What a relief.
Greyson is out of his cage, which has now been folded back up and is being used as a “gate” outside of the bedroom door.
And I am back in the bedroom sleeping on my own mattress, no longer on the couch!
So I left off last time talking about the next vet appointment we had on February 1st.
At this appointment the Vet reminded me that if we’d gone the surgical route he would be healed by now.
What a “kick me when I’m down” thing to say…!
I’m finding that veterinary school does not include a section on customer relations. Then again, so long as they heal my kitty, I can take it.
He said he wasn’t terribly happy with the progress he’d made and that he probably should have come out of the cage sooner because now his back leg lacked almost all muscle definition.
His leg had atrophied over the past month and this was not helpful to his healing.
Wonderful. That makes me feel like a right *#&-hole.
You see I called the vet office a week after our last appointment and asked one of the nurses if I could take him out of the cage sooner, she said no and to wait for the Dr. to return from his vacation and our next appointment before doing this.
Against my better judgement, I listened to her.
In her defence it was the Dr. who told me to leave him there until he returned. Did he make a mistake?
He asked me to get him out of the cage as soon as possible and give him the run of the bedroom.
This meant, putting the mattress on the floor and removing all climbable objects, other than a few boxes, which I would make into steps up to the window sill.
I’d been feeling pretty crap all day, and my immune system gave out that night right after I got home.
As the hours progressed I got sick, really sick, sicker than I’ve been for years. In fact, I hadn’t had a cold or flu for over two years up until that night.
I had the worst sleep of the month, and at around 3am I called in sick to work using text messages.
As soon as I was able I made an appointment with the doctor for myself, and then dragged myself out to the store to pick up the few supplies I would need to transform the bedroom.
When my doctor saw me he immediately turned out the lights (my head was pounding and I’d shaded my eyes), then said “you look terrible, just looking at you is making me feel sick.”
I love my doctor. He’s got a wicked sense of humour and always knows how to make me laugh.
I laughed and then coughed and then cried – not really, but my eyes were watering already so they watered more as I coughed.
He apologised and asked my symptoms. All the flu symptoms, plus this violent headache and swollen neck and shoulders (who knew shoulders could even swell?). Prescription in hand for strong pain killers, and some anti-inflammatory pills to combat the headache and swelling, I headed home again. His instructions were to take two of the pain killers and one of the anti-inflammatories immediately and sleep for 8 hours. Unfortunately, I couldn’t do this because I couldn’t be “out cold” with Greyson still needing me.
Plus, I still had to pull apart the bedroom and I was determined to get this done immediately – no way would I be responsible for one more day of anything detrimental to my fur-ball’s healing.
When I got home I took one of each pill and just started moving furniture.
It took me several hours, and there were more times than I could count on one hand that I had to stop and steady myself so I didn’t pass out from the effort or the sickness running rampant in my body.
But I got it done.
After a much needed shower, I took another painkiller and then I let Greyson out of the cage.
He moved around the room, stepping gingerly on the mattress, sniffing every inch of the room that was within his grasp. Then he used the “steps” I made out of plastic containers and got up to the window sill.
My heart stopped beating as I watched him wobble along the window sill to the end and awkwardly turn around to come back to the stairs to get to the ground.
He looked at me and gave me a little “brrrlll” sound.
I burst into tears.
I hadn’t heard that happy sound for ages.
I sat on the bed, and he came and sat with me, his head on my lap, his purr loud and strong.
My tears flowed for a good 15 minutes before I realised that I too could sleep in this bed now. (I was sick, and my brain was addled!)
I got in.
We both slept for several hours that afternoon, snuggled together on the mattress.
Greyson purred and purred and purred. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen him as happy as he was to be out of that cage.
I spent the next 6 days pretty much in bed, sleeping off the flu, watching movies, catching up on TV, reading when possible (headache), and trying to get well again.
To be honest, I needed those 6 days in bed. I know for certain that the illness was a direct result of the stress from Greyson’s accident and his care. January may have been the most stressful, exhausting, and frightening month of my life so far. At least that I can remember.
Greyson and I bonded during that time. He slept with me, matching me hour for hour day or night. He was as happy as can be.
Over that week with no small cage to confine his movements, he started to improve each day.
There were times that he gave me a heart attack as he tested the boundaries of his healing – like trying to jump from the floor to the window sill and failing. But he tested himself and when it didn’t work he went back to using the stairs. He can jump down though without them, he progressed to jumping from the bottom step to the sill, and just a few days ago he has started jumping from the ground to the sill no problem.
I learned to trust his process.
While there were times where he did hurt himself and he limped harder for an afternoon, I started to trust that he would not continuously do stupid things; he was just testing his own boundaries and learning from them.
He will continue to test himself until he’s well.
And even then he will continue to find new ways to test himself.
That’s life, right?
It was hard to let go of the “hovering” to ensure he didn’t jump or hurt himself more, but again, the illness and the way it hit me so hard during that week was a blessing for us both.
I had to let go. I didn’t have the strength to hover constantly.
After I tore the bedroom apart and put everything in my living space (in my tiny apartment, which feels like it’s closing in on me) – I had no energy left for several days. Getting out of bed and going to the bathroom had me breaking out in a sweat and seeing spots.
I was done.
I made it through the rearranging of furniture, purely out of Love.
I was horrified that his being in the cage could have slowed his recovery and was determined to get him out of there if it killed me. Sometimes it felt like it was doing just that!
The change in him, the change in his personality, and his happy little noises, his loud loving purrs, they were my reward.
He’s gone from strength to strength in that room over the past few weeks. We’ve fallen into a new routine which is working for us. Routine helps both of us feel better. I know it makes me feel better and he works – mostly – within it too. Mealtimes are the same time every day, play times mostly the same (with the injection of some 3am play times…grrr…), and sleep times are mostly the same too.
His leg does not seem to bother him as much, he’s playing with his toys more and in a way that is like he used to… flipping, catching, pouncing, running (short bursts), and generally being a cat.
He’s also scratching his ear with that back leg now– this was something that only happened about a week ago and I cried when he did it. He’d been attempting to scratch his ear with that leg since the accident, and it had taken him weeks to make a connection with his ear the first time but he was so gentle he couldn’t really scratch even when he could reach. To see him ‘going to town’ scratching like there was nothing wrong was a HUGE improvement and made me cry for joy for him.
And he’s now letting me stroke or touch that leg. He didn’t allow that until about a week ago either.
He’s still limping but not as much. Still stretching the leg when he stands, or while he’s resting, and still doesn’t put full weight on it all the time. But sometimes he does. When he walks over me I now feel pressure from that leg, whereas when he first came out of the cage there was no weight on that leg at all when he walked over me.
So we’re moving forward.
I can see that it will still be weeks, maybe even months before he’s completely himself, but it’s been such an honour to be with him as he healed, and get to witness his progress.
My Greyson is pretty amazing and I love him so very much.
Warm smiles and Love,