Coffee Share and Cat Care

LeCoffee-1If we were having coffee, I might not be in the best mood. I would still welcome you into my home. And serve up your chosen beverage. Hot or iced?

You’d know from the bags under my eyes and the fact that I’m not serving fresh baked anything, that something is very wrong.

The news pours out of me, sometimes with a tear or two.

It all started about two weeks ago. My family was coming back at about 9 pm after hiking all day. My husband’s extremely old (17 years) cat ran out the front door as we were struggling (with water bottles, dusty boots and backpacks) to come in the front door. We have a space in the center of our circular drive packed with dogwoods, camellias and azaleas and he ran right into the thickest part of it. We suspected he just wanted to cool off after being stuck in a stuffy house and since we couldn’t see much, we decided to grab some flashlights before mounting a search party.

He was only outside for about ten minutes.
The next door neighbor screamed!
A car swerved into the gravel along side of the road by her house and stopped.
Our cat was lying in the road.

He survived the car accident, but with a broken scapula, broken ribs and some damage to his spine. Surgery to fix his spine (costing tens of thousands of dollars) might have killed him anyway. Instead, the vet ordered caged rest for 6 weeks. The hope is the spine will recover once the swelling goes down.

I don’t know if you have ever cared for an injured animal, but it is not easy. The first day he bit my husband, his favorite person in the world. Needless to say, I have been very careful to keep the kids out of his way when the pain is making him truly grumpy.

My days (and nights) are set by the schedule of cat nursing care. Giving him water with an eye dropper and feeding him food in tiny bites from a spoon as often as I can talk him into eating it. We also need to get up a few times a night to help him use a litter box. Or, if we didn’t move fast enough, to change his soaked bedding.

He also needs physical therapy several times a day. We need to move his limbs gently, and to help support him so he can sit up for a little while each day. We need to gently tap his tail and back legs so he will keep trying to move them and they don’t atrophy.

I’m happy to report he is doing much better. He’s moving his tail very well and his back legs are starting to support his weight. He sort of walks a few steps now, but it looks scary. He wobbles back and forth with his legs spread wide apart for balance. We have to bend over and hold our hands next to his body so he will not tumble over and hurt himself. When his strength runs out, we also need to lower him gently to the ground. He is not out of the woods yet; spines in cats are tricky and prone to re-injury, but we have hope.

The upside of all this home time is the kids and I have been spending a lot of time together. We are doing crafts, fun projects and playing board games.

Our first fun discovery was Google Camp. I can highly recommended this site for kids who enjoy learning about science topics. The videos and home DIY projects are amazing.

Tabletop-Castle-PanicAs a parent, I can’t say enough good things about cooperative board games. We love one called Castle Panic. We discovered this game on Wil Wheaton’s show Tabletop about two years ago. It has since become one of our favorite games. It’s also easy for my boys to refresh the game by adding their own homemade monster and weapon cards. My kids love to make their own games. Castle Panic is a lot of fun, so I would invite you to play a quick game.

If we were having coffee, I would send you home early. It would be time for more cat care. But I would promise to invite you back real soon.

coffee2

 

If We Were Having Coffee is a blog hop inspired and run by the lovely and talented Diana at Part Time Monster. Please drop by her place for coffee. You can also see what other bloggers are up to by checking out the hashtag #WeekendCoffeeShare on Twitter.

Author: Robin Rivera

Robin trained as a professional historian and worked as a museum curator, an educator and historical consultant. She writes dark young adult fiction, with diverse characters. She's currently querying a novel, and working on two new manuscripts that started off as NaNoWriMo projects. You can follow her on Facebook(https://www.facebook.com/robin.rivera.90813) or on Twitter @robinrwrites. However, Pinterest (https://www.pinterest.com/RRWrites/) is where her inner magpie is happiest of all.

26 thoughts on “Coffee Share and Cat Care”

  1. I am sorry to hear about your car, I do hope that he’ll be better soon, because it does not seem to be a great situation for you or him…
    Oh a family that plays together, that is so great. Neither of my parents were interested in playing board or card games with us, and just with my sister wasn’t as much fun as it could have been if we would have been 4 to play.

    1. Thank you, Sabina! He had a checkup today and things are looking up. Lots of response in his tail and back legs. : )

    1. Thanks, Hannah! Yes, everyday he seems a bit stronger. I’m very hopeful at this stage that he will make a good recovery.

    1. Thanks, Serins!
      You are so right, seeing and hearing them cry in pain is the worst feeling. And you have no idea what is bothering them. It’s like having a newborn again. I just start doing one of everything (water, food, potty, cuddle, sleep, and start from the beginning again with water) until something works. : ( But it is getting better. Now when I pick him up and put him into the litter box he doesn’t cry or growl at me. Clearly some major improvement!

