Day 23 – Grumpy Cat

Well I’ve not posted for a while. For a few reasons: busy with work, busy with JJ, busy worrying. Was hoping to post with a high note but there have been very few.

So here goes….

since my last post there has been very little change. JJ is managing to go up and down stairs and is hopping about, he will play with toys and the crate came down two days ago. So I guess that’s all good news.

The bad news. JJ has been extremely anxious. To the point where if we move too quickly or he senses someone or something near him he will freak out and growl and hiss. He seems to be in a constant state of fear. The only time he seems to forget the fear is when playing. So I try to initiate play as much as I can. This fear is usually shown through a growl and a hiss. He’s done it to me, my partner and today my daughter….. today she tried to kiss him! We have warned her not to as JJ is very temptamental right now and we are always telling her not to stick her face too close to him but she ignored us (this has happened before he was a tripawd). Upon trying to kiss him and he flipped and scratched her nose. I don’t blame JJ in any way, she made him he scared and he defended himself (he didn’t know she just wanted to kiss him). She was upset but not because of what he did but because she realised it was a stupid thing to do.

We are learning how to approach him so he feels less anxious. Get low to his level and approach slowly. No sudden movements. Stay away from the stairs if he’s going up or down.

Then there’s Pixel. I’ve now witnessed two very big fights between them. We have had to pull them apart and it wasn’t pretty, fur flying and JJ terrified. Each time I’ve had to pull Pixel off him. Generally they are ok, but when Pixel decides it’s playtime JJ doesn’t think it’s play and it all escalates. We try to prevent as many of these as we can but it’s hard unless you sit with them both constantly. Pixel is missing his playmate and I feel bad for him too as he doesn’t understand. He’s getting lots of love and attention from us.

So for anxiety I’m trying Feliway already (no impact) now also  Zylekene. So far after 3 days of using, there has been no change in his axiety levels. I’m trying everything I can think of. I’m scared he will never be confident again and we will have a grumpy, terrified, sad boy forever. It breaks my heart to see him like this. I keep trying to tell myself it’s early days but I can’t help thinking he will never bounce back. I’m miserable seeing him so sad. Luckily for me he seems least anxious around me, so it’s nice to know I make him feel safe.

I feel like this is all doom and gloom. It’s not, every day the are good and bad moments. I just don’t feel like we are making much progress. Maybe I’m just expecting too much, too soon.

Does anyone know anything else anxiety product wise I can try? What adjustments could I make to help him feel safe? Has anyone else had this and got a better place? I need some light at the end of the tunnel.

JJ enjoying some sunshine.

Day 13 – No Meds!

Just a quick update. JJ has been doing really well. We reduced his dosage of medication and today have tried him without any. So far, so good! He has been up and about, playing and showing a keen interest in the door. I think he’s almost ready to venture out. We may try him for a short while tomorrow. I’m just worried about the stairs as we have no way to block them off.

JJ is still very anxious around Pixel but there has been less hissing and more just a shouting warning. We are just supervising there contact whilst trying to stand back and only jump in if fighting occurs ( so far this hasn’t happened). At the moment a growl from JJ results in Puxel backing away. He has even rolled onto his belly in submission to JJ.



Day 10 – stitches out!

Overall today has been a really good day.

JJ got his stitches out and behaved like an angel! He didn’t move an inch whilst the vet took out all his stitches! What a good boy. She said that his scar is healing perfectly and looks really good. See…

JJ has been out of his crate for most of the day and has engaged in quite a few play sessions. He’s given Pixel a lot of telling off. Poor Pixy doesn’t understand why he keeps getting shouted at.

He’s still on his pain medication but is managing well on a half dose which shows he is making good progress.

Day 8/9 – very quiet

So today was JJ’s first full day without his strong medication. It didn’t go well. Yesterday as his strong medication wore off, he seemed a little quiet, but other than this was ok in himself but today there was a BIG change. He went from eating, drinking, using litter box, grooming, playing, coming out of his crate for short bursts to motionless and cruled up in a ball. He wasn’t crying in pain, it was worse, it was like he had given up… didn’t lift his head when we called him name, refused food and just did not want to move. He let Dan pick him up and just stayed rigid. This was not our JJ, it was certain something wasn’t right.

