Freya and I have moved again. This time to a house that I bought, so no more moves for a while. Yay.
So, knowing we will be here for a while, I got my brother to make a bespoke window seat for her.
Design brief was low wide steps covered with carpet leading to a lounging platform at window height for her to loll in the sun. Upper platform based around her favourite pillow (with sides to stop the pillow sliding off)
The finished product, with model, below. The cat grass is optional of course. As are the toy dinosaurs LOL.
As an older (16 years) rear tripawd Freya needs fabric under her front claws to make her feel secure, as she can only do a short hop up. The width of the step is to let her pause and rest if she needs to (thinking further ahead to decreasing mobility).
So, it is nearly 7 and a half years since the amputation, and Freya is now 16 years old. And still going strong.
As per my last post, we moved house in January 2019 and we are about to embark on another journey to a new house. However, this is one I have bought, so it should be a pretty long term move.
Since the last post she and I have been through bushfires and we evacuated in late December 2019 to a ‘safer’ part of the Blue Mountains. For those watching the bushfire situation unfold from overseas, I live in the upper Blue Mountains in NSW and my village did come under direct fire attack, but no houses were lost – however 10 minutes up the road there were houses lost. The smoke, the ash and the oppressive swelter was overwhelming. And the loss of vegetation and wildlife was horrendous. I can’t think too much about it because it is still emotionally devastating. My village, like all Blue Mountains towns and villages, is located within a World Heritage Area and over 80% of that bushland was burnt.
We then got storms and flash flooding that saw the single train line over the Blue Mountains washed away in one part. In February 2020 it was quite ‘funny’ in that the train line was closed from Katoomba to Lithgow because of fire damage and from Katoomba to Springwood (the other direction) because of flash flooding.
And now, Covid -19. The plus side for me is spending time at home with Freya. The downside will be going to back to work and leaving her little furry face looking disappointed.
Freya is still Queen of her domain, although she is getting less able to get up without assistance. I just bought some pet stairs to try out, but the depth of the step is not good for her and she needs a wider landing than the normal steps. Lesson learnt there.
In the new house I will get someone to build a specific set of stairs and a seat for her to get up to and lounge in the sun (the new house is very sunny).
Hi allSo Freya turned 15 this month. And six of those with three legs. So she is an expert.
She is definitely on top of the world, or at least on top of her cat tree.
I thought I would share the latest arrangement of her cat tree and supporting tree furniture.
She still likes to get high – she is a cat. So to assist her as a rear leg amputee, I have a series of small fabric topped boxes and platforms for her. She needs to feel fabric under her claws to give her confidence.
Whenever we move, as we did three months ago, there is a period of intense negotiation with the cat tree set up. I will arrange a configuration and she will either approve or let me know I need to do better. A front paw will test the distance and fabric and if suitable she will hop up. If not suitable she will bring her paw down and look at you and that is your cue to try a different arrangement of heights.
This can take many days
But the takeaway message here is that she knows her limits. It took a little while in the beginning but she has a level of confidence and she adjusts that as she gets older. Just last month she decided that she now needs a box to get up to the bed and couch. And so a box at both those places there now is.
They let you know. And we adjust.
She was an older tripod to begin with and it is entirely possible that a younger rear tripod might not need as much support or structure, but this is what works with Freya.
So another year has passed and Freya is here to let you know that life is still good. Her leg was removed (cancer) back in December 2012 and it remains the right and best decision.
For those who are starting, or contemplating, a three-legged journey please read as much as possible on this site.
The moderators are brilliant and it was reading about Fang and Jill and other cats on their journey’s that helped me make my decision and gave me solace as I wrestled with what is one of the hardest decisions a fur parent can face.
It was tough at times. And second guessing is part of the journey. But reading about cats and dogs who survived and in many cases flourished helped.
And so every year I drop by to let any reading this blog know that Freya is well. She hops. She definitely eats and even more definitely sleeps.
Freya is going to turn 15 this year and 6 of those have been on three legs. Happy years. Years together that otherwise would not have been.
Well, not a lot to report (which is fantastic) but thought I would do a quick update.
It is now 3 years and 3 months (nearly, but the alliteration was too much not to go for in the title) post amputation for Freya and she will be 12 years old next month. Wow time flies all around. She was so little when I rescued her and we were in a different state even. And here we are now, several moves later in the lovely Blue Mountains and the chill of autumn just peaking in after a rather prolonged summer spurt at the end of February into March.
I thought I would very briefly discuss ear scratching. Freya still tilts her head down to meet her missing leg and the stump moves madly but futilely. After three years she still does it and I have to assume that most kitties do. If I am near I go over and give a scratch where I think she wants it – and she quickly lets you know if you’ve hit the spot or not! It doesn’t seem to cause her discomfort in any way and if I can’t get to her in time she just shakes her head and usually rolls onto the floor and rubs around a bit – I guess to rub at the itch. In all other ways she seems to not notice the leg is gone, but she still tries to phantom scratch I suppose you could call it. Just an observation and not a concern. You can also trigger her stump with a scratch in the right spot!
She continues to love her cat tree and loves to loll around on her favourite level in the sun. Her calendar pose (she’s a model!) was on the cat tree and it was so appropriate. She is curled up on the couch asleep right now after a rather long grooming session, so all is definitely right in our world.
In all ways she continues to be my loving sweetie kitty and that missing limb is something that is no bother.
So there were requests for some photos and after some resizing issues, here are some photos from the last three days
Reminder that this is the cat tree and she gets up there by jumping on the first cat tree platform of the blue cat tree, then onto the half pipe of the cream cat chair (old bar stool) on the left and them up to the top part of the cream chair and then on to the blue platform above the blue pipe – it takes four stages but the results are lounging in the sun
She certainly attacks the pole with great gusto on a regular basis.
It is coming up to three years since I found that lump on Freya’s leg. Three years.
And I have to say – amidst the confusion of diagnosis and panic and despair – amputation was the best decision and started a journey that continues to this day, and hopefully for many more.
I can only repeat that, as I sit here watching her curled up asleep on the chair she has jumped up to, it was the right thing.
It wasn’t an easy thing. Let no one tell you any different. Probably one of the hardest calls I have had to make. But it was a good one.
Tripawds helped so much in my making the decision. Particularly the kitty blogs. My thanks to all those who helped with their stories, their advice and tips, their pictures and most of all, the love they have for their furry bundles of fun.
Freya is good. I even sometimes forget when new people come over that she is just the tiniest bit different to their eyes.
I took this photo of Freya at the top of her northern viewing post tonight. As you can see, a collection of boxes (and yes, that is a skull mask – it’s one of my halloween decoration boxes) and a cat scratching post that helps her get up to look out. It’s night here now so her view is of the dark, and the potentially scary, backyard.
And this is her eastern viewing post (her cat tree) with assistance up the various levels ably provided by her very first piece of cat furniture – a modified bar stool (it’s almost as old as she is).
She jumps up to the bottom platform of the cat tree then up to the right support of the cat stool and then up to the top bar of the cat stool, she then jumps from that to the top platform (the large one, not the upper smaller one), where she lounges in the morning sun for ages on end.
Hope that gives some idea of how Freya gets around and enjoys her views.