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Of Bites, Bandages & Boo-Boos.

WARNING: the video of Bobette walking may make you sad and it shows her injury quite clearly. Also, there is an out-of-focus photo of her injury that may upset the squeamish.

Bobette's been on one Hell of a journey along a very bumpy road. Just when I think we've rounded a corner, something unexpected occurs. I realize I'm getting caught up in this cycle of hope and fear with her situation. I have to hope she WILL regain the use of her leg and will be comfortable, but what if she doesn't? What if I have to make the choice to have her leg amputated? This is something I don't know if I have the courage to do for her and I hope it will not come to pass. In the meantime, let me catch you up on how she's doing.

After the first few days with the bandage, we adjust to a new routine. Every morning I check on Bobette to see what sort of mess I need to clean up. She can't manage getting around and often I discover wet cat litter on the edge of her e-collar, indicating she's fallen face first into the dirty litter. The inside of her crate is in disarray. Some times she pees outside the crate onto the floor. I started putting training pads on the floor around the crate to help offset this problem. I never get mad. It makes me sad. I hate this life for her. I so want it to be over-for her to be free from the crate and feeling well again. I must be patient. She will get there…she will get there…

©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. The morning mess.

Sam often spends time holding Bobette as I clean up the mess and get her fed. It's a nice time for her because she can stretch out and relax without her e-collar on. The day before her bandage was to come off, we left off her e-collar as well. She wasn't picking at the bandage and without the e-collar she had some hope of sleeping in an more normal position. It's very clear she's not getting much rest as she often falls asleep while Sam holds her. Between the pain from her surgery, being in an uncomfortable crate and her body working on healing, she must be exhausted.

©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. The morning before the big day. Bobette is non plused.

The big day finally arrived. I couldn't wait to get Bobette to Dr. Mixon's to get the bandage off. I had to borrow Sam's car because we had about six inches of snow, followed by frozen rain and with my car being 2wd, there was no way I was going to get to our appointment on time.

Bobette cried in her carrier just once, then was quiet for the rest of the trip. I kept looking at the clock. I had to drive slowly but the roads weren't too bad. I got there right on time-at 11am. No sooner than I walked in the door, I was told that my appointment was for 9am! But I wouldn't have agreed to that time because that's about when the cats get fed. I didn't have time to worry about it because they said they'd squeeze Bobette in between appointments. Couldn't we just get this over with? I really couldn't wait any longer!

©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Sleepy Bobette.

A few minutes later, Bobette and I were in one of the exam rooms. Dr. Mixon and his Vet Tech began working on removing the bandage. I was worried that Bobette would become fractious, as she'd done so many 21s before. Initially there were no problems other than a lot of material to cut through.

With just about all the bandaging off, Bobette started to get VERY DISTRESSED. She started screaming as the last piece of tape was coming off. Dr. Mixon stopped and he and the Tech tried to restrain her. I tried to help, but she was thrashing around and shrieking so loudly, there was no calming her down. I foolishly tried to reach out to her and she bit down HARD into the top of my hand. I felt her canine teeth meet under my flesh. Everyone let go of Bobette and she began to urinate all over the exam table, then threw herself off the table and onto the floor. I was crying out to her, worried she had just broken her leg. My hand was throbbing badly and I felt woozy. There was a sink nearby so I washed my hand, pushing the blood out of it as best I could. I knew how filthy cat's mouths are and that I just signed myself up for a trip to the ER if we didn't get my hand clean-fast.

©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Bandage removal time!

It was all a crazy blur. I was trying not to cry. The pain was unbearable, but I was still worried about Bobette. Dr. Mixon got big gloves out and we got the cat into the cat carrier to recover. They'd have to sedate her later and get the rest of the bandage off. No one understood what upset her so severely until much later. In the meantime, Dr. Mixon urged me to go see a Dr. right away.

Sleeping Bobbette.jpg

I was lucky the Clinic could fit me in if I could get there in 10 minutes. I met with Maureen, the Nurse Practioner. She said I needed to be on antibiotics as soon as possible and that if the infection spread-which it could do even with the oral antibiotics, that I'd have to go to the ER in a few days. Great. I don't have health insurance, or money, for that matter. What an idiot I was.

I was still pretty shaky and my hand hurt badly even though it didn't look like much. I picked up the antibiotics which were $71.00! I needed to kill some time while they were working on Bobette, so I called Gene, a friend and local pet sitter and asked him if he wanted to meet me and have some soup at the local grocery store. I'd seen him there before and figured he might be in the area. Sure enough, he said the timing was good and we had a little visit.

