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Jill's Journey

Hopping her way towards a (hopefully) cancer free life three legs at a time

Home Sweet Home

Filed under: Uncategorized — rica55 at 11:55 am on Monday, December 17, 2012

Well.  This is exhausting!  I am so so happy my little baby girl is home, but I refuse to take my eyes off of her.  I got really lucky that I had already had a vacation planned for this week, so I am home with her ALL week 🙂

The first 24 hours, I was terrified she was going to hurt herself.  She’s so delicate and really was not getting the hang of walking at all.  She fell down everytime she tried to stand up and I really have to admit, my heart was breaking and I thought “oh no, mine is going to be the animal that doesn’t figure out how to walk on three legs”.  She seemed completely and utterly terrified unless I had my hand on her, in which case she felt safe.  The very first thing she wanted to do when she got out of her case was go up on the bed (her favorite spot in the apartment) and she definitely could not get up.  My heart was really breaking.  Instead of encouraging her to do anything, I  promptly put her up on the couch on her favorite quilt and just kissed her and rubbed her belly for hours and hours.  I am so happy she has not lost her desire to be snuggled.  Here are two pictures from our first 8 hours home:

At bedtime, I knew I was going to have a problem.  I gave her a few options of some comfy beds to lay on the floor with, but I KNEW she was going to sit by the bed and cry and want to sleep with me.  I toyed with the idea of sleeping on the floor with her, but then I came up with a crafty way to set up the pillows on my bed so she could sleep with me and not fall off.  We slept the night away (well she did, I never really fell into a deep sleep because I was so worried) and she didn’t move a muscle all night.

Day Two at home was much better.  She’s pretty sleepy from the pain medicine.  She is currently on three doses a day of Buprenex.  She was given a fentanyl drip at the hospital, so she was not sent home with a patch which I am VERY happy about.  The Buprenex makes her very sleepy though.  I can tell about 45 minutes to an hour before shes getting her next dose that she seems much more lively and active.  She even gets up to use the litter box and test out her new hop.  She was hopping around much better on day two and we even figured out a way for her to get up on the bed with a clever pillow set up which you can see in the video below.  I’m amazed how much better she is getting around in just one day.  She’s having no litter box problems at all, which I was really worried about.  I am still petrified to take my eyes off of her in case she takes a spill, but for the first time in my life I am thankful that I live in a 500 sq ft apartment!  I can’t imagine doing this if I lived in a house!  I’m still not sure if I should LET her try to do things or not because shes still healing…..any advice?

Day Two also brought about her biopsy results.  I wasn’t really sure what I was hoping for, but it turns out this new nodule is a met from the original giant cell osteosarcoma that was on her toe.  We will now go to the oncologist in about two weeks once she is all healed to discuss chemo options.  It is breaking my heart (a lot of that going on in the last couple of days!) that after putting her through this surgery she now may have to go through chemo.  I have been told chemo is much easier on cats than it is on people and dogs, but I still feel horrible about it.

Jack seems pretty good about this whole thing!  I am trying to give him as much attention as I can – yesterday he went right up to Jill’s new bald spot and sniffed it like “Hey girl, where’d ya leg go??”  It was pretty comical.

Overall, I am so thankful for many things.  I am so happy that Jill is such a snuggly, easy going cat.  I know so many other cats that are skittish that would probably have come home from the hospital and hid for a week after going through this.  All Jill wants to do right now is be held and pet.  My mom keeps telling me she is going to be miserable when I go back to work, so I will have to ease off that a little!

I also wanted to mention, for future tripawd owners this one thing so it doesn’t worry you, because it worried me!  Jill has developed this pouch of fluid above her scar.  It sort of looks like it could be a fat belly and at first I asked the vet if I just never noticed she was fat, but no, it’s fluid build up.  The vet said to just keep an eye on it, if it gets hot I should bring her in.  It could stay around for about a week or so.  I tried to capture it in a picture, this was the best I could do, but it’s actually bigger in person (sorry for the yucky picture, but I definitely thought it would be helpful for future pawrents!):

Well that is it for now, I am going to see what day three at home brings!  Here are some pictures from day 2 when she was more alert and a video of her getting up on the bed (after five different pillow arrangement attempts!)


