Loving life as a tripawd

It has been a month and 3 days since Sebastian’s amputation, and almost a week of normal activity for him.  He’s doing great, honestly, though there have been some hiccups with his diet, lack of balance, etc.  But he’s happy and being goofy like usual (and still a little angry, as usual).

Our surgeon’s recovery instructions were a lot different from everyone else’s that I’ve read about – we kept him in a dog crate for two weeks, no jumping or climbing for nearly 4 weeks, and no interaction with the other animals for nearly 4 weeks.  But let me tell you…best thing ever!

Before the amputation, Sebastian’s normal daily life consisted of the following:

  • Climbing on top of my tall office chair while I work and hanging out for the morning
  • Chasing a ball with a bell in it back and forth across the kitchen for hours, by himself
  • Chasing / getting chased up and down two flights of stairs
  • Climbing straight up a 6ft cat tree as if it were a real tree
  • Wrestling with at least one other cat (he usually loses)

So, needless to say, he’s not your typical sleep all day kind of cat.  And with the exception of the first week, he wanted to resume his very active, very social lifestyle.  Oh, and did I mention he was a klutz even when he had 4 legs?  Keeping him locked up was an excellent idea.

When he finally got out:

Stairs were an instant no-brainer.

It took him 3 tries (2 scare-the-crap-out-of-mom falls) to return to his morning office chair routine.  Now he’s a pro.


He started running at mostly full speed after a couple days.  Sometimes he face plants when playing with toys.  Does it make me a bad person if I laugh?  I’ll take a video later.

He was afraid of the cat tree for a couple days but has slowly re-gained his confidence, and he’s learning that running full speed and jumping onto it is a bad idea.  For now, the hammock is sufficient:


And he didn’t really have a choice in the matter of wrestling with his brothers.  They’re jerks.



Biopsy Results

The doctor called me this morning with the biopsy results.  Sebastian’s tumor was a malignant, locally invasive osteochondrosarcoma.  That means it was a mix of bone tumor (osteo) and cartilage tumor (chondro).  He said the malignancy level was low and it does not appear to have spread, though of course there are no guarantees.  His lungs, liver, and other bloodwork were checked 3 days before the amputation and there were no signs of cancer.  It also sounds like osteosarcomas do not spread in cats the way they do in dogs.

The doctor is happy with that.  I’m happy with that.  Of course I would have been happier with “it’s benign!” but everyone was pretty convinced it was malignant from day 1.

This also tells us that this is NOT a Vaccine Associated Sarcoma.   Hearing that makes me feel better because while I’m still sad that Sebastian didn’t do anything to deserve this, at least it wasn’t anyone else’s fault either.  It happens.  We deal with it.

So I’ll take it!! We will hope that Sebastian lives a long, healthy, happy, cancer-free life and be super, super cautious of his health.  I’ll probably call the vet if he so much as sneezes.

P.S.  Sebastian is back to eating like normal.  And he wants to play a lot.  I ordered him a Kong Kickeroo and it should get here tomorrow.  I think that will be a more appropriate toy until he can do some serious running around.


It’s been two weeks (well, almost) so we have finally let Sebastian out into his room (empty of anything to jump on).  He is THRILLED! He hopped right out of the crate and walked a few laps around the room.  Then he rolled around on the floor for a while, in true Sebastian style.


Belly rubs?
Belly rubs?

Even after an hour or so you can tell that his walking (or hopping) is getting better.  He can also move pretty fast when he wants to (is that a treat in your hand!?).

In other news, we have been having a lot of trouble getting him to eat this past week.  I finally called the vet and found out it is likely because of the antibiotics (Clavamox).  Per some advice from people on this site, we tried tuna juice and chicken baby food.  He really liked the baby food by itself but didn’t eat a lot when I mixed it in with his food.  Pretty much every day he takes a few bites and calls it quits, no matter what he is fed.  But it’s getting better…he was eating nothing, then very little, then a little more.  We’ll see how it goes.  Hopefully he will eat more now that he is out and about.

Now if only we could take that stupid collar off…

1+ Week

Sebastian’s progress has been a little up and down, but it’s been more positive than negative.

Over the weekend he was definitely in pain, though we didn’t immediately realize that was the issue and nearly panicked.  On Sunday he refused to eat or get out of bed.  Up until then he had no problem taking his antibiotics with his food (made little pill meatballs), but that day I had to force them down his throat.  When either of us approached him he wouldn’t acknowledge us at all – eyes closed, staying in bed, no noise – when usually he is much more alert and chatty.  And whenever I pet him, he got mad.

