Prepping for Recovery

Since the surgery isn’t until tomorrow, I am trying to keep busy. This is how I deal with things. Fortunately, there is a lot to do!

The surgeon said that he doesn’t want Sebastian to be jumping AT ALL while his wound heals (3 weeks). This seems a little different from what other people have gone through but I’m going to take what he says seriously. It can’t hurt. He said to either keep him in his very own room with no furniture, or in a large dog crate (unless heavily supervised). Fortunately we can accommodate both. I think this will be good because all 3 of our cats like to be up high – none of them like to hide under things. I think the temptation to jump and climb will just be too much in the rest of the house.

So, I spent Saturday cleaning out a room upstairs that is currently used for storage. All 3 cats helped, of course. They checked all of the boxes for me. I also made the room suitable for me to stay in, since I work from home and only require a seat and a laptop. So I threw a mattress on the floor with lots of pillows. We’ll see which one of us (me or Sebastian) uses it more.

Here’s some special considerations I thought of or got from others:

Crate – This may go downstairs eventually. I am going to keep a sheet to cover it with so that Sebastian can have his privacy. Someone else mentioned how important a hiding place is for a cat that feels vulnerable (for instinctual reasons).

Baby gates – Normal people would walk into our house and think we have children. Plug protectors, cabinet locks, baby gates…all for the cats. Well the baby gate helps with the dog too. We always have issues with Sebastian when bringing anyone to the vet and back (he has some SERIOUS vet anxiety and doesn’t even like smelling it on another cat). It has resulted in some spats. So when I read about needing to re-introduce the tripawd cat to the rest of the household, it made a lot of sense. Instead of waiting for a re-introduction, I’m going to use double stacked baby gates in the doorway to his room so that they can see & smell each other. I’ll have to close the door when I’m not there because one of his brothers is an excellent climber.

Onsies – Saw this on Fang and Jill’s blogs. I don’t know if I’ll be able to get him in one or keep him in one, but the thought of Sebastian tolerating a cone is just as concerning. He’s moody and gets very upset if you try to “contain” him. We’ll see. I sewed up the arm hole of a onsie and put some denim on the outside (scratch proof!). I made my other cat, Barney, try it on. They are similar in size and he is less likely to kill me for dressing him.

Wet food – Barney had a cancerous tumor removed earlier this year (don’t get me started on our luck). The one thing that really bothered me was that since he was contained and didn’t have free access to our fancy pet water fountain, he really did not drink enough water. He was rather miserable (mostly because of the cone) and laid in my lap the whole time, rarely getting down to drink from a bowl. So I’m going to try to prevent that with Sebastian – he’ll have a water bowl of course, but I got him some wet food that I can mix with water to get him to drink more. That’s a little trick I learned volunteering at the Humane Society.

Some pictures for your entertainment…

Enjoying the new cat bed I bought him
Enjoying the new cat bed I bought him
Playing on the cat tree.  He's a goof.
Playing on the cat tree. He’s a goof.
The cooperative model
The cooperative model. It’s already twisted a bit so I’ll have to make some modifications.


I’ll keep you posted on the surgery tomorrow!


P.S. He seems to be doing alright. He’s still limping but it’s worse now, and he is favoring that paw a lot. He also keeps licking where the tumor is. It can’t be comfortable. I don’t think he is in any pain though since he lets me touch it and has no problem getting around. He can’t climb as well though. We have a huge floor to ceiling cat tree in the living room and he usually climbs up the posts like a tree. The other day he tried, made it almost to the top, couldn’t pull himself up and required a boost. It’s no surprise, the vet said the tumor has started affecting muscle. Poor baby.

We never would have guessed this would happen

On Wednesday, March 12th, my fiance and I noticed our cat limping.  His shoulder looked very swollen.  We immediately got him in to see the vet, thinking he had hurt himself somehow.  We had no idea that less than an hour later we would be devastated with the news that our handsome, charming Sebastian has a huge, aggressive tumor and is going to lose his leg.

Sebastian is an indoor cat, and we are constantly interacting with him and our other animals, so the vet knew this tumor had practically grown over night.  He gave us the evening to digest the news with the assumption that we would be returning very soon for an amputation.  In the meantime, our vet consulted a specialist for a 2nd opinion.

After many tears, restless nights, and talking back and forth with the two vets, we have the amputation scheduled for Monday, March 17th.  So far, it doesn’t appear the cancer has spread, but it is impossible to know until the tumor is looked at.

We are devastated but so thankful that this community is here to inform and comfort us.  It’s going to be a long journey, maybe more so for us than Sebastian, but we are trying to stay positive.