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JJ the Bengal cat's journey from 4 to 3

JJ developed a growth in his shoulder called Osteochondroma

JJ the Bengal cat's journey from 4 to 3

Day 4

April 8th, 2017 · 8 Comments · Uncategorized

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So after the ups and downs very early this morning today has been another rollercoaster. I’m in bed now feeling very disheartened. Today was a GOOD day … I think but overall I just feel really low about it, probably because of the last couple of hours. I thought maybe reflecting back might help me so here I am.

Today started ok, JJ was sleeping in his crate from about 5am until about 9:30. He ate his breakfast and had his meds and used the litter tray…. new development my little boy has worked out how to cover his litter! Way to go JJ! I was amazed as he didn’t seem to struggle at all. Following this though he went back to sleep… in his litter! This really bothers me as I can’t lift or move him out of there because it would set off an attack. I just try to make sure his stitches are covered and not touching it.

My daughter was back from her grans today so she was super pleased to see JJ. I decided that today I’d let him out of the crate if he wanted, still keeping him confined to the bedroom which is safe. I left the crate open and JJ came out walked about 8-10 hops to his barrel where he has a little hidey hole. He didn’t move for a few hours.

He tried to get out of there and for some reason (don’t know what if anything set it off) he flipped out. So gave up trying and went back to sleep looking very sorry for himself. He later when I left the room just to nip to the bathroom.. moved himself to his pillow where he remained for the rest of the day. 

The final up… JJ did his first intended poo! Woohoo! Enough said.

Following this though he went to sleep in his litter tray. It was terrible timing as his meds were due. So he needed meds and was struggling to get out of the litter tray. So I gave him the meds whilst he sat in there. He had another episode as he tried to manoeuvre out but this time it wasn’t as violent but he was clearly getting very angry. It was hard but I stepped back because there was nothing I could do. I can’t pick him up as it sets him off so I just had to wait for him to pluck up the courage. Eventually he did, he hopped out with no issue and went back to his crate.

He then decided it was bath time again. This part of his day stresses me out as I have to watch and make sure he doesn’t lick or chew his stitches. He was having a good try. He has the baby vest on but was trying his hardest to get around it. I took this picture because I was amazed how he was getting into this position! He is like a contortionist!

In the last 30 mins or so there have been multiple growls from him, I think it’s frustration. I’m sat away from him, he can’t see me, so I know he’s not mad with anyone but himself or the pain. This is heartbreaking. So this is why I feel so low. He seems so unhappy.

Further update on the vets. I called the other vet today (the hospital who did the surgery and who have witnessed his episodes). After having to speak to the receptionist who attempted to give me useless advice as she didn’t have a clue, I finally managed to get her to put me through to a vet. He was very nice but I didn’t manage to get him to agree to gabapentin. He said he would need to go and consult with his colleagues as he was unsure if this would be advisable. I told him I’d researched it on the net but he kinda dismissed me. Like “this crazy cat woman has been googling and thinks she knows better than me). Don’t get me wrong he was very encouraging and said I shouldn’t be worried as long as he is doing everything else and these things aren’t prolonged. He advised to just keep an eye on him over the weekend and to bring him in on Monday if he isn’t improving or sooner if things escalate. He said as he saw my vet yesterday and nothing has changed since i’d just end up leaving with a – he’s fine outcome. My own vet doesn’t think phantom limb is possible so soon and says he isn’t in pain and that it’s the meds making him crazy. So now I feel stuck. I don’t want to stop the pain meds, I’m too worried it will just make things worse.

I will certainly take him back on Monday – I hate doing it as the hospital is a long journey away so it adds additional stress to JJ which I don’t want. I’m also panicking as I can’t have anymore time off work with him so next week (don’t worry he won’t be left alone – my partner will be here). But it will be hard to get him to the vets during the day as my partner can’t do long journeys due to his back injury and I don’t think the specialists work evenings it’s the vets who don’t know about this kind of thing available. I can see I’m going to have to fight for this. I don’t want to go to yet another vet as I just don’t feel it’s the right thing to do. I think getting an appointment with the specialists who did his operation is the best course of action. This will be way more expensive, I know this should not be a factor he needs the best care but I’m really struggling after all the expense so far. Thank god for credit cards. It’s just a further worry I don’t need right now.

In all of this I’m mostly worried about the impact it could be having on JJ and his future temperament. What if I end up losing my lovely sweet, gentle kind boy to a grumpy, growling shell of his former self.

So now…. I’m taking deep breaths, telling myself he will get through this and that he will get better. Trying to focus on all the good things he did today.


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8 Comments so far ↓

  • dixiesaunt

    I’m a few days new to the webpage/blog and I just came across JJ. Gosh how heartbreaking to know you’re doing everything, but something isn’t right. I’m really sorry you’re little handsome guy is going through a hellish time and life is hectic. I need to go back and read about JJ, but just wanted to say hi and I’ll keep you guys in my prayers. Also great job on being his advocate and sharing your knowledge with the vet regardless of s/he thinks you’re out there haha. 🙂 It’s awesome when you research and find info that might lead you in a better direction. <3

    • mardybum13

      Hi and thank you. It is heartbreaking seeing him go through this but I keep trying to tell myself that this has been done because without it he would have died and this is his chance. Hopefully it will all work out. It’s just very scary for us and poor JJ.