I remembered the pain scorer that Purrkins sent to me and this kind of behaviour is like the worst pain score. Now I’m not certain he was in quite that much pain but he certainly was in some discomfort.

So I called my vet to see if I could get some pain meds, even if it was just to tide him over until tomorrow when he is due to have his stitches out. The vet was too busy today, all appointments where fully booked and he couldn’t issue JJ strong pain killers (I’m not sure why, it sounded like he didn’t have authority to which seemed odd). He suggested I call the hospital which did the operation and said they may have something stronger in their armoury to give him. This wasn’t my first call as it’s a big trip away and I wanted to avoid the pot of having to drag JJ all this way to be assessed. So I called, expecting little to no help after the last time I tried. This time it was a whole different story. I spoke to the receptionist and she reissued the meds immediately and said they would be ready to pick up tomorrow. I questioned if I could get it sooner and she said call back later today.

So I waited and called at 5:30. They were ready so I made the trip over there after work and got them. I gave it to JJ as soon as I was home and within 30 mins… he was bright, alert, eating, wanting chin tickles and even wanting to play! He is like a different cat! So my instincts seem to have been right, he must have been in pain. He has been a bit wild. I thought I would take off his baby vest to let him have a bit of time free. He immediately started licking so I moved my hand to get his attention and move his head away from the area… OH MY GOD… he proper shouted at me… so much so I jumped out of my skin! He growled, hissed, swiped and screeched all at the same time. So I quickly just put his vest on and backed away. He headed back to his crate where he has now settled back down to eat.

Pixel has been a bit of a nightmare… he keeps getting close to JJ and as soon as he is anywhere close, JJ kicks off. So we then take Pixel away. Pixel then sits at the door and crus and crys to be let in, he has brought a pile of about 5 toys and placed them in front of the door (like presents so that we let him in). He has been jumping at the handle. Each and every time.. we feel bad, so cave and let him back in but then he goes straight to JJ and it all starts again! I’m hopeful JJ calms down now that he shouldn’t be in pain. I don’t want to even think about the fact they could now permanently hate each other.

We will see the vet in the morning to find out if this is normal and get JJ checked over in case there is potentially something else going on.

Thats it for now!

Day 7 – No buprenorphine

Just a really quick post today as I’m back at work. Today was the day JJ ran out of buprenorphine. He had, had his last dose at 7am… I call it a dose it was the tiniest dribble out of the bottle that was left, 0.1ml

We decided to see how JJ went on, as his episodes of crazy have been reducing. So to our amazement JJ had another really good day and this was without the buprenorphine. He has been far more alert.. obviously and has pottered around the bedroom all day. The only cries … when Pixel (who is getting bored/impatient now and just wants his playmate back) got too close. They were like warning shouts, not pain. These were the kind he did before the op during normal play.

I cannot tell you how good it has been to see him make progress today. His firsts for today:

– Thought it was a good idea to consider pounce attacking Pixel (he stopped before he got there, but the intention was there (it was nice to see a spark of the old JJ … he is still in there.. YAY)

– Shouted at me for a belly tickle and stretched out wanting attention

– Stretched/Scratched claws on carpet (I wasn’t sure he’d be able to do this anymore with one paw)…. it was one of his favourite things to do (ruin my carpet 🙂 ).

– Played with his feather waggler toy. Not at same intensity level by any stretch of imagination but just to see him grab it and have a little chew was so good.

– Shouted to be let out of the bedroom… we politely declined this request and too many dangers lurk … stairs! But good to see he was ready! Maybe a few more days until we tackle those JJ.

So…. maybe my gut was wrong? Maybe it was the buprenorphine making him crazy? No call to the vet required. He is still under constant supervision, my partner is home with him while I work. So if this situation changes any I will call the vet but for now everything is GOOD!