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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 7 – No buprenorphine

April 11th, 2017 · 3 Comments · Uncategorized

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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!

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Day 6 – meds running out

April 9th, 2017 · 3 Comments · Uncategorized

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Today has been very much the same as yesterday. Very little change. JJ has been up and about – out of his crate for the most part of the day. Relaxing and enjoying the sunshine. He hasn’t moved a lot but he has moved a few feet between his crate, the sunshine and his litter box.

The major worry is- his strong pain killer buprenorphine has started to run out. We decided to cut the dosage in half starting last night to make it last a bit longer and also so he doesn’t all of a sudden go without. This has meant JJ has been much more alert than he was but also has cried quite a few times in pain. At one point he had got himself laid in such a way that he was laid on his scare. He couldn’t get himself back up and was crying. This was definitely pain related. He is clearly still in pain as the reduced dosage has resulted in JJ being much more grumpy and he has growled For no apparent reason too. He will get his final, but half dosage of the meds tomorrow.

I am a little worried that this will leave JJ in pain as the metacam is also due to run out (not that seems to help his pain anyway). Has anyone used buprenorphine for longer than 5 days? If so how long did you use this? Was the vet happy to continue with additional pain meds or is this likely to cause long term issues if used for longer than this amount of time?

Im going to see how he is by tomorrow afternoon and then speak to my vet. I just worry as my vet was the one who told me that JJ was not in pain…. I don’t believe this for one second so I’m ready to fight his corner but want to know if having this drug for longer than 5 days is acceptable and won’t have a long term impact on him. If it is, is there anything not as strong other than metacam they can give? Advice here would be greatly appreciated. If I can go armed with facts then hopefully I can come away with pain relief for him.


Day 5 – The Great Escape

April 8th, 2017 · 1 Comment · Uncategorized

JJ finally settled down this morning at about 5:30am. So I got to sleep by about 6am and got a couple of hours sleep.

When we all got up at 8am JJ seemed grumpy but ok. He was growling in his cage every now and again. I had to take my daughter over to my parents as she’s gone away for a weeks holidays so JJ was left with Dan my other half for a few hours. Whilst I was gone JJ was well behaved and did some sunbathing. I have photos but they are too large to upload 🙁 …. I might have solved it…

He has been out of his cage most of the day lounging in the sun until he retreated to use his litter. We settled down to watch some tv with the crate open and the Pixel started crying at the door. I opened it and let him in and sat back down. I then realised… the door was open about an inch. Before I could get up and around to the door, JJ was out of his crate, through the door and across the landing heading for the stairs. I panicked as the stairs were not blocked off. I knew chasing after him would result in him panicking and shooting/falling/rolling down the stairs. So I stopped and talked to him. He headed down 3 steps. Thankfully he stopped there. I think he realised he was attempting a bit too much! He then came back up, straight past me, into the bathroom and up the step and into his high sided litter tray! So part of me was in panicking mode thinking I need to get him back where he is safe and the other part of me was jumping up and down inside thinking WAY TO GO JJ! He was just as fast as he was before, he did steps too. So amazed!

He lay down in this litter box too, after using it and refused to look at me, hiding his head below the edge of it. He knew he was in trouble! 🙂 I didn’t want to scare him so we ended up having to pick up the massive litter tray with JJ inside and carry it back to our room! It was funny.

After all the adventure JJ went back to bed, after some dinner and pain killers. Oh yeah he did all of this running without a single episode, growl or anything and he was almost due pain meds! It was just like 4 legged JJ in the most part! I’m so excited and pleased.

I know he has a long way to go but this was a glimpse of my JJ on his way back! So pleased I can claim today as a high. There’s still all night to go but I refuse to let anything spoilt this moment!

So today so far ZERO episodes of crazy jumping and screeching and just a lot of grumpy growling this morning. Maybe the heat of the sun helped, I don’t know, but wow, whatever it was I hope it continues. Maybe less escaping as I don’t think my nerves can take it just yet!




Day 4

April 8th, 2017 · 8 Comments · Uncategorized

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.



Day 4 – 4am Rollercoaster

April 7th, 2017 · 10 Comments · Uncategorized

Yes it’s 4am here but I am so excited and had to tell you all. JJ got out of bed, first to use his litter tray, then he promptly just lay down in it. This is where I have been helping him out, he cried for me so I just opened his crate and lay beside him for moral support. I have set off a couple of his weird ‘episodes’ where he falls onto his back and cries in what looks like excruciating pain so I’ve decided to step back and let him figure stuff out whilst being there for support.

JJ given up after using his litter. Decided it was easier to sleep here than move one step to his bed. Heartbreaking to see.

What happened next made having no sleep totally worth it. JJ stood up in his tray and then just hopped out, past his bed (which I’d moved close by to try to get him out of the litter he was laying in)….and out of the crate and went to the door and cried for me to let his little pal Pixel in. He hopped about a bit more (really moved so well) and then decided he wanted to lay out on his big bed. I can’t explain how good it felt to see him do this. I am bursting with pride and also super relieved. Well done JJ!! You are my brave boy! You can do it!!

JJ having a well deserved rest after his little adventure.

So after the little victory I wrote this post as JJ rested on the bed. Shortly after finishing writing JJ decided it was time to go back to the safety of his crate. This is where the high becomes a low. As he stood up, he toppled over and this set off one of these attacks.  Following this JJ does not want to move an inch. I moved his bed to try to encourage him to get back in so I can get him to his crate where he feels safe without having to touch him. He got in but then wanted to jump over the side of it, it happened again. All joy of the previous 30 minutes lost in a sea of pain seeing him like that. I eventually got him back into his bed and carried it to his crate where he is now. Poor little guy.

It’s still another 3 hours until his pain killers are due so I don’t think pain is the reason, even though it does look like it’s pain mixed with frustration. I’m going to call the vet tomorrow (not my vet whom we saw yesterday but the hospital where he had his op) and see if it’s worth trying gabepentin or if they can suggest something else which might help. My vet seemed convinced it wasn’t pain related and that it was a bit of craziness related to the drugs. My gut says different. My gut says it looks like some kind of nerve pain. I’m not a vet but this seems like a sudden sharp pain which is gone as quickly as it started. That’s the kind of pain my partner gets from his nerve pain.