  • otisandtess

    You are still really early in the recovery. Could be phantom pain, but it also could be the meds. Some animals react differently to pain meds. And, overall sounds like he is doing really well. Hooray for 💩! How high is the lip of your litter box? I know some kitty members cut their’s down to make entry and exit easier. Hang in there!

    • mardybum13


      It’s about an inch high, I repurposed an old jigsaw box lid as the one he usually uses is high sided. Its almost like it takes a huge effort to wee or that it’s such a relief that he just lies down and goes to sleep. I think this is drug related for sure. He’s doing much better so far today. He’s enjoying some sunshine!

      He is uber grumpy though, lots of growling, it seems more like frustration! He has shouted at poor Pixel and also himself a number of times but he’s not flipping out like he was. So I think this is a good sign? Maybe?!

  • charliebear

    Ditto Otis and Tess! This is very, very early in the recovery process. I, too, think it may be a reaction to the meds but also want to throw this thought out there. Bengals are notoriously active, right? So, and this is just a thought, maybe, just maybe, when JJ tries to move ( which in his pink elephant phase would be a bit impaired anyway) his brain is telling him one thing and his paws are telling him another and that is distressful to him. And to you! The fact that he is eating and peeing and pooing and relaxing in his litter box and sleeping and has you by his side is all EXCELLENT news. It is just very hard when you have a very active JJ to see him adjust. But he will get there! (It is not uncommon for cats to flail about when they are in a drug induced state. Generally, we don’t see this as we are not monitoring them as closely as we do after amputation. Most cats hide and sleep which makes it difficult to know what is going on.) And, yes, JJ is more than likely not quite yet himself: but he will be. He is just one majestic handsome fella who wants to get back to his active life. The first two- three weeks are miserable in general. You have done EVERYTHING right and cannot feel guilty about that! Maybe wait until Monday morning to see if he needs to go back to the vet? Huge hugs, best wishes, HANG IN THERE!!! And PyrPaws all around!

    • mardybum13

      Thank you for your support.

      Yes Bengals are very active and he is no exception, his favourite thing to do is climb up high which is strictly banned for now. So maybe he is just getting mad with himself. It doesn’t help that he has to watch Pixel doing all the things he loves but I can’t keep them separated. He is doing very well when he is moving about. I still can’t believe he nailed covering his litter with his remaining front leg so quickly! He is a clever boy! I can see all of the positive things he’s doing but they just fly out the window when I see him in pain. Touch wood today he seems a lot better. Think the unusual April sunshine we have in Leeds today has cheered him up.

  • purrkins

    Im glad to hear JJ had more ups then downs! Eating drinking and covering his litter are all huge accomplishments! We totally understand why you would get disheartened, when our animal is in pain or suffering it is terrible to watch!

    Im sorry the vet shunned you even if it was nicely! I would not want to take him in if you do not have to, because of the stress on JJ. It does sound like nerve pain! The attacks are classic to what you describe JJ is doing.

    The biggest concern if JJ is in pain whether it is nerve pain or other pain, is it will make his recovery go slower. Just like in humans. Here are a few links you might want to read.

    Is Your Dog or Cat in Pain? Here’s How to Know the Signs.

    If you’re not happy with your vet or how Monday goes.
    Get the help of a veterinary pain management specialist who understands how to treat phantom pain in dogs and cats. You can check this directory of vet pain management specialists if needed.

    Certified Veterinary Pain Practitioners

    The Vets are not all up on current pain protocols! We see it a lot with kitties unfortunately. Cats are masters at disguising pain so when they show us pain we can only imagine whats going on.
    Stay with your gut instincts and never be afraid to stand up for what you believe in ok! You are doing great so hang in there!

    JJ will be able to climb again have no doubts on that! I would suggest adding stairs for him to get down safely. You do want to protect his remaining 3 legs as best as you can. The one front leg will be taking a lot of weight now. Safer downs by boxes, stairs, moving furniture closer together all would be helpful. Purrkins uses his stairs and does great! I wanted him to do everything he used to do with 4 legs on 3 and he does with some assistance of his stairs.

    Hoping today is a even better day for JJ then it will be a better day for all !
    Holly & Purrkins

  • hester

    I might ask the vet to explain what there is to lose by trying the Gabapentin. It is a relatively safe drug – does not have risk of depressing respiratory system. If you tried it for two days and saw no improvement, then you could (and would) stop. But if you try it, and it really was pain and/or nerve pain / phantom pain, then you have relieved it and he stays on it for a while, more relaxed and better able to heal. If they themselves have had a limb removed, then I guess they can proclaim expertise on just when phantom limb pain shows up. And just because it “typically” shows up slightly later certainly does not mean it can’t show up earlier…


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