Friday marked one month since we had Lexi’s back left leg amputated, and my, my, my how things have changed.
First of all, her stitches came out two weeks after surgery. She screamed throughout their removal but I think the relief (and conelessness) afterward was worth it.
Secondly, Lexi is a changed kitty – and I’m not just talking about a whole leg gone missing.
Before we found the tumor, before we realized Lexi had cancer, we thought she was showing signs of age. She is, after all, 14 years old.
Over the last year we had gotten used to her late night, long, drawn-out, soulful ‘meeeeooooowwww’s,’ her constant sleeping, her glazed over eyes that never really opened big and wide anymore.
We recognized that she no longer played with toys or sat by the door waiting for an opportunity to escape.
We thought she was aging. And now we know we were wrong.
Having the cancer removed has been reset her life. It’s like we put 5 years back on over the course of the last four weeks.
After she got over the initial challenges presented by being down one leg, we’ve noticed:
- Her fur is super fluffy and soft.
- She’s grooming herself so much more.
- Her eyes are wide and bright.
- She is alert and awake and active all day.
- She plays with toys again (and it is hilarious to watch her do a three-legged scurry after a string).
- Her appetite is still voracious, but now she’s actually putting on weight from all the food.
- Her attitude is amazing. She’s still a demanding little diva don’t get me wrong, but she’s also extremely happy, affectionate, and loving.
What we thought was a cat entering her twilight years was actually a cat suffering from cancer. Her little immune system must have been taxed for at least the last six to eight months, if not a year.
She’s so happy that we even think she understands what we had to do, and in some way she thanks us for it.
Actually,… I take that back. She’s so stinkin’ cute now with that little hip, her little soft belly exposed, and her one little back leg, that we can’t keep our hands off of her. We pretty much give her pets and scratches and kisses non-stop when we’re home. We haven’t even gone out on the weekends anymore – we just stay at home and hang out with our lil fam. She’s probably getting pretty annoyed by it now. Oh well.
So to any other pet-parent who is agonizing over having to amputate their kitty’s leg, I say this: Don’t hesitate. It’s hard, and heartbreaking, and agonizing to put your kid through it without the ability to explain why… but it is so worth it in the end.