Well, so much for her soccer career!

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!”

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“Seriously, Mum, it’s all good.”

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:

This furry girl is a mess sometimes.

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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?

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Diagnosis: ruptured ACL       Cause: Running and jumping… being a cat.

Vet squeezing Birdie’s joints and leg: “Ahha, just what I suspected.”

Me: “WHAT?!”

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?”

Brain: “ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING? HAVE YOU EVER MET  A CAT?” (This was not our normal doctor.)

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.

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How to eat when high.

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.

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This laundry is ready to put away! Paws off!

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??

 

Ripple Rug Rave

We got a new toy at the beginning of February mostly because it was my birthday and I didn’t need anything…., but the cats. C’mon.

I showed MomBert the Ripple Rug Facebook page, website, videos, and how much Batgirl and friends were enjoying their rug. (If you love Justin Fire Survivor, you’ll love Batgirl and her crew of misfit toys.) As I’ve become increasingly difficult to buy for, MomBert and my sister jumped at the suggestion.

It’s arrival packaging was magnificently pink.

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I was attracted to the Ripple Rug because the rug is made out of recycled materials and the company gives back to shelters. Additionally, it’s a toy that changes. Cats need new stimuli and the rug is easily manipulated and can be changed daily.

The downside (according to Birdie) was saying goodbye to the giant Amazon box that has been sitting in the living room as a cat toy since October to make space for the Ripple Rug.

The structure of the Ripple Rug is user friendly. There are two pieces of carpet: the base with rubber backing, and the same size top with variously sized, adjustable holes and velcro tabs. The stiffness of the carpet and the velcro tabs let the human “in charge” construct all kinds of caves, tunnels, and hidey holes.

I set mine up, spritzed it with catnip spray and observed.

Olivia Wigglebothum immediately shimmied through a hole and waited for victims like some kind of furry trapdoor spider. Birdie must have casually walked by and been attacked a dozen times before she got the memo on “Hidden Dangers Ahead.”

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February20181Like everything else in life, Sookie approached the Ripple Rug with suspicion and disdain, but I’ve caught her lounging on it since then.

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Sookie: “What is this nonsense?”

Miles used it as an opportunity to show off for Grammie when she came to visit, even attempting to fit his girth through the holes. The larger holes have tiny side slits to accommodate larger house panthers or to let you cut the carpet.

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Miles demonstrates that the Ripple Rug is good for jumping on and hiding behind, not just under. He also models the technique of rolling back edges and using the velcro to make sturdier caves.

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Overall the Ripple Rug has been a great source of entertainment for me and the fur kids.

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Olivia will be here waiting for unsuspecting visitors to casually walk by.January20187

Bed Surveillance

If you have pets or even small children this will probably make sense.

It’s early morning, preferably a weekend morning, and you’ve found the perfect temperature and snuggly nest in you bed, making waking up a slow process. No alarms here.

As you start waking up, you also become aware that you are not alone. There are other warm lumps tucked in around and on you.

If you are like me, you want to know who is there, but don’t really want to upset the other sleepers. Myself, I want to know how many cats. Is a Two-Cat Morning? The Holy Grail Four-Cat Morning? So I start the laboriously slow process of reaching for my phone on the bed side table with moving the rest of my body. Phone successfully acquired, I try to angle my arm to capture photos of who is there. It’s a challenge.

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It’s a Two-Cat Morning. Miles and Birdie are my typical bed companions and have found my butt and the back of my knees; I’m the lump to the right.

Without me in the bed, it’s a Three-Cat Morning. #Caturday

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