If there is one thing a well-adjusted kitten isn’t short on, it is energy and enthusiasm. Throw together nine in the same room, and you have a recipe for excitement. Lucky, who started out as a rather shy little kitten, has turned into quite the thrill seeker! Apparently, this past weekend, Lucky’s thrill seeking went just a touch too far…
We’re still not certain what happened. Perhaps one of his flying leaps off the edge of the bathtub went horribly wrong. Maybe it was one of his spring-loaded jumps of doom at a litter mate that caused the issue. Whatever the cause, Lucky suddenly found himself unable to put weight on his front legs…
We had our first clue of trouble when, after putting down the food dish, we noticed that Lucky stayed sitting on the blanket. Since he is quite the eater, we instantly knew something was up. I picked him up and placed him gently near the food dish. His front legs began to shake, and he simply laid down. Uh oh!
We picked him up again, but this time we gently felt his front legs. He meowed loudly and began to shake. Did he break his legs somehow? All we could tell was he was in a lot of pain, which is generally something cats don’t like to express. We fed him by hand and got some water in him.
Dealing with common bumps and bruises is something we can handle, but this injury appeared way out of our league. Time for a vet visit.
The vet carefully examined Lucky’s legs. Since he was clearly in a lot of discomfort, an x-ray was in order. Ten minutes later, we got the news: the x-rays did not reveal any fractures! It appeared to be a soft tissue injury. In other words, he somehow managed to sprain his legs. An injection of pain killers and anti-inflammatory medication was given, and we were instructed to keep him calm for several days. The shot, we were told, would make him feel a lot better and there was a risk he would injure himself further if allowed to be too active.
Keep a kitten calm and inactive? If Lucky was prone to being calm and inactive, he wouldn’t have gotten himself into this situation in the first place! Isolation in a carrier for a few days was the only answer. Even then, it wasn’t a sure bet.
We prepared a carrier for Lucky. A soft towel. A small litter box in the back. A water bowl in the front. That would be his home for the next few days. We planned on keeping him there until Wednesday or Thursday, which would hopefully be enough time for his legs to heal. We put him in, and he settled down for sleep almost immediately.
The following day, Lucky was clearly feeling much better. Too much better, as he tried to hold onto the carrier when I took him out for food. I prepared the food for all the kittens, but let Lucky have a shot at it first without letting the other kittens out. This worked well, at least from the perspective of Lucky. Without eight other kittens all jockeying for position, he was able to stay in one spot and didn’t have to shove anyone out of the way.
If you asked the other kittens how this arrangement worked, however, I think you would get a different story. As soon as I open the first can of food, the kittens start meowing. Since they can see under the bathroom door, you can imagine what effect seeing Lucky sitting at the food tray by himself caused! Actually, you don’t need to imagine for very long… next time, I’ll have a picture and some video you simply can’t miss!
So how is Lucky now? By Tuesday night, Lucky was fed up with being locked in the carrier by himself. After he spilled his water bowl all over himself, his blanket and his little litter box, I figured he was well enough to go back with the rest of the gang. He’s doing great now, and there is no longer any sign of discomfort.
As for keeping Lucky calm… I’ve confiscated his batman outfit, and I’m no longer allowing any of them to receive mysterious shipments from “ACME Corporation“…