Today I’m passing over the posting to my mom FOD, who would like to talk about what it’s really like to care for a cat without a limb. Without further ado, I give you: mom FOD.
Caring for a cat that has special needs requires a bit of extra preparation, but with a little forethought and knowledge of your kitty, it can be done easily. I can only speak on the topic of what it’s like to care for this particular type of disability, of course, but I wanted to share my knowledge in case any of our readers was considering adopting a three-legged cat but wasn’t sure about the type of commitment to expect.
When Crepes first arrived, she was around 4-months old and very tiny at only 4 lbs. When she tried to walk, she did so with obvious difficulty and was comfortable mostly on the carpets and beds. She played with her siblings, but wasn’t as agile or as fast. The most common issue we had during this time was her inability to judge exactly how to maneuver herself around the stump. In Crepes’ case, she has a leg, but is missing a foot, so at the very end, she has only a thin layer of skin over her bone. When she moved too fast or jumped around, she would often bang the end of her leg on the floor, causing her obvious pain. Three out of four times, she’d bump it so hard that it would bleed. The solution that we’ve found to that is something called Vetericyn, (we are not sponsored by Vetericyn, this is based strictly on personal opinion) recommended to us by our local pet store. It’s an antiseptic spray that easily allows us to disinfect the wound without touching it, which is a great help since Crepes is very sensitive to having her stump touched. As time went on, Crepes learned how to maneuver herself all over the house and now, at a year and a half old, she rarely injures herself.
Crepes cannot jump as high as the other cats; she’s able to jump onto the couch or coffee table and no higher. She can, however, climb like a champion using her front legs only. Her balance isn’t ideal, either, and a few times she’s almost fallen into an open toilet, so we make sure to close the lids when no one is around. And, because of her love of climbing but lack of balance, we have to make sure that we assist her down from places or discourage her from climbing to heights that might be dangerous. Other than that, Crepes runs around the house so fast that her missing leg is blurred by her speed and most people don’t even realize she’s handicapped until they see her walking slowly, which she does with a slight limp.
Caring for a three-legged cat has been not only rewarding, but extremely enlightening. Seeing my cat adapt to her physical handicap has allowed me to experience first-hand the resiliency of animals. Many times, I have seen Crepes overcome her problem with only a slight discomfort and, in the end, she believes herself to be no different than the other cats in the house. Given a bit of time and patience, and a little extra care, a three-legged pet can end up being your very best friend, teacher, and inspiration.
– Alana Grelyak (Aka mom FOD)
PS everyone, I’m redoing my site to move to my own server REALLY soon! So if you notice any glitches, please be patient and let me know about them! I hope to make the transition as smooth as possible. Thank you! – Crepes.