Friday, January 22, 2016

Rusty Report

At the risk of becoming the new Cat Fancy blog, I'm doing another kitty post.

Rusty is recuperating nicely from his double hip surgery. It's going to take a while for the femurs at the site of the osteotomy to develop the fibrous scar tissue required to form a "pseudojoint". I was told it can take three months or more for this process to occur.

But the stitches have been removed and the cone is no longer required to keep Rusty from licking his incisions. We were so worried about Cosmo wanting to play with Rusty during this time that we kept the poor kitty isolated in the guest room. It turns out that Cosmo was so freaked out by Rusty's blue cone that he kept his distance on his own accord.

Now that the cone is off, Cosmo's attention is providing Rusty with the physical therapy he needs. And for the first time in months, Rusty is actually instigating play time with his brother. Rusty is able to climb up onto the furniture and to the first level of the cat tree. I guess the next milestone will be when he makes his way to the higher levels.

Rusty's also making a sound I hadn't heard in months... he's purring again.

What we saw...

What Cosmo saw.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Rusty Post-FHO, Day 6

When that cone comes off, Rusty's going to be shocked to
realize he's been porky-pigging it for the past week.
Rusty the Cat breezed through his bilateral FHO surgery Monday with no further complications. I was a little nervous picking him up from the vet Tuesday morning, not knowing if I'd do a good job caring for him properly at home. But he's doing all the work, really. What a trooper. Our pets have so much to teach us about strength and attitude.

Rusty was walking gingerly the first day home, although I had to help support him a little when it was time to use the litter box. But by the next day he was using his box on his own. We set up the guest room for him with an electric blanket, a short litter pan, and all the food and water his tiny heart desires. We want to keep him separated from Cosmo until he has the strength to defend himself from his brother's tough love.

So that he doesn't feel isolated, I've been sleeping and pretty much living in there with him. Doing this I've learned an important lesson: my futon is not comfortable. I now feel ashamed for having my guests sleep on it. (Sorry StevieB.)

Last night Rusty surprised me by climbing onto the couch to curl up next to me. He's finished with his pain meds and now his biggest handicap seems to be his cone. I hate watching him bumping around, knocking over his food dish and scooping up kitty litter with it. But he needs to keep it on until his stitches are removed, hopefully early next week.

I want to give a shout out to a couple of bloggers who documented their feline FHO experiences. Your act of sharing helped me, and I'm sure many others, more than you realize. Both in how to prepare and what to expect. Knowing that Rusty will have a normal life – even without normal hip joints – made the decision to invest in this procedure a no-brainer. Thank you very, very much!

Bentley's FHO Experience
Mo's FHO Surgery Progress

Plus all the YouTubers and Instagramers who posted videos and pics of their cats and dogs in the days and weeks after their FHO. (Although Crash the Cat kind of scared me until I realized he was born with Cerebellar Hypoplasia and that was actually very good progress at six weeks. Go Crash! :^)