Hello friends. It’s been overwhelming here with 4 young cats and I haven’t been updating my blog or visiting yours. I apologize in advance for this long post and the lack of photos but I wanted to give you all an update to let you know we haven’t disappeared.
First challenge: getting 4 young cat to live together.
Tilly wasn’t accepting Molly & Pearl, so we decided to try medication as a last resort before rehoming the younger cats. We’ve had Tilly on two different medications to try to improve her behavior. The first medication didn’t work but the second seems to be helping quite a bit. Medication is only a tool to help while we use a lot of behavior modification techniques, which has been taking nearly 100% of my time.
After about 3 months of limiting interactions and constant supervision we’re at a place where Tilly is tolerant of Molly & Pearl. The growling, hissing and random swatting stopped, but she will give them a little hiss or swat if the younger cats get in her space when she’s not in the mood. We think that’s reasonable behavior as they all continue to grow up and learn to trust and tolerate each other.
New challenge: Molly injured her knee
Just when we were feeling good about making progress with their behavior, Molly injured her knee. I spent last Thursday with her at the emergency veterinary hospital. Thankfully, we got an appointment and since it’s the local veterinary school teaching hospital, all specialty veterinarians are on staff. She has a luxated patella – meaning her kneecap was out of place. This is complicated by a fracture she had as a wee kitten that caused her leg to grow a bit improperly. Both knees have loose kneecaps (probably genetic), but her right knee was injured more severely.
Molly is on restricted activity – walking only – for 8 weeks! No running, jumping, or playing with her housemates. Needless to say, that is a nightmare to manage. Our house is set up for cat enjoyment and she is very disappointed and frustrated that she can’t romp with her toys or with Wolfie or Pearl (she doesn’t romp with Tilly). The other cats are also disrupted by the household changes – some perches and steps up to counters have been removed and we’ve tried to give Molly easier access to one or two pieces of furniture like the bed. And Wolfie & Pearl have lost their fun playmate.
I have to supervise 100% of Molly’s awake time, making sure she only walks. I lift her up and down perches or windows so she has some semblance of a normal life. I do this until she settles in for a nap. Unfortunately, she’s naturally a super active 1 year old cat and she’s very frustrated by these restrictions. I play with her by dangling toys right around her front paws to keep her mood up, but she desperately wants to romp.
I’m hoping to talk with the orthopedic surgeon next week to discuss treatment options. The 8 weeks restricted activity is kind-of a hope that her knee will stabilize without surgery. But because that leg didn’t grow properly, surgery might be needed.
Again, I’m sorry for the long post and the lack of photos but I wanted to post something so you didn’t think I abandoned our blog. I think of you often and miss reading your blogs. I’ll try to visit while Molly is sleeping, but that’s my only time to do errands and household chores, make sure Tilly, Wolfie, & Pearl are happy, or maybe catch up on my sleep with a little cat nap.