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Nockmarr, Tripedal Boy

Beautiful boy whose leg hath forsaken him

This week

Filed under: Uncategorized — nockmarr at 11:54 pm on Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Hello again!

It’s been one week since Nockmarr’s surgery. Things are much calmer now. I think the pain has subsided quite a bit for Nockmarr. I realize I am a faceless, nameless talking blog so to introduce myself, here is a picture with me (my name is Laura) and Nockmarr together, a few years ago. Everyday I would give him a big hug when I came home from work and he seemed to enjoy it as much as I did. Now I work from home, which has been particularly helpful with this recovery process. I’m sure I would spend more time worrying about him if I couldn’t be here with him.

To give a quick timeline of how this process has been:

Tuesday, 9th June:

Nockmarr went in for surgery in the early morning. I made sure to fast him the night before. I didn’t hear back for many hours and was anxious the whole time.

When the vet office called me, they said he would not be ready to come home for a while. The staff found him particularly hard to work with as he was fractious. They had to sedate him to handle him. He also seemed to be in a lot more pain than usual for this procedure. The vet told me that Nockmarr would need to spend the night in care. But because the office was only open during business hours, I would need to take him to the emergency vet for overnight monitoring. When I picked him up to drive him to the emergency vet I couldn’t see him well in the carrier. I was careful to not bump it around too much to keep him as steady as possible. He was growling, which is so unusual for him.

Wednesday, 10th June:

That night and on Wednesday morning I checked in with the emergency vet to see how Nockmarr was doing. They were also finding him hard to work with. They said he would scream in pain and growl. It wasn’t until late in the afternoon that he seemed to be calming down. His blood pressure and temperature were low, however, so he was given fluids and warmed up until his temperature stabilized. Finally, I received the call that I could pick him up. The total cost between the surgery at one vet office and the overnight monitoring at the emergency vet was ~$3200. I mention that to prepare those who may be facing this for the sticker shock. My boy had further complications than your pet may, however, and I am sure the pricing varies over different vets, animals, and locations.

Pain Medication:

Nockmarr came home that night with a fentanyl patch on his left hindpaw. We received gabapentin and onsior as well. The onsior was a 3 day treament. The first dose was given at the vet after Nockmarr’s surgery. We gave the 2nd dose on the night we got him home. The aftercare instructions said to give the gabapentin after the fentanyl patch was removed in 4 days.

When Nockmarr arrived home, however, it was very difficult. He was growling in the carrier but stopped when he realized he was with us. Periodically, he would yowl in pain and try to attack his incision site. We’d have to hold him down from the violent jumping and abrupt behavior he would show to protect him from hurting himself. It was such a horrible sound I thought the neighbours would think we were torturing a cat. Our kitten, Frodo, was very concerned for Nockmarr, but we kept her separated per the aftercare instructions.

As I may have mentioned in the previous post, Nockmarr finally started to calm down as my boyfriend gave him Temptations. If you are unfamiliar, Temptations are one of the most prominent cat treats available in the US. I believe they are available overseas as well but they may be marketed under a different brand name.  Both of our cats are huge fans. This is not a paid promotion, I just never knew such treat snobs. These cats will not touch any other treat.

Even though he was calming, he would still go through bouts of growling at his wound and trying to attack it. We were so worried we called the vet to ask if we could give Nockmarr the gabapentin on top of the other drugs he already had. They approved.

Throughout the night, I watched Nockmarr, holding him down when he’d try to attack his wound. When it came time for bed, my boyfriend took over. We currently have almost opposite sleep schedules, which has been helpful to keep watch on Nockmarr and to administer the gabapentin which was on an 8 hour schedule.

Thursday, 11th June:

Thursday is a blur. That may be when I put up the last post. Nockmarr was still in a fair bit of pain. He was pacing in a regular pattern of his favorite laying spots. It was good to see him getting the hang of walking on 3 legs, though the e-collar added an extra challenge.

