Thursday, September 3, 2009

Gus Update and Details

First the update!
Good news! This evening, Gus is moving more freely. He's not dragging the leg as much and seems able to control the muscles enough to lift it slightly off the ground. At least he's not tripping on it, as he did yesterday!

He just about rushed the dinner dish, zipping from the bedroom of the "suite" to the feeding dish in the den. It was good to see him both enthusiastic and movin' quickly! He's been to the cat pan twice, and used it twice, since I've been home from work (who would have thought I'd be excited about pooping and peeing by an adult cat). And, he attempted to avoid his latest dose of the amoxi. Always a good sign!

Now, yesterday's details. Warning, more xray shots for those who are squeamish - sorry, I'm enough of a geek to think they are cool (except for that fact that they mean he's hurting, of course... it's seeing inside the body that's cool):

Before I left work to pick Gus up, one of my colleagues came by and dropped of a little help toward Gus' expenses. She handed me a gift bag and said, "You know, sometimes you just see the perfect gift for someone." I was soooo touched!

I opened it:

I've officially entered Crazy Cat Ladyhood! This achievement award is now proudly displayed on the wall of my office! ;-) Thanks, Kelly! I join my colleague, Amy, in being honored thusly.

The drive to Bel Air was excruciatingly long but uneventful. As I waited for the Doc to come talk to me, I met Ralph, the other greeter at the practice. He was a bit camera shy, but I did manage to get a shot. Here he is greeting the next arrivals...
Soon the Doc came for me. He showed me the xrays they took, both pre and post surgery. Two different views of pre-surgery Gus. You can see how far displaced the bones are in both. It's officially recorded as a long oblique mid shaft fracture of the left femur. Some good news: based on some whisker breakage and other signs, the staff doubt it was the kid with the bat who caused the break. It was more likely an encounter with a motor vehicle.

I admit, even though xray technology has been around a long time, I still experience a little awe when I look at the insides of critters (including me!). I especially liked this resting xray, because you can also make out some organs, even though that's not what they were "shooting" for. Look at that supple spine, will ya!

Finally, Doc Hess showed me Gus' brand, spankin' new plate and pins. He explained that this fix should suffice even if Gus grows some more. This is called an open reduction internal fixation bone plate. What a mouthful!

When we were done discussing Gus' prognosis, Miss Janet went through the discharge orders, which are blessedly simple! Just amoxi 3 times a day. Gus can engage in any activity he feels up to, but may not go outside. So far, he's left the incision alone, but I need to watch to be sure he stays good. We go back to have the stitches removed on September 14th. Two months from now, there will be follow up xrays, just to be sure everything is going well.

After saying goodbye to Ralph (lovely Alice was in the back, checking on the other patients), we piled back in the car and headed home.

Don't know if I've mentioned this, but Gus is an excellent traveler. He hasn't uttered a word in any of the trips we've been on. Not to the ER vet, not to Doc Andrew, not to or from Doc Hess. And Doc Hess is a 35 min ride! In fact he was so relaxed, I snapped some pics of him with my camera phone. Here we are at a red light:
And here we are zipping down I95. Now don't get in a huff... I'd glanced over and thought, gosh, he's sooooo relaxed. Nobody would ever believe this. So this was a "blind" shot, taken with one hand, that just happened to turn out... no, my eyes never left the road!

There's not much to report about last evening, other than what I told you yesterday. Gus wasn't feeling too sporty and hung out under the bed.

Last night I did stay in the guest bedroom of the "suite," on the floor with Gus. Yes, that nice soft mattress sitting two feet above my head called to me, but I resisted its allure... LOL! Unfortunately, there's not enough room in the guest bedroom to pull the mattress to the floor, so it was a quilt pallet for the both of us. He was such a snuggle bun. Gus came over, jammed his head under my chin and, plastered against me, settled down for a long, long purr. That's the way we fell asleep.

These are the rewards of fostering, folks! I felt so honored to have that kind of trust and affection from a little guy who was hurting - and who probably should have associated at least some of that hurt with me.

When I came to this morning it was late... I had been dead to the world... slept right through the alarm (Thank you, Karen, for understanding! Have I mentioned I have a terrific boss?). Gus was about a foot away and came right over. After a very quick snuggle, I dashed to get to get ready for work, and he took his dose of amoxi without complaint. And the rest you know from the update, above.

I have a very touching story about something that happened today, which I'll tell you later and I'll try to get a video of Gus getting around with his new leg tomorrow. Should we call him the bionic cat or perhaps catenstein, I wonder?? LOL!


  1. Awww Gus, you are a wonder. Those x-rays show how horrible a break you had :( {I'm a geek too, those x-rays totally appealed to the geek in me who loves anatomy!... his spine... WOW!}

    Glad he is still giving you such love. I'm pretty sure that even though you are taking him to places where he might experience pain, he knows you are doing it for his best interests.

    Love and hugs to you both!

  2. Poor Gus, being hit by a motor vehicle isn't much better than by a bat, but at least there's a slight possibility that it was an accident...

  3. Oh Lisa...thank you for sharing this story. It always amazes me how resilient animals are, and how quickly they bounce back - physically and emotionally - from tough times.