Erica & Jill

At bedtime….I thought she would stay here but noooo

Her favorite quilt

Hello to all my fans!




December 17, 2012 @ 10:59 pm   Reply

Very nice! Jill is looking lovely, and doing very well it seems! 😀 And thanks so much for the update!!!

As far as amputations go, as I understand it back leg amputees can’t jump as high but land as well as always, while front leg amputees jump as high as always but can’t get the landings as well. Anywho, it’s normal, I would suspect, for her to take a bit figuring out how to jump up onto the bed as well as before. I’m fully confident she’ll get it figured out in no time :). Plus… she’s probably still high as a kite from the pain meds! hah!

I recall when Fang got off of his pain meds he really became more himself, inquisitive, and exploratory. Don’t worry too much (impossible!).

And thanks so much for mentioning the fluid sack! I totally forgot to mention it because Fang didn’t have it but I’d read about it a lot! Future kitty amputee parents will be totally thankful for the info!!!

Keep on keeping on – things will get better and better every day (as you’ve already seen 😀 ). And it’s SO wonderful that you’re able to give her so much emotional support! I’m sure she really appreciates it!

Oh, before I forget, you’d asked about letting her try to do things on her own. I would say, absolutely. Unless it’s clearly going to pull her stitches, let her try to get around and do what she wants to do. She will figure things out way faster instead of learning to lean on you instead. (Fang got his little butt outside before his staples came out *rolls eyes*). My approach with Fang was, he’ll know if he’s doing something that hurts and he’ll stop doing it. Problem solved. (I know, it’s so not that easy right now!)



December 17, 2012 @ 11:01 pm   Reply

Does Jill have her claws, by the way?



December 17, 2012 @ 11:08 pm   Reply

She does have her claws, but she never takes them out. Doesn’t even use the scratching post. She’s a very weird kitty! That makes so much sense about what you said about the front leg amputated they can’t land as well and vice versa. She has no fear of landing at all. I’m just petrified she’s gonna hurt her other leg bc she only has one left lol



December 17, 2012 @ 11:37 pm   Reply

Haha, I know what you mean about being being worried about her – she’ll be fine! You’ll see! 😀

I was just asking about her claws because they’ll do wonders to help her climb up onto things if she needs them 🙂 Like this crazy three-legger that cracks me up:



December 18, 2012 @ 12:09 am   Reply

Omg that’s incredible!



December 18, 2012 @ 1:58 pm   Reply

That is just awesome!!!! and what a great pillow set up!!! WTG Jill !! I love her snuggly t-shirt….



December 20, 2012 @ 12:53 pm   Reply

Thanks so much for sharing the details about her homecoming, this is so helpful for future feline Tripawd members.

Yeah, the fluid buildup thing is scary. Known as a “seroma” many Tripawds get them but usually front leggers get them more often. As you’ve discovered, it’s pretty harmless and at worst requires a quick office visit to get it drained. Hope that it has disappeared by now.

Thanks for such great pics. I love the one of her in the baby suit! Hope you don’t mind but I’m going to put a couple in our photo gallery, they are great pics.

Hope you two have a hoppy weekend!



December 20, 2012 @ 1:52 pm   Reply

Don’t mind at all, she’s a little diva she’ll love it :). The seroma hasn’t gone away yet. I posted something about it in the ask a vet forum. It isn’t leaking at all it’s more like a big blob of blubber looks like she has a big fat belly. The vet told me it could take two weeks but if it gets hot to the touch to call.



December 20, 2012 @ 3:15 pm   Reply

Oh I noticed in the gallery you put that Jill is a front leg purée. It’s actually her right hind leg. Thanks for adding them she’ll be so excited 🙂



December 21, 2012 @ 11:52 am   Reply

Doh! I’ll fix that description in the gallery, thank you for allowing us to use the pics.

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