Skippy’s Story

Last Fall, about six months into the 2020 pandemic, I found myself telecommuting for work, and really feeling the emptiness of being at home.  We had lost our family dog earlier that Spring, and so I reached out to several local animal rescue agencies and signed up to be a cat foster.  During the course of my volunteer work, I met the amazing Skippy!

Skippy came to a local rescue agency with a broken pelvis and severe nerve damage, and it was decided that an amputation was his only option.  He was only 9 months old at the time, and his kind and loving demeanor won over everyone that he met.  The amazing veterinarian who performed his surgery relayed to me the overwhelming emotion she felt at taking his leg, and how when he awoke from surgery, he put his paws around her neck and hugged her and purred his gratitude.  On some deep level, I truly believe this amazing cat knew that she was saving his life.  After surgery, he stayed with a phenomenal medical cat caregiver, who would become a dear friend to our family and especially to Skippy.

Skippy's X-Ray of his Broken Pelvis
Skippy’s X-Ray of his Broken Pelvis
Six Weeks After Amputation

I pretty much knew I wanted to adopt Skippy from the first moment I met him, when he wobbled over to the crate door at the rescue vet’s office and lovingly “booped” me through the woven metal door.  My heart melted, and there was pretty much no going back from there.  Approximately 60 days post amputation, he was cleared for adoption, and he officially became a member of our family.  I was so nervous at first, and worried about his limitations and his safety, but he quickly proved to me that he was a normal rambunctious kitten, who just happened to have three legs.  He never let it slow him down, not for one single moment.

Happy at Play!

The New Normal – Ten Week Check up after Remaining FHO Leg Surgery

Life with Skippy has evolved into a new wonderful state of normal, following FHO surgery on his remaining hind leg.  This past Fall, there were many days when I didn’t think he would ever recover from his injury – an unexpected broken femoral head that we still can’t find a cause for.  Here we are though, just a few weeks until Christmas and I get so excited when I see him knocking all the shoes off the shoe rack, or attacking the bell on my favorite Christmas throw pillow.  His happy and playful personality has returned in spades, and it’s the best gift we could ask for.

Enjoying Time on the Sofa and Especially the Christmas Decorations!











Physically, Skippy is bearing weight on his leg about 30% of the time, which is a huge improvement from just a few weeks ago.  Our wood floors make it far too easy for him to quickly slide around on his bottom, and I suspect that if we had wall-to-wall carpeting, he would probably be walking a lot more by now.  I’ll take what I can get though – he is happy and pain free, and that’s amazing.

We are still getting weekly laser treatments, and after two months on the waiting list for a local veterinary acupuncture clinic, our appointment is now only a week away.  I hear amazing things about acupuncture, so I’m really excited to see how it helps him.  Currently, he still can’t push himself up onto the furniture at all, so he requires a boost to reach his favorite bird watching window sills.  (Which we are beyond happy to do).  After a week of supervised stair therapy, he can now easily and safely walk up the carpeted stairs, and is able to zip down them at his former record speed.  So now he has both floors of our home to explore again, and I was honestly really excited when after months, Skippy came up to our room to wake me up at 5am for his breakfast.  Ironic that something I used to grumble about now gives me cause for celebration.

Finally Climbing the Stairs

Last week we had a medical visit for vaccinations, and saw a different veterinarian this time.  She agreed with the most recent assessment that the femoral head looked rather rough, but unlike the other vet, she was 100% confident that the bone would remodel.  She said that if we were to take x-rays again today, they would already look totally different than the ones from four weeks ago.  She encouraged us to let him climb furniture and jump down independently, to encourage more bone remodeling.  She didn’t seem to think a second surgery would be a consideration, and her positive outlook reinforced my opinion that x-rays are highly subjective and two vets can look at the same image and provide two different assessments about it.

Tabletop Christmas Tree Gazing

So that’s all for now!  I’m keeping my fingers crossed for more improvement after our acupuncture treatments begin, and hoping the Christmas tree won’t be the thing he decides to start climbing on.

Happy Holidays from our family to yours!