Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Frankenkitty Update

LJ in her favorite crash site

LJ, the cat who wants to be a patchwork quilt when she grows up, has her staples out now. I'm still limiting her space to (hopefully) let her keep healing more smoothly, as she's determined to impersonate a rubber hi-bounce ball and ricochet off any surface that stays still long enough. But she's at least out of the bathroom.

Backstory Department for anyone new to the LJ Saga:

I found her this past February, when we had our second snow of the season. Was on the way to go switch cars with Miles and move more stuff from the trailer, and saw her sitting in the middle of the road, in about three inches of snow and ice. She was yowling her head off, and her eyes were crusted shut from conjunctivitis. She looked to be around 4 months old, and underweight. She didn't fuss or try to get away when I picked her up, and settled down in the floor board under the heat vent and started purring. While purring can be a defense response to discomfort, I figure either way if she'd found being in the car worse than where she was before, she'd've started complaining again. She was okay with me soaking some of the glop off her eyes with a napkin and bottled water, enough to get them open to see if there were any other problems there.

Turns out she was more like six months old, just small, and tested negative for Leukemia and feline AIDS. So, she came home and stayed in the bathroom till we got the conjunctivitis cleared up. We decided to keep her - after observing her for awhile, we noticed that, in addition to the way I found her mirroring the way I got my older cat (now deceased) Josephine, she has several of Jo's idiosyncrasies, and the other animals all act like they know her already. Miles was calling her Jo automatically, and didn't feel able to call her anything else.

Nimbus and LJ - Lounge Act

We did ask Jo to come back into the household if she wanted to, and the time when this new cat would've been born is a fairly good interval. If it is Jo, we're both seriously tickled to have her back. We decided on Little Jo, or just LJ. We got her spayed, and of course, she stayed in the bathroom while that incision healed up. All that went fine, aside from heavy commentary from her about being tired of the bathroom.

After we got the privacy fence put up and I went around the the bottom with hardware cloth to close any gaps, I let the cats out into the back yard. I only have two that can climb a flat wall (had it installed inside-out), and tipping their claws prevents that. However, Little Miss I'm-smaller-than-everybody-else found a hole I missed. Next thing I know, I come home, and she's on the porch with two inches of fascia lining hanging out of her gut.

So, emergency stitches, and back to the bathroom. She didn't show any apprehension around our dogs, so we have no clue if somebody bit her, or if she got into the neighbor's dog's pen, or if one of the neighborhood strays did it, or if she got mixed up in something sharp out in the shop. I did find another place to put more hardware cloth, and figured on watching her when she heals up until I see where she's getting out.

We get that healed up, and she gets to come back out into civilization. For about three weeks. Then I get up one morning, and she's got a huge abscess-like swelling with a draining puncture, over the healed up previous wound, that was not there when we signed off the night before.

She gets huge staples this time, and by now the vets are talking to me like I might be "one of those" clients. Great way to start off with a new vet in a new town. Back in the bathroom again, getting meds stuffed down her throat again, and uberpissed about it.

Effectively, she's spent most of the time we've had her living in the bathroom. And she's going to go back in every time we leave the house for a bit longer, since we're healing up a double-damage area. I'm wondering if Winnie was the one who messed her up this last time; LJ does like to go out in the yard when the dogs are playing with Muggsy's horse ball (which is bigger than the cat by half again) and run with them, and I have seen Winnie chase her chasing Muggsy. Winnie also has taken to looking dismayed, dropping her ears, and rolling over and giving belly when LJ walks past her. I dunno if she's thinking "O noes, I broke the kitteh" or what, but am keeping an eye on them.

Thanx muchlys to everybody who's been wishing her well this whole time!

Josephine The Former - Gone, but maybe not gone at all.