©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. My hand is already turning purply blue and starting to swell just minutes after I was bitten.

Gene is so cheerful, it put me in a good mood. We talked about bad pet parents and his grandson (who he adores like no other), then told me he was just about to pick up his new car. This is big news since Gene's car has 180,000+ miles on it and he's getting a brand new RED VW Bug! Our chat helped me get my mind off my hand. Everything would sort out. It was just another bump in the road.

I ended up going home for about 45 minutes, then left for Dr. Mixon's to pick up Bobette. The shock from being bitten must have been getting to me because suddenly I was so tired I just wanted to sleep. I promised myself as soon as I got home and got Bobette settled, I'd get some rest. I'd already taken an antibiotic so that was hopefully starting to kill the pasteurellosis that was making my hand swell up.

injury from bandage.jpg
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Oh my goodness!

I got back to Dr. Mixon's in good time. I realized I'd forgotten to even find out if Bobette's patella was still in place or if it had moved out, back to it's old location. I didn't have to wait long for the news. Some of it was very troubling and some, hopeful.

While Bobette was sedated, Dr. Mixon examined her leg. The patella, oddly enough, was STILL in PLACE! Bobette still has at least a month to go before we know if she'll be able to walk normally, but this was promising news. Now I had to keep her from jumping, encourage her to walk and give her time to heal.

The bad news was that the wooden tongue depressor he used as part of the splint in her bandage, had slipped down and been rubbing onto the back of her leg, causing a horrific wound. One of Bobette's toes had a cut on it, which I knew happened just after the surgery. It was not healing due to being in the bandage for so long. Both injuries were going to heal in time, but one had pus in it, which meant more antibiotics for Bobette and and more difficult recovery. When I saw the wound it was clear why she was in so much pain. Looking at her leg makes me hurt, too.

I have a lot of guilt about this. I've tried so hard to do the right thing for her and I failed. It will be even harder for her to walk at all with the added injuries to her leg-which was clear when I got her home.

©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Bobette's first steps.

I set up the bigger crate for her new home and gave her a real cat litter pan to use-at last. She went to it right away, got in, peed and got out, but her leg was very weak. Sam put her on the floor and we had her walk over to me. She was reluctant to uncurl her paw to even place it on the floor. As she walked, she wobbled. Some times she used her paw and some times not. I tried to put some calendula cream on her wound but she is so sensitive, I had to leave it alone. How is this cat going to recover from all these injuries and walk again?

I just don't know. I know I'll be there for her as we find out. Bobette is young and strong. Now that her bandage is off, she'll have a chance to heal. One day we'll know if this was all worth it or just a waste of time. It's too soon to tell.

For now, we both need some rest.


I really think she just might be fine! The rub wound from the splint must be tender, but she is really walking quite well in that video clip, given the fact that prior to this she has never really walked normal on that leg. I think once she gets around the learning curve - muscles growing stronger and learning to trust it, she will be in great shape. Thanks for being there for her, very inspiring following her progress.

She's probably hurting still and had been used to not using it for several days.  I bet she'll use it more and more as that wound heals and she starts feeling better.  I hope YOUR wound heals and gets better, too.   Boy what a time you guys have had with all of this.  She's a sweet cat.  You are doing a wonderful job with her and YOU HAVE NOT FAILED.  Don't believe that.  You couldn't know that wound was there.  She knows you love her and you're helping her.  She trusts you.  She's a smart girl.  ((((((hugs)))))))

It sounds like that for right now you (and her doctor) have done everything that can be done. Bandage off, on the a/bs--ready to heal.  Now she just needs lots of love, smashies and time. And you need a rest, and don't forget any doses of your a/bs. Hope everything works out okay for both of you. Lots of cat people are thinking about you right now : )

It sounds like that for right now you (and her doctor) have done everything that can be done. Bandage off, on the a/bs--ready to heal.  Now she just needs lots of love, smashies and time. And you need a rest, and don't forget any doses of your a/bs. Hope everything works out okay for both of you. Lots of cat people are thinking about you right now : )

Robin, you did not fail Bobette.  Just think what could have happened to her if you had not taken her in.  You have done an exceptional job with her as you do with all the cats that you take in.  I am sure in time she will heal .  It is going to take time.  Hopefully she will regain use of the leg but if for some reason she doesn't and it has to be removed, she will be better off than she was beforeyou took her in.   I am praying that you and Bobette get better.

