Friday, June 3, 2011

Harley Update... Got Cone??

Here's an update on Harley D.  First off, I'm happy to report that the surgery went well.  He had no complications and the ear looks good.  His ear was, of course, shaved and he had a shaved spot along his front right leg... there was a bandage wrapped around this part of his leg.  I figured that is where they had placed an IV.  Thinking the bandage was no longer needed, I took it off, after all, it looked pretty tightly wrapped around there.  BOY WAS IT EVER!!  It was so tight that his front paw was swollen t three times its size and he couldn't walk on it.  It was probably numb to him.  I kept a close on eye it - my plan was to take him back to the vet if there were no signs of this swelling going down by morning.  When morning finally arrived, the swelling hadn't gone down significantly, but Harley did seem to be able to walk without struggle (that is, as much as possible with a cone collar around his neck.  More on that in a minute).  Since he didn't seem bothered by the swelled leg / paw, I decided not to rush him back to vet over it, but instead give him one more day and, if the swelling had not gone down by then, off we would go back to the vet.  As it turned out, the swelling had gone down completely by the next morning and Harley had his normal bounce back in his step (again, as much bounce as he could muster with a cone around his neck) with full kitty attitude on high alert!

At the risk of dating myself... I have always loved Saturday Night Live's, "The Coneheads", starring  Dan Aykroyd (Beldar) Jane Curtain (Prymaa) and Laraine Newman (Connie).  
 All ya need to know about Coneheads, click here

What they lacked, however, was a conecat.  

Harley has to wear one of those cone collars for ten days.  There is an official name for them, I just can't remember what they're actually called.   I know that the other critters are teasing Harley about this collar when I'm not home but the cone is to keep Harley from ripping those stitches out.  It took some adjusting for him, and some coaching on my part, to get him use to eating and drinking with it, but he doesn't seem to have many difficulties now that its been a few days.  His first night home (with the cone) was hard for him though, and I did feel sorry for him.  He was still groggy from the anesthesia and all that he has been through, so when I saw him struggling to balance himself with this cone thing around his neck, my heart went out to him, especially when he couldn't gauge the extra clearance needed just to step into the litter box.   He kept getting the bottom of the collar caught on the box's ledge (poor thing, all he wanted to do was pee, LOL).  I took the collar off and let him do his business without the stress and struggle, all the while I held myself ready to engage him at the first hint he was going to scratch that ear.  He didn't even try.  With the collar still off, he attempted a few bites of  food and that went well enough, considering he also had a dental cleaning too.  After about 30 minutes of collar-free, scratch-free, dazed and confused moments, I was ready to put the collar back on him.  That's when he rediscovered his favorite water bowl.  He couldn't get enough of the water.  Harley has this cute thing he does every time he takes a drink.  He scratches (uncovers) his water dish.  He has to do this several times before he even attempts to take a sip.  Then, just when you think he's done because he lifts his head and starts to walk away, he circles his dish and starts all over again.  On this night, he did this for a good ten minutes, at least.  He then "re-covered" his water dish - LOL.

I spread a blanket upon the floor for him to lay and rest more comfortably.  He normally sleeps on the bed but with that cone - lol  that darn cone - the poor thing didn't have the drive needed to jump up there on his first night and I didn't want to just put him up there myself  cuz, well, "what comes up, must eventually come down", and if I'm sleeping and he wants down, yet he is wearing that cone, his aim may be slightly off when landing on the floor and... splat.  (I know, I know, I worry...but I can't help but to think of these things, he's may baby boy and he needs help).  He laid right down on the blanket - he was pooped - he had a long, hard day and was done!!  I rubbed his belly (something he normally does not let me EVER do without kicking and scratching the shit out of me) and he purred himself right into a deep sleep.

The next morning, he was still adjusting to the collar but figured out a few maneuvers.  I have two other cats in the house, one of which Harley does not get along with, AT ALL, (Frankie Cat) so I have been keeping Harley separated from him, both day and night.  Usually, during the day, all cats have free range of the house, even though they choose to stay upstairs most of the time (cuz the dogs are downstairs) except the little orange kitty-man, "H. Davidson" -  he's the daredevil of the three.  So until Harley is out of his cone, I prefer to keep him separated from Frankie, for I am sure Frankie will take advantage of Harley's vulnerability and that ear could get torn open.  

Because I also have three large dogs in the house, one of them who thinks all cats should be her personal chew toys, I need to keep all of our cats closed in their bedrooms at night when we are sleeping, or we, the people, would never get any rest.  The sleeping arrangements are simple enough, all dogs in the master bedroom with the masters (hence the name, MASTER bedroom (arf!!)).  Since Harley practically raised Davidson from kitten-hood, Harley D. and H. Davidson sleep in one bedroom, and then that leaves Frankie Cat, (the one Harley fights with), he sleeps in the other spare bedroom.  The cats get along well enough with the dogs, except for Bailey, our newest rescue.  She was a one year old stray chocolate lab pup that found us not too long ago.  Apparently, she was (and still is) quite fond of chasing cats... hmmm... perhaps that's how she became a stray.  Nonetheless, we have managed to work out a system by investing in even more baby gates and tough it out because Baily deserves a stable and loving home too, all animals do, and so the cats must suck it up because they have also been in Bailey's paw prints themselves.  All of our animals have been rescued in one form or another - each with their own unique story to tell but I will save that for another blog entry.  As for this entry - I am going to end it by thanking you for reading today.  Harley is recovering nicely, and is slated to have his stitches removed next Friday.  He is jumping on the bed, and the dresser, and the table and the... well, you get the picture... he's being a happily purring conecat. 

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