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My Last Nerve and DOOD's First Steps.

It's been a long three weeks since the DOOD injured his back. I don't know how it happened, but it must have been pretty bad because he hasn't been able to walk comfortably since. You can read more about the injury HERE.

DOOD's been under strict cage rest since Thursday. He's also been on an opiate-based painkiller called Buprenex. It makes DOOD loopy and very friendly. It keeps him quiet, though I'm not sure he's getting very good rest. DOOD also gets a baby aspirin, which is normally a big no-no, but he's only had it a few times.

10.9.12 in crate.jpg
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. the DOOD's temporary home-featuring a heated bed.

During the past few days DOOD has barely moved. If he does move, he appears very weak and I feared he was getting worse. If cage rest didn't help, the next step would be to see a specialist, do a CT scan and probably have to do surgery to take the pressure off what we fear is a pinched nerve.

Seeing DOOD in pain, growling or crying when he tried to stand cut me to the core. I told myself to remember that this is just for now and that in time DOOD will be back to his old self, running around, licking my face. The truth was that there was a chance that DOOD would never be the same again and perhaps have a life of pain or God forbid become paralyzed if the surgery failed.

I know the danger of having all these thoughts-of thinking too much and creating awful scenarios in my head. I have to face only what is wrong now and do my best to help DOOD until that information changes. To upset myself with “what ifs” is a waste of time.

dood and jax.jpg
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Jackson often sleeps in the cat carrier next to DOODs crate-which is odd since DOOD often hisses at Jax.

Of course, being rational is never easy when you add stress and fear to the mix so last night I had an impressive melt down.

I function day to day knowing that I'm walking a tightrope. Bills get paid, but there isn't much leftover. If something bad happened to any of the cats or my car, my house, etc., it could just toss me over an edge I can't recover from. My rational mind says things have been tough for a long time, but I'll find a way. My fearful mind pushes me to flip out over not being able to open a bottle or that I can't nicely encourage Spencer to get out of my office so I can shut the door-so the cats won't go in there and pee while I'm sleeping upstairs. I have to yell at him to get him out of the room. This is not me, I love Spencer. I don't want to yell at him, but after years on end of stress, of cats peeing all over, of Jackson and his issues and now he's been attacking my own cats…the vice grip on my poor head gets tighter and tighter. The headaches are worse and worse and I can't find an escape from all of this. There is too much to do, to tend to, other people to help, cats in need.

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Blitzen visits DOOD every day.

I can usually take it on in fairly good humor or make a joke about it, but last night I could not. I just raged and sobbed while Sam sat there, not sure if he'd lose his hand if he reached out to me. There was a time he would talk to me, help comfort me, but even with our relationship, there is another tightening of the strap around my head. We don't talk much. We don't do much. We both focus on caring for our cats and we both do our little chores and that's about it. I feel pretty empty inside.

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. At Dr. Larry's this morning as lovely as ever.

After my nice fit, I went to sleep. I dragged myself out of bed this morning and started the usual boring routine of caring for the cats, cleaning up vomit or pee, scooping the pans, feeding the foster kittens. Before too long it was time to pack DOOD up and take him to see Dr. Larry. Today was the day. Would DOOD finally be able to walk again? From what I'd seen the answer would be no, but I hadn't encouraged DOOD to move this week so perhaps I'd be surprised.

DOOD was great at the Vet. His temperature was back to normal for the first time. He lost a few ounces, which in his case is a good thing. Dr. Larry examined him and DOOD didn't fuss. He didn't seem to be in much pain, but I wondered if the last of the Buprenex was still in his system.

on sofa resting.jpg
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. This is what I miss seeing.

Dr. Larry gingerly placed DOOD on the floor. I walked to the other side of the room and called to him. With tail held high, DOOD took his first few steps. I expected his back legs to wobble as they had this past month, but they did not.

It stuck me as odd that DOOD was walking fairly normally. It was the first time I'd see his stride look rather confident. I was so used to seeing him shuffling, crying, growling and here he was taking careful steps. Dr. Larry shook his head in disbelief. DOOD was clearly getting better!

