Moonlight Weathers Surgery—Again

For the second time this year our mooncat, Moonlight, has gone through surgery for removal of skin cancer tumors. The first time, we didn’t know it was cancer, and only learned about it from the biopsy afterward. She’s 19 ½ years old, and the vet didn’t give her good odds to last long. But seven months later, although other tumors were still growing, she was still a happy and otherwise healthy cat. Dr. Parker said, “Ordinarily I wouldn’t even consider a second surgery on a cat this age. But this is one amazing cat.” This time he took tumors off three different locations, in one operation. Here are two of them.

This left us with a fashion problem—or, rather, how to keep her from licking or scratching at the sutures without resorting to a cone that would make her depressed. The answer: a two-piece suit. Two socks cut out to fit over her, one lengthwise over her head and torso, and one across the back of her shoulders to cover her front shoulder. Seems to work so far. And she seems in good spirits, doing A-okay on the first night of her recovery. And, I think she looks rather elegant. Don’t you?

Jack Among the Rogues

Captain Jack has finished up his rehab from the TPLO surgery for his torn ACL. He’s recovered with flying colors, and is cleared to begin transitioning to normal doggy fun activities. The doc even said he could return to bike rides, as long as we’re careful, because the straight-ahead running will be good exercise, and less risky to his other ACL than the typical bounding, turning, reversing border-collie herding that he loves so much.

Jack loved going to PT, and generally went beyond excited to hyper while he was there. The therapist took a picture of him for the rogues gallery of patients. That’s him in the upper left corner.

Captain Jack Starts Physical Therapy

“Has no one else noticed that the water is rising in here?”

Captain Jack is coming right along in his recovery from ACL surgery. He’s already had two sessions with doggie PT, including time in the hydro tank—an underwater treadmill. He was a little wigged out at first, but he caught on after a while. How do you get a dog to walk straight and steady on a watery treadmill? Peanut butter!

The Bumpy Road of Rehab

Allysen’s mom came home from the rehab center not quite a week ago (following a broken hip), which caught us off guard due to poor communication from the rehab center. We did not expect The System to spit her out quite that soon. It’s been an absolute maelstrom of activity, finding out what we need to know about equipping the apartment, acquiring the equipment, setting up 24-hour care, learning a million things we never needed or wanted to know before. Early on, Allysen hired a care manager, without whose help I don’t think we would have survived the transition. But we’re getting there. Here’s a picture of her with Allysen and Jayce.

Meanwhile, Captain Jack smolders about being confined to a single room at a time, and wearing the Healing Hat, a.k.a. Helmet of Courage. (We do not call it [Cone of Shame] in this house!) Drugs are wonderful, when they work. But other times, the border collie spirit sneers at sedatives. Drugs? We don’t need no steenking drugs!

Moonlight has had to learn some navigational tricks, getting around the newly barricaded apartment. She’s almost twenty, and she can’t really vault over child gates anymore. Here she is, checking out the Bridge to the Future that I built for her at one checkpoint.

Captain Jack Comes Home


Captain Jack came home from surgery on this Good Friday (a day barely noted by his frazzled humans), having had surgery yesterday for his blown-out ACL. The surgery, called TPLO by the docs, actually involves reshaping the joint somewhat by cutting the tibia end and securing it with a metal plate at a slightly altered angle to the femur side of the joint. (They can’t repair the actual torn ligament the way they do in humans; they’re tried, and it just doesn’t take). Jack has to be kept uber-uber-quiet for two months or longer. And that means keeping him separated from A’s mom’s dog McDuff, who is living with us because of A’s mom being in hospital and rehab for a broken hip!

A’s mom is coming home very soon, BTW, and will be continuing physical therapy at home. Jack, while she’s doing that, will in a few weeks be starting physical therapy at the animal hospital! He’ll get to do his in a tank of water—treadmill in a tank. Stay tuned!

Oh—I probably won’t have a chance to post this weekend, so Happy Easter, everyone! (Happy Spring, if that’s more your style!)

 

Home Again, Home Again

We returned home earlier this week, and our first major order of business (after getting some sleep) was to take our beloved 19-year-old cat Moonlight in for minor surgery (not that any surgery on a cat that old is minor). She had these weird, keratinous things on the back of her neck, one of which kept bleeding and weeping, and the only treatment was to get them off. She came through with flying colors, and is now resting comfortably with a sock-vest around her neck!

Where’s the food?

Wake me when winter’s over.

When Good Cats Behave Badly

Annoyed kitty, touchy kitty 
Grouchy ball of fur 
Moody kitty, grumpy kitty, 
Grr, grr, grr.*

Our return home was marred by one tiny detail: Moonlight, our beloved 18+ year old cat, had developed an infection in our absence and started using the dining room carpet instead of her litter box. Ugh. Our stalwart housesitter, being new to animal care, knew something was wrong but didn’t know what (not that she could have done much about it, anyway). So we walked in, put our bags down, sniffed the air, and within half an hour were preparing to tear up carpet. We had to throw out about half the carpet in the room. Fortunately, it was a patchwork carpet—pieces of different colors laid down artistically by yours truly. That at least made it easier to take up.

Now—great quantities of Nature’s Miracle, vinegar, and peroxide later—we are engaged in medical treatment and retraining, per excellent advice found on the net.

Just in time to go away again. Jayce and I are off to Miami to help my brother Chuck celebrate his 70th birthday. How can that be possible? We aren’t that long out of school, really! Allysen’s mom is having some medical issues, unfortunately, so Allysen is staying behind this time. And Lexi? She’s in Norway!

*From a GrumpyCats.com t-shirt owned by my daughter.

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