The Three-Legged Cat is Three

Last week was Satchi the cat’s third birthday.  To be more precise, it was his honorary birthday which the boys decided should be held on his “Gotcha Day’, the anniversary of the date we adopted him a year ago.  He celebrated with tuna for dinner and even more cuddles than usual.

He has changed so much in a year.  When we adopted him, he had just had his leg amputated and was very unstable in his movement.  He was also underweight and, while friendly, wasn’t that sociable.  Now he is a healthy weight, possibly even a little plump, and super fluffy and manages just fine with three legs.  While Satchi is still not a lap cat, he has become much more sociable, seeking us out for cuddles and affection, and cuddling up on one of our beds each night.  He also has an adorable relationship with Peanut.

We really lucked out adopting two cats who are the best of friends.  Our cats are just the best.

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Cat Companions

Having blogged about the introduction of Peanut to Satchi, I thought I would update on how things stand just over a month later.  In that previous post, I was hopeful that they would become friends and I am happy to report that that is indeed the case.

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The two cats are chalk and cheese in many respects –  one slow and limping; the other speedy and agile; one large, chubby and extremely fluffy; the other tiny, sleek, and slinky – they seem to work very well as an Odd Couple.  At first they seemed to set out separate territories, chilling out in different rooms, giving each other plenty of space, but gradually I found that more often than not I would come home and find them curled up together on the sofa or snoring away on the same bed.  They are also very playful together, playing chase, wrestling, playing hide and seek, more rough and tumble wrestling.  A few weeks ago they even started grooming each other which was sweet.

They are good companions.  I think they love each other.  We are so relieved.

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A Tale of Two Kitties

We did not make it to two weeks before introducing the cats to each other.  It was becoming too much of a challenge to ensure that the boys, going in and out of their bedroom, were keeping Peanut sequestered and Satchi had also worked out how to open the door.  Since Peanut’s sutures had healed, we decided to start the process of letting the cats get to know each other, initially held by us and in short bursts and then for gradually longer periods until we decided we could let Peanut have the same freedom to roam as Satchi has.

The result has been quite interesting.  The two cats – one three legged and fluffy and one tiny and sleek – constantly stalk each other, tracking, hiding, pouncing.  There has been a great deal of wrestling and tussling.  It was a bit troubling at first, seeming to suggest that they would not get along, but teeth have not been bared, claws have not been out, and there has been very little hissing.

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They do have their properly friendly moments too.  I caught Satchi licking Peanut’s fur the other day (unless he was just sampling the taste of him by way of an appetiser?) and they have been sharing – mostly food (to Satchi’s scoffing advantage) but also toys and the cat tree.  I like to think this all bodes well.

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Presently, however, they mostly give each other a wide berth and do their own thing in their own spaces.  Satchi has always liked tucking himself away anyway which leaves Peanut plenty of scope to be permanently attached to a human.

Only time will tell if we made the right decision giving into our 8 year old’s plea and adopting a second cat.

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A Tale of the Tail of a Three-Legged Cat

A few weeks ago, we adopted a three legged cat named Satchi.  He instantly made himself at home and became a much loved member of the family.  The kids adore him – though he is not diplomatic enough to sleep in their bedrooms – and love looking after him, playing with him, and snuggling him.  We are so glad he joined our family.

Last week, I was arrived home and spotted a large lump of fluff on the stairs.  It was grey fluff so I knew it must have come from Satchi.  I know cat’s shed hair but it seemed like a lot to have come out in one clump.  I thought that was weird.  Then I picked it up and was even more weirded out.  The lump of fur contained a hard core.  In fact, it looked like the tip of his tail.  What the heck?  How could that be?  Satchi was dozing on the sofa, one of his favourite spots, so I stalked like a ninja over to the sofa and gently picked up his fluffy tail.  Peeling back the fur to expose the end of the tail, I saw that my instinct was correct: the tip of his tail was not on his tail; it was in my hand.

I was freaked out.

I had to go and collect my kids from school so I quickly messaged a friend of mine who happens to be a vet.  Happily she was online and got back to me very quickly and in her calm and level-headed way asked me some questions and provided some answers that reassured me.  Yes, the tip of his tail was gone but it probably was not a surgical emergency if I could not see bone, which I couldn’t.  She felt the biggest risk was from infection but since Satchi was the only pet in the household and was an indoor cat that risk was reduced.

In addition to being freaked out, I felt guilty.  I had nothing to feel guilty about but I am one of those people who feel guilt over things I have no control over, feel guilty over nothing at all.  I felt guilt that I had not prevented my cat’s tail from dropping off even though I had not the first clue what might have caused it to happen.

I phoned a vet and made an appointment.  An over the phone triage interview persuaded the vet and me that there was no emergency (Satchi did not seem bothered by the tail situation at all, there was no bleeding, and no exposed bone) so he was scheduled in for an appointment the following week.  I started to feel better: if a vet who could charge me an emergency fee did not view it as an emergency then likely all was going to be well.

That appointment was today.  Satchi was exceedingly well behaved at the clinic and was very friendly and sweet towards everyone, little charmer that he is.  And wouldn’t you know it, everything was tickety boo.  In all likelihood, the tail was damaged in whatever mishap led to the badly broken leg that had to be amputated.  The tip had just turned into a (somewhat dramatic) scab that had fallen off.  Clean bill of health.  No concerns.  Just a three legged cat now missing the tip of his tail.

Fingers crossed that no more parts of my cat come off.  My nerves can’t take it.

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A New Member of the Pict Family

My kids have been asking for a pet for the majority of years they have been on the planet.  Back home in Scotland, we did have pet cockroaches for a while.  Seven Madagascan Hissing Cockroaches.  They were fascinating creatures and pretty easy to look after but they did not quell the boys’ desire for a more cuddly pet.  The youngest two have been campaigning for a dog for a few years now.  Specifically they want a pug named Russell.  For several reasons, that was not going to happen.  However, Mr Pict and I decided that perhaps we would be willing to compromise with another type of pet.  We hoped that a pet might help the boys settle further into life here, make it feel more like home.  Mr Pict and I had had a cat before we became parents so we felt comfortable with the idea of having a cat.  We broke the news to the kids and they were ecstatic.

We decided to adopt a rescue cat so set about visiting rescue places to find the perfect cat for us.  We knew we wanted a young cat but one who was no longer a kitten and it also had to be a cat who was good around kids and tolerated lots of noise and hectic activity.  We also wanted a cat who was good with other cats since our aim is to have two so that they are buddies for each other when we are away for the day.  On Saturday, we went along to an adoption event run by the local animal control department.  We fell in love with a fluffy grey two year old cat named Satchi.  He had a rear leg amputated a week ago as he was picked up off the streets with a badly broken leg.  When we spent time with him, he was very affectionate and very tolerant of being in a confined space with four kids and two adults.  We decided he had to come home with us.

The boys are over the moon and are loving having a pet to snuggle and take care of.  Satchi is adjusting well to the Pict family home and is pretty mobile already on his three legs.  I have never had a house cat before (although I have cared for many cats before, they have all been allowed to spend time outdoors) so learning how to tweak the care regime is interesting.  Already he feels like part of the family.

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