Saturday night I went to sleep to a cat that used all four paws. Sunday morning I woke up to a cat who was like “I ONLY NEED 3!”
I spent my first hour awake watching The Bird sass everyone, chase Miles to bite his hind legs, and then roll around in front of me so I could admire her ability to do all of this while holding her hind leg off the ground. To Med Vet or not Med Vet? She seemed like her normal self and the internet articles were wavering about how dramatic a limping indoor cat’s problem could really be, most suggested waiting.
I opted to wait it out for our regular vet on Monday. Birdie and I have certainly spent our share of hours in waiting rooms outside of regular vet hours. Since adopting her, we’ve dealt with:
- Fleas and mouth ulcers.
- The rejection of her microchip.
- Multiple trips for UTI’s
- Resulting in a vet diagnosing her as transgender.
- Most recently repeated anal gland expressing and itchy butt scoots.
This furry girl is a mess sometimes.
By late Sunday afternoon, the limp was still there and she was in the “I feel icky” spot as well as other out of the norm sleeping spots. She couldn’t jump up into the window nappers and squeaked with discomfort when I placed her there. She seemed to be able to get comfortable on firm surfaces like the floor.
Around midnight, I felt her come to bed via the cat ramp, but every spot she tried to settle in resulted in squeaks and growls. In retrospect, I should have read the signs: “hiding,” constant purr, hissing, and realized that she was in pain. At least Med Vet could have hooked us up with drugs.
Monday morning, the limp was prominent and the appetite was more or less gone. Thankfully we got a vet appointment. (I promised her that nobody would stick anything up her butt.)
This is a montage of her reactions:
- Cool. I’ve got this as long as I keep purring and headbutting. (The vet wasn’t in the room yet.)
- Full on fear.
- Resolved to suffer through this manhandling, but will cut a bitch if the opportunity arises.
- Contemplation of the diagnosis: Will I ever play soccer again?
Diagnosis: ruptured ACL Cause: Running and jumping… being a cat.
Vet squeezing Birdie’s joints and leg: “Ahha, just what I suspected.”
Vet: “Oh, just give me a minute. Is there stuff to jump off of at your house and does she run around like a maniac?”
Me:”Yes, there are four cats. The house is basically theirs.”
Vet: “Do you know what a ruptured ACL is?”
Me: “Yes, it’s what every fucking athlete in my classroom and large dogs get while playing!”
Since we had reached an understanding, he proceeded to tell me that Birdie could not “cat” for 6-8 weeks and that this won’t heal, it will just become tolerable and she’ll probably develop arthritis. I must have had a dissatisfied look on my face as he kept repeating himself, but I was thinking ahead, visualizing our house and all the items to jump from, and the fact that there isn’t really a room where I can isolate Birdie. Plus she would absolutely lose her mind if I locked her in a room by herself.
Yadda yadda yadda, this was not a typical cat injury (Your cat is a freak show) and while HE did knee surgery on dogs all of the time, he’d have to refer me to…wait for it… Med Vet if surgery became a need.
He was much kinder and understanding than I paint him, but I was/am frustrated for my girl who can’t seem to catch a break.
We dosed up on pain meds before leaving and are relying on the anti-inflammatory that Bird is already on for her itchy butt.
She’s had a fairly tolerable evening and is asleep behind W. Charles. Usually when she’s high, she spends a lot of time pacing, but tonight there have been extended times of actual relaxing. The drugs do make her a little paranoid though. A stoned Bird will defend my folded laundry from all! Sookie sitting down across the room from her, warranted a hiss and fully arched back. Birdie then wen t behind the tv cabinet to growl at the wall every few minutes.
Meanwhile, I’m working on rearranging my house into that M.C. Escher painting where everything leads to stairs. If there are steps to all her favorite spots, she’ll certainly use those instead of jumping. Right??