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Leila and Me

A semi-tripawd cat's story so far…

Leila and Me

Physio and more

July 17th, 2015 · 2 Comments · Uncategorized

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I often feel sorry for other people’s pets, because I know they are not loved as much as mine are.  It’s rare to meet people who love their pets like I do.  This is the thing I love most about tripawds.  People on here ‘get it’.  People (you) are on here because you do love your pets like I love mine.  Your pets are family; substitute or additional children, siblings, best friends.

When I joined tripawds, I was scared, confused, unsure of what the future held for Leila and me.  Probably very similar to most people who joined pre-amputation (or in our case, surgery).  Reading about the experiences of other animals has helped me to realise that Leila will cope just fine, whatever our future holds.  Amputation isn’t a big scary word anymore, it’s now something which may well be in our future if arthritis begins to cause her too much pain, but something we will face together and overcome to continue living our nice, happy lives together.  I would like to thank every one of you who gave your supportive comments, and to all of those tri-kitties whose blogs I have read; Fang, Smore, Jill, Mona and more.  You made me both cry and laugh at times.

So now we are onto physio.

There is a YouTube clip which the vets showed me.  You can find it by searching Passive range of motion – front leg of a dog,  As usual there is very little cat-based material, although I imagine getting a cat to lie still like the golden retriever in the clip would not be an easy task.  In dogs, they recommend warming the area with a heat pad for 10-15 minutes, and icing it afterwards for 15 minutes.  Good luck with a cat.  Leila is very good at sitting, but I’m pretty sure she wouldn’t be up for all that!  I warm up her leg with a bit of a gentle massage while she is sitting on my lap.  For anyone who didn’t watch the clip, the physio involves gently manipulating each joint, whilst supporting it and keeping it inline with the body – like an exaggerated walking action, one joint at a time.

Her wrist is pretty good because I have been doing very similar exercises on it since her initial operation because she had been curling it under her (probably for protection) and she had lost a lot of flexibility.  Her shoulder is stiff from lack of movement so the back motion is ok but the forward motion will only get to slightly over 90° from her body.  It is important not to force any movement as that can harm her.  Initially I feel resistance because she is deliberately resisting the motion but she quickly relaxes and lets me move the joint.  Her shoulder should recover full motion in time.

Her elbow joint was fused during the first surgery, however when she fell and pushed that pin through her bone so that it had to be removed, the joint regained some movement.  This is where arthritis may have already set in and will possibly/probably cause her problems.  This joint is very stiff.   She has almost no movement and I am very aware of not forcing it.  I can tell she isn’t too happy with me manipulating this joint so I leave it until last.  Then we have a cuddle so she’s happy again.

Milo didn't want to come out again.

Milo didn’t want to come out again.

Considering how different my two cats are, I am so lucky and grateful that they love each other so much.  Today I opened Leila’s cage to take out the litter tray I leave in there over night until after breakfast (I’ve got quite familiar with her bathroom habits in the last few months), and Milo decided he was going in there too.  He snuggled up with her on the pillow she has in there and did not want to come out again.  He misses his friend.  I let him stay for a while because they were happy, but I took him out when I had to go out.  He can play a bit roughly for a slightly broken Leila.

My sister had two cats – a brother and sister from the same litter, who could not even be inside her house at the same time.  They would fight whenever they saw each other.  I definitely appreciate what I have.


I will have to wait until Craig is at home to get some pictures of our physio sessions – it’s a two-handed job.  I will update on Leila’s progress soon.

Have a good weekend tripawds!

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2 Comments so far ↓

  • kazann

    I look forward to hearing more about your physio techniques. I massage and brush Mona on a daily basis and she naturally does her stretches but it sounds like Leila will need more support to get the movement back.

    Hugs to your snuggle kitties.

    Kerren and Tripawd Mona

  • benny55

    Awww….I just love read ing this blog. I’m so glad you are feeling the love and support from people who really do “get it”!

    My tavlet wouldn’t let me see the link but you did an excellent job of describing techniques.

    You are clearly connected and tuned I to your kitties and that’s just beautiful.

    I love that Milo and Lelia get along so well. Sooooo sweet! Your banner and the picture of them in the pen todgether say it all!

    Thanks for the update, information, and ki d words about this wonderful community. It certainly was my lifeline when my journey started with my beloved Happy Hannah.


    Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle too!

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