My Mother had a bizarre saying that popped into my head; “I didn't know whether to shit or go blind.” I couldn't believe DOOD looked so much better. It's as if one cat was lying injured in my home while this doppleganger was healthy in Dr. Larry's office.

©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Sweet Dreams.

Of course my fearful mind didn't want to get too excited. Dr. Larry said DOOD should have one more week of cage rest and two more aspirin but no more buprenex. We would continue to be conservative about DOOD's care and hope that another week would give him the recovery time he needed before he joined the rest of the family.

Some good news at last and some hopeful news, as well. DOOD must have been wiped out from the little bit of walking he did because when we got home I let him out of the cat carrier and he walked quickly into his cage and laid down on his cat bed. A few minutes later he was sleeping soundly. If that cage had been any bigger, I would have joined him.

On to the next thing…Bobby called with news about Bongo and it wasn't good.


So thrilled to hear that the Dood is healing!  One of my boys injured his back last year, and we woke up to him limping and dragging his of the scariest and most heartbreaking moments of my life.  Luckily, he was better with rest and a shot of antiinflammatory medicine, but we never did find out how he injured himself (it was during the night, AND we are super anal retentive about making our whole one bedroom apartment cat safe!)  I have been thinking about you, and The Dood, ever since you posted the first update, and hoping he would recover on his own, without costly surgery.  It sounds like things are taking a positive turn; my fingers are still crossed that he continues to progress! <3


Incidentally, I work for a cat rescue in my local area, and I completely understand the overwhelmed feeling of "never being able to do enough", or "not being able to save them all".  Some nights, just a single "kitty on death row to be destroyed tomorrow" post is all it takes to make me break down in tears.  We can't save them all, but knowing that doesn't make it any easier.  If money was no object, I would probably have a huge house, filled with well-cared-for cats that would otherwise spend their whole lives in shelters.  Someday, I hope to be able to afford a piece of property and home big enough to open my own rescue.  For right now, doing the most I can do has to be enough.  I wish there was something I could say to make it easier, though, because if I could I would tell myself as well.  Our hearts will not stop breaking, but each time we can save one cat, hopefully one tiny crack will be repaired.

Sending you and the Dood much love :)

As my life parallels yours in some important ways, including feline and financial, I can definitely relate.  Good on ya for keeping a clear perspective *almost all the time* and for letting off steam as needed, then getting back to the business of life, which, from my perspective, is a GOOD life and one most people would love to have, if only they knew it.  To have true and unconditional love, loyalty, compassion and kindness puts you far ahead of most in that department.  

I'm so very glad to read of DOOD's progress.  May he soon be "100%".

*PRAYERS* and love going up, and out, for Bongo.  

I have a lot of faith in healing prayer and many are praying for Dood.  He's getting well and will continue to do so.  I hate hearing there is bad news about Bongo.  I'm guessing he'll have to lose his leg?  He's such a sweet looking kitty.  Prayers for him too.  And for you.  Take care of yourself too.  Hugs and Furry Purrs.  Roxan

So great to finally hear some good news! And I can totally relate to your anxiety problems. My old Meow is still hanging on, too. He's stopped hiding and started grooming again. Good news all around! (And yet the anxiety continues...)

Try closing your eyes. Deep breath thru the nose. Then blow out as if blowing out birthday candles.  Repeat. I poo-poo'd this at first but a nice long deep breath in and out can really help. 

I feel for your stress. My step-mom always had a saying too, "this too shall pass".  I pray you get some good refreshing sleep, That Doodlebug keeps up his recovery and that little Bongo can be all he can be as soon as possible. 

Do you get a real Fall where you are? Take an hour to go look at trees, leaves or even just the sidewalk of a park. While there, breathe. sit, walk, relax, mull over stuff or just let your mind wander. Set a time limit, that way you wont stress over time away from ...... whatever. You are allowed some ME time, even if it is only 20 min. You need it. Take care of Robin, so Robin can love taking care of those that need her.

(((((Hugs)))))  and well wishes to Mr. ear floofies and Mr. Doodlebug.


I am so very glad that you have good news about Dood.  He's such a sweet and lovable character.  You've had such a hard time this year.  It's about time something went well. 

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