I know when my animals hurt, I hurt too, often enough to make myself sick.  I just have to remember that cats (and dogs) live in the moment far more than we do.  Just because I remember all their suffering doesn't mean they do or even feel it the same way I do.  You are doing all you can for her, and I'm sure she knows it.  Take a deep breath and keep trucking along.

Dear Robin! This is not your fault. You have done everything you possibly could to help and support Bobette. You haven't failed her - you've helped her to the absolute best of your ability.

Her patella stayed in place.  This means it may well get better. She could be absolutely fine, in time, and that will be down to you and the vet.  Even if it doesn't fix it, you have tried your best and can not be blamed.

Yes, it's dreadful that the wooden stick has injured Bobette's leg so badly.  It will need time to heal - as the air gets round that wound and the antibiotics help her to recover, it will begin to heal.  Once the initial healing has happened, then you will be able to help her with soothing creams etc. It just needs time. 

Don't beat yourself up over this - you're doing fine.  Bobette will know you are trying to help her.  She's a brave little kittie and will do her best to help herself.

And don't neglect that bite - you don't want to be ill yourself.  Bobette didn't mean to hurt you (as you have already made clear), but the bite needs to be cared for and watched over.  Remember to take the time to do this for yourself.

You and Sam are doing a great job for Bobette and her kittens.  Try not to feel guilty for doing the best that you can...

Robin, please don't feel bad or guilty. You knock yourself out for all your kitties, personal pets or rescues. I know how hard you work for them and how much love you feel. Bobette will recover and you've given her a better chance for mobility/normalcy. You and Sam are special people and the kitties are beyond lucky to have you. xo xo

Wow! That wound is unacceptable! Why was that vet not doing bandage changes? She could have developed gangrene! Wow!

you are all very courageous!

It's an amazing happy and sad expriences you all share.

Cats are very courageous, they don,t let you know when they hurt.

I think you are doing amazing things to help Bobette. Please take heart. and as much as it hurts to watch/be a part of, animals have soul journeys, too. if Bobette chooses to heal, she will. I'd say get some colloidal silver and wash both your hand and her leg with it. It has amazing healing properties and what they used before antibiotics became the cheaper option. You don't have to rub it in or anything, just use an empty syringe to wash it over her leg. and you could hold you hand is some for a few minutes a few times a day.

You do amazing work, and it's time to start to start picturing things as you wish them to be, not as they are. You create what you focus on, yeah? and all the emotional energy you are putting into the creation, no wonder it's so powerful. but you are creating it, you can stop it. You really can. Hey, what have you got to lose? Stress, worry, money problems, sick or injured kitty-cats. I'm sure you want to let that go. Take a deep breath and spend twnety minutes every day imaginging how you wish things to be, and use all your senses to picture it. Go on...

I'm so sorry you both have to go through such a difficult time.   I think you have done wonderfully for Bobette, and I'll bet the soft tissue injury will heal up in no time now that the dressing is off.  She must be feeling much better just to have that big dressing and cone off.  Take care of yourself; I hope your hand will feel better soon, too. 

Robin, Bobette is one strong lady. She looked great taking those first steps. Once you get past the sight of the raw wound, you can actually see that she's got the motor coordination thing going on, the will to use it, and she's feeling much better.

First round over. Bobette has to heal now.

Do you need anything?


Tereza and Larry

Mr. Kitty's Story:

I was out of town and house sitter called to tell me that MK had gone out the cat door at 5 am and come back in screaming in pain at 5:30 am....told her to call vet - vet said take him to LSU Vet School emergency center.

His hip torn out of socket, hock torn and broken (we think he might have tangled with a possom or raccoon)  - repaired hock with plate and screws - hip would not pop back in, so top taken off and stitched up muscles to support leg.  At vet school for 3 weeks - home in crate care for 6 more. Therapy by mom every day.  He came home with a UPI from LSU - one miserable kitty.

But today, 6 years later - he is going to be 11 in Feb - he is right as rain - jumps 40" to get on high bed - jumps to back of high back sofa.  I will say that he had a personality transplant too - he has become Mr. LoveyDovey these past 6 years.

Amputation is not the end of the world if it comes to that. And I know about guilt....

Bobette is in a good place....and it will all work out the way it is supposed to....



What an ordeal you have both gone through.  My prayers are for Bobette's recovery and that your wound will heal without pain.   You have so much patience to do this for her.   Bless you.

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