    My Freddie had a long, dragged-out urinary and kidney issue back in 2005. Like Gus, Freddie was otherwise young and healthy and could have excellent quality of life with the right diet and care. So the idea of putting him down was never an option in my mind (that whole story is on my blog, Pets category, "Boy Cat's Story" if you feel like reading it).

    And like you, as Freddie recovered, I got unbelievably excited every time he used the litterbox successfully!

    Any animal who puts up a fight and tries to avoid taking their meds is DEFINITELY on the mend ;-) It's the ones who don't struggle and curse at you that you have to worry about.

    And I'm also a geek who is fascinated with veterinary medicine, so thank you for sharing the Xrays and other details. Hugs and purrs to Gus and the rest of Space Paws!

  4. Hey Lisa (Crazy Cat Lady),

    You are not the only "Crazy Cat Lady"! A couple of years ago I got that exact toy for my mother who my kids called the Crazy Cat Lady. It seems I am from a long line of Crazy Cat People. And Gus, oh Gus you beautiful kitty. He must know you are an angel Lisa!

  5. Gus sounds like a very special kitty. Thankfully, his ability to bond with humans makes it sound like he has not been traumatized by those he encountered while out in the world.

  6. Oh Lisa it is so good that Gus is doing better! Boy, those first x-rays almost made me cry because they were so bad, and the second almost made me cry because he was able to be fixed so well - and that is great that the plate can grow with him.

    Oh, and if you put a few extra blankets down first, they make a pretty decent floor mattress - I finally figured out the right number for me with Barney his first night home (he and Virgil were so little they couldn't get on the bed, and I was afraid they would get hurt if I put them up there with me and they tried to jump and get down - so they got first night on the floor with me).

    I love the blind shot - he is so cute! I have a few of those types, where you just aim and hope for the best, that turned out really well, so I know that it is possible! Heck, a bunch of pics on my blog today (moo and baas adventures) were taken that way because we had to "sneak" them! So I totally believe you kept your eyes on the road!

    I have that same Crazy Cat Lady doll - and I am proud to be one!

  7. Thanks for the update. I'm glad Gus is doing better. I bet in a week or less he'll be running around. When he's all better you shouldn't have a problem finding him a home. If I didn't live too far away, already have the max number of cats I can handle, I'd adopt him right now. He's such a loving cat.

  8. What wonderfurl mews!!! Gus, you sure are a trooper!!! WTG Buddy!!! The x-rays are furry kewl, minus the fact that he was hurty. :o( We are kind of envious of him being like that in the car. We're TOTAL SPAZOIDS in the car. We have to be crated otherwise we would try jumping out the windows! Scooter(RIP) did that once and smashed her floofy face right in the glass. It was sad, but she HATED the car! Looking forward to the "story" your mom has to tell!!! Have a super Labor Day Weekend! And Gus??? Tell your servants to grill you up some steak!

  9. I love the way you tell a story, Lisa.

    And you're so right about the rewards of fostering. It's a feeling not easy to explain other than a deep sense of joy and pride to be able to help a living thing that otherwise may not have had a happy life.

    It's so blatantly clear how grateful is Gus. And all of us who appreciate what you do.

  10. What a little sweetheart! I'm not quite ready to believe that animals feel gratitude, but I am as certain as can be that they know a kind soul when they meet one. And at this time when he definitely needs a kind soul, you should be flattered that he has figured you out!

    So glad he has you to comfort him. I do live in the DC area, and if I had room for a third cat, I'd drive up 95 and scoop him up in a heartbeat! What a darling.

  11. The x rays are soooo cool.


    Aunty P

  12. I like the x-rays, too! But what is better is the news that Gus is on the mend. And no, please don't call such a cute, loving guy 'catenstein'!!!!!!


  13. I have the Crazy Cat Lady action figure, too! She sure does look super crazy, doesn't she?

    I thought the x-rays were very neat, but they also made me cringe in sympathy.

    Gus is such a sweet boy, and I have a soft spot for orange tabbies - I'd love to give him a (gentle) squeeze!

  14. Oh my goodness, I'm so glad to hear that Gus is recovering so well! What a little trooper! He sounds like an absolute sweetheart...that part you wrote about him jamming his head under your chin and settling in for a long purr just about melted my heart...poor little guy must be so thankful that he's getting such wonderful care and I know that he's so happy that he has you as his guardian angel...he is one sweet and lucky boy!

    Hugs all around and purrs from my monsters to their favorite online buddy, Gus!

  15. I sense another blog coming on..."The Sisterhood of the Crazy Cat Ladies". I, too, received this figure from a friend who is in no position to point fingers. She more than qualifies herself. Don't worry, Gus. CCLs only use their powers for kitteh good, never for kitteh evil. You're in good hands.

  16. Glad to hear Gus is not worrying the stitches. I have not had much luck with the bad tasting stuff. My poor kitty had to wear "The Cone" for 10 days! The X rays are facinating. Love how you can see the cartilage in the ears. Thanks for posting the X rays!

  17. ahahaha!!!! i want that crazy cat lady!! and the xrays didn't bother me this time since i've seen the break before, until i got to the one where he's LOOKING at me!!! holy creepiness!!!!!!!!!!!!!! yeesh! i prefer your real face gus, you're a doll!



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