and makes a quick exit, but really what is there to be done? Hopefully he’s smart enough to take good care of himself.
I did start him on Dasuquin for his joints and I’m going to start giving him fish oil again for his skin & coat. I wanted to start some sort of joint supplement just because no matter how many times the vet tells me “cats do so well!” I can’t help but think about the redistribution of weight on three legs. The fish oil is nothing new for us but I got away from it for a while. Sebastian has allergies (grain, I think) that make his skin dry and itchy, and that makes him over-groom and go bald. He’s on a grain free diet but the fish oil helps his skin too.
Speaking of his skin and coat, his fur is growing back in beautifully. Woohoo!
The only spot that isn’t growing back in is where the IV was, and I’m 99% sure that’s because he’s licking it and wants to look funny forever.
And last but not least, since it’s a special day, he got a special meal:
Look what came in the mail! A Tripawds Rule bandana! Obviously a cat isn’t going to rock a bandana for too long, especially if that cat’s name is Sebastian. Instead, Arthas is proud to support his lil bro!
And here’s how it went when I tried to get Sebastian to pose with it for just a minute!