I was planning to call the doctor Monday morning, but there was no need.  He got right up and demanded breakfast.  Loudly.  He ate a whole can of wet food but refused the dry food.  I guess he’s too good for it now.  He was also in a good mood all day.  Whew!

This was the least angry looking of the onesie pictures.  Later I found him laying on top of it.  Hmm
This was the least angry looking of the onesie pictures. Later I found him laying on top of it. Hmm

Then on Tuesday he refused to eat much again, but was otherwise fine.  He was very clearly hungry though, so it was a little confusing.  Eventually I got him to eat food out of my hand but he wouldn’t eat out of his dish.  My best guess is he is in some way bothered by the e-collar when he is eating.  Or he’s a momma’s boy.  Who knows!

Today he is in an even better mood.  He wants out of the crate bad.  Soon, Sebastian, soon!!  As much as I hate to see him locked up, it is forcing him to get some rest.  You can tell he needs it too.  After a little while of being up and moving around, you can just see him getting tired.

More good news – his incision looks AMAZING and his fur is growing back!!

Fur is coming in!
Fur is coming in!


Day 5 – Pictures

Sebastian is still doing pretty good.  His incision looks great, at least to my untrained eyes.  He’s eating, drinking, and even going #2 (that took a few days).  The vet gave him pain meds before he was released and said they would wear off in 3 days.  I think they have worn off because he seems to be sleeping more.  He’s still in a reasonably good mood though.

I wanted to share some more post-surgery photos with you all.  It has been hard to get decent pictures with him sleeping all the time and with the big e-collar on his head.

These collars are sooo much better than the cones.
These collars are sooo much better than the cones, but still ridiculous.
The stitches aren't pretty, but we were a little more prepared after seeing photos of other tripawd cats.
The stitches weren’t as scary since we saw other tripawd cat pictures first.
He was snoring
Chubby cat sleeping,  He was snoring.
His brothers were being supportive and snoozing nearby.
His brothers were being supportive and snoozing nearby.

Day 3 – Angry Cat is Happy!

It’s been 3 days since the surgery.  Sebastian is MUCH happier now.  He’s acting a lot like his usual self (still grumbly, but that’s normal).  I believed everyone that said he would physically get right back up, but emotionally?  I wasn’t so sure, especially given his tendency for freak outs.

The vet said he would like Sebastian to stay in the dog crate for two weeks, then he can be in his own room for a while.  It kind of sucks that he has to stay locked up, but I guess it’s for the best.  At least we can move it around so he is always in the same room as us.  He tried to escape the crate a few times on the first day but now he seems to be accepting it.  He’s also being super cute!  Maybe it’s a “let me out” tactic.  He’s rolling around, doing headstands practically, and trying to get belly rubs (successfully).  Not sure if the headstands are OK for his incision but whatever.  He’s happy! Yay!

Angry Cat is Home

The surgery went well and Sebastian is home early.  He is doing OK so far.

They were going to keep him in the hospital for 2-3 days, but they sent him home less than 24 hours later because he was so miserable.  They think he will recover better at home.  I also get the feeling he was violent…which to me is great news, because he must have been feeling decent enough to put up a fight!!  Plus angry Sebastian = my Sebastian.  If the girl said “oh he’s doing great, he’s so mellow” I would have been terrified.

They also said he wasn’t eating, but he wolfed down a bowl of food when he got home.  Clearly coming home made him feel better.


Now he’s resting in the dog crate with the occasional grumble and angry chatter.  He grumbles, I tell him he’s a good boy, and he meows in agreement (hopefully). We’ll see where his mood is tomorrow.  Hopefully he is not in a lot of pain. The doctor doesn’t want him moving about just yet, so we’ll keep him in the crate for a couple days.  It seems like he just wants some peace and quiet.  And food, of course.

For any future tripawd kitty moms and dads, here’s a little more detail.  The place we took him was very nice and let us bring in a bed and t-shirt from home with everyone’s smells on it (per Jill’s mom).  I’m not sure it made a difference, but it was worth a try.  We also brought in his own food because he has skin allergies.  This animal hospital also has 24 hour care and pet parents can call ANY time…that’s super important.

That’s pretty much it.  Now we just have to wait until next week for the pathology report.  Thanks everyone for your positive thoughts and prayers.