Thursday and Friday we spent trying to get his drinking, peeing, and pooping down. At first we had to squirt a little water in his mouth periodically because he would not drink on his own. His appetite seemed fine, however. He also didn’t poop or pee for the whole day I think. Maybe due to a drugged up confusion, he kept trying to walk to where his litter used to be in the other room, even though we had a special handicat-access litter set up just for him in his isolation room. Eventually our delightful little potato, Frodo, came in and pooped in the box, smelling up the entire room. Nockmarr’s a cleanly boy, so he soon after went in to bury her poop and he used the box himself while he was there. Success!

Saturday, Sunday, What day? I don’t know?

The recovery has been incremental, and we have seen progress steadily along the way. We took off the fentanyl patch on Sunday and now we are just using the gabapentin. We are giving it every 12 hours or so. It’s doing the trick, it seems. Every once in a while he seems to have a phantom pain. But it is not very often. Our challenge now is to let the boy relax and feel like a cat, while still protecting his incision site and stitches. I let him out of the cone periodically to let him groom himself. I watch to make sure he doesn’t lick his site. We also are not allowing him to jump. There was an incident today, however.

He’s been really sad to be stuck in this one room. He sits by the door waiting for it to open. At one point today he managed to get out. My boyfriend and I went out to find where he went. We found him laying happily on the couch. He just wanted his old spots back, I guess.

In other news, the vet called me with the results from pathology. His cancer was spindle cell sarcoma. It had been growing into his bone. How painful! The vet said there does not seem to be any indication that the cancer metastasized. I am so thankful. As bad as I felt to remove his beautiful leg, I am glad we got ahead of the cancer. Hopefully this will allow him to have a long, happy life.

Nockmarr’s story

Filed under: Uncategorized — nockmarr at 2:54 am on Saturday, June 13, 2020

I adopted Nockmarr at the Humane Society in 2016. This long, slinky boy was instantly charming. He’s been a sweetheart as long as I have known him. Here are a couple of my favorite pictures of him:

At this time we were fostering a group of 3 kittens. Nockmarr hid in the sink to escape the terrible tots. One of them ended up being a foster fail and became his little sister, Frodo.

My happy Christmas boy. Nockmarr has a magical ability to be super slinky and long, or squat and compact. He’s made of liquid. His face can also appear very harsh and intimidating, or as soft as an adorable teddy bear. I have so many pictures of him but I’ll spare you a giant photo dump.

Nockmarr is 7 years old this year. In April, I noticed a small swelling on his right foot. We made an appointment with the vet. At that point they were not sure what it was. They took a small needle aspirate and a blood sample, then we scheduled an x-ray. The first x-ray was inconclusive so we were told to just monitor the swelling and schedule another x-ray if there was any progression. The swelling began to grow and we noticed Nockmarr developed a slight limp. So after another x-ray and a consultation with a 2nd vet we were told an amputation was the best option.

It’s been a whirlwind since 3 days ago when he got his surgery. It feels like more than 3 days. I will make another post outlining the events over the course of the last few days, from the day of surgery and the ongoing recovery process. In the meanwhile, here are a couple pictures of the boy on his first night home from the vet:


It’s surgery day

Filed under: Uncategorized — nockmarr at 5:18 am on Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Yesterday we took the cats outside and enjoyed the sunshine, knowing it was Nockmarr’s last day with four legs. I’ve been sad and scared. He is staying overnight at the hospital for recovery and pain management. I am worried and miss him. I saw him briefly while transporting him from the vet office to the emergency vet, since the office would not have anyone available to monitor him overnight. He was heavily drugged in his carrier and I did not want to scare him further. He growled when the carrier was moved. It’s surely been an incredibly hard day for him.

Because of the pandemic, only dropoffs are available at the vet offices. So throughout the entire span of us finding the lump in his foot and today, the day of amputation, I have not been able to accompany him on any of his many vet visits. He’s sick to the teeth of the appointments and the pill regimen. I’m sorry, my poor boy, but it’s going to be like this for a while. I hope to put more information in a later post. I spent a good while setting up this account and the blog, so it’s taken me right up to bedtime. I’m used to Nockmarr sitting by my side on the calm evenings like this. We have a good routine in place. I can only hope we can be back to it soon and he will feel better. I love this good boy.