Sunday, December 16, 2001

Limping towards recovery

Many of you have asked how Tiger is doing since her experience with spinal cord surgery. I am happy to report that she is in excellent spirits and healing well. The lab discovered that she does not have cancer. The likely cause of her disability was either a stroke or some sort of vascular problem blocking the blood supply to her spinal cord.

Since her surgery, we have had her on medications. She took antibiotics for a week, and has been taking Prednisone (anti-inflammatory) continuously. Of coures, this is not without a fight.

Anyone who has ever attempted to give pills to a cat, especially a high-spirited and opinionated one, knows the horror and carnage that usually results. We attempted to trick her by giving her the pill embedded in her favorite food. She refused. We tried coating it in her anti-hairball treat that she loves. Still no go. We had to resort to drastic measures.

Scott now picks her up and holds her on her shoulder. We try to pet her and comfort her, but she knows what's coming by now and always fusses at us. I tip her head back, pry her mouth open, stick the pill in her mouth, and hold her head up until she swallows. Sometimes she'll look at me and stubbornly refuse to swallow, but I don't give up. Yes, it often takes a few tries, and she usually ignores us for a while afterward. But how can you explain to a cat that this torture is actually good for her ? You really can't.

Tiger has made vast improvements since her surgery. She now has full control over her tail, and flicks it around like a pro when she's frisky, happy, or ready to swat. She plays vigorously, demands attention at the most inopportune times, and cuddles and purrs as always. Her personality is just as strong as before, and she's completely happy and pain-free.

Unfortunately, she still limps. She is much better than before the surgery, but her gait is very obviously affected. She can't run around like she used to, but has no problems getting up stairs or jumping over ledges. According to the surgeon, this may be a permanent affliction. She has pretty much stoppped improving over the last few weeks. I'm not too upset that she wasn't 100% cured with the surgery. The sheer fact that she's still with us, and is happy and pain-free, is all I ever wanted.

Looks like that prayer was answered.

[see next post]


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