    1. Thanks, Diane.
      I think things are looking better every day. He has started to protest his confinement in the cat carrier and the vet said that is a good sign in cats. Their natural instinct is to hide in a small dark spaces when badly hurt. That’s so predators can’t find them. One good thing of all this stay at home time, I’m catching up on my reading. I had a huge stack of ARCs to read and review. Now that pile is shrinking. : )

  2. OH no! I am so sorry! My cat was like a child to me. A small, furry one, but still. I am sending good thoughts your way. Along with some healing vibes for your cat. I truly hope he gets heals soon. <3

    1. Hi Sarah,
      I know what you mean. My cats are so much part of my family, they really are my furry kids. All the healing vibes are much appreciated. Thanks!

  3. Sending so many healing vibes to your cat and hugs to your family… I can’t even imagine how hard that must be for you all…
    If we were having coffee I’d offer to cook up some sort of yummy baked good and let you just sit and rest for a bit, sounds like you need it!

    1. Thanks, Allison! My husband decided I was starting to look a little ragged and I needed a break too. Yesterday he sent me off to a writer’s meetup. It was so nice to get out of the house for a few hours. And since I was up at 1am and again at 5am with my furry charge, the family let me sleep in this morning until 10:30. And they had a bagel and coffee ready when I woke up. It was heaven! I feel recharged and ready to handle another week of nursing care. Turns out a little TLC for the caregiver is very important too. : )

  4. I’m so sorry, Robin. I know how hard it is taking care of an injured animal. I’ve taken care of plenty over the years, and it’s exhausting, both mentally and physically. Years ago, my Sheppard got hit by a Mack truck. I thought for sure she was dead. Thankfully, she wasn’t, but she broke her pelvis. Six weeks of nightmare nursing ensued, but she made a full recovery. As I’m sure your kitty will too. Sending hugs your way. As they say, this too shall pass. Don’t you hate phrases like that when your world’s tipped upside-down?

    1. Oh, Sue, your poor pup. : ( I can’t even imagine a dog surviving a Mack truck hitting them. Or doing this kind of care for a great big dog. You would have to carry them outside so many times a day. At least my cat is under 10 pounds, it makes it much easier. Our vet said this happens all the time, it’s all about angle of impact. If the car hits them just right (and isn’t going too fast) the pets can often recover from even grave injuries. Still, it’s going to be a long process. They said we should count on at least 6 weeks, if not longer.

  5. Sending hugs. What a nightmare—first the pain and panic of his accident, then the work and worry of his care and rehab. Don’t worry about the coffee 😉 Anybody who visits you should make their own, as well as bringing you cake, flowers, and ordering you to bed for an hour. You and your husband are in effect caring for a new-born. It’s the least any caring visitor could do!
    PS: thanks for the mention of Google Camp. My sister is home-schooling her children, and it sounds just the thing for them all.

    1. Thanks, Christina! Everyone has been so nice. Really feeling the love and support.
      Please have your sister check out my post next Wednesday (7/29) if she liked Goggle Camp I have something even more fun to tell her about. Homeschooling moms need to support each other when they can. : )

  6. Cats are sneaky – we have coyotes so our inside-outside cat has to be inside after 6 PM. Ive been led on a merry chase with a flashlight several times when he escaped. Wish I were local so I could help you with your caring burden, but nice that there is some improvement.

    1. Noelle,
      You are always so nice! It makes me feel so much better to know I’m not the only one to have lost one of my feline children into the night. I’m with you, cats need to be in at night. I would rather they be inside all the time, but the cats have other ideas. Sneaky is the right word for them. Loved your new post, blackberry clearing and encounters with poison oak are two things I can relate too. However, I’m happy to report we don’t have brush burning in this area. : )

  7. That game looks really interesting—and sounds fun!

    I’m so sorry to hear about the kitty! That sounds like a rough go of it for everyone involved. Glad he seems to be feeling a bit better, though, and wishes for a fast and as-painless-as-can-be recovery.

    1. Thanks, Diana.
      You need to get Castle Panic. Little Jedi and his friends will love it. : ) It’s been hard. And I could use more sleep, but he’s part of the family. Getting him well is top priority.

  8. I am truly sorry to hear the news about your cat. I’m sending positive thoughts your way and I hope he fully recovers soon. He definitely has the necessary love to recover and it’s all that matters.

    1. Thanks, you are so sweet for saying that. : ) I’ve been beating myself up about him getting out in the first place, but cats are so darn fast! It’s still a long haul, but I’m hopeful he can make a good recovery.

      1. I am literally fighting to keep mine from escaping my flat. She was a stray and she is currently finding the life of an indoor cat slightly difficult. She is getting used to it I hope but yes they are fast and cunning and unless I think ahead and operate with doubly closed doors, she will escape. Don’t blame yourself, it’s impossible to think of everything even when you have just the one cat to handle only. You are juggling an entire family (with the cat being part of the family of course). He will recover, I am certain of it.

We love comments and questions.