Monroe the Two-Legged Cat
This story is from Lindsay about her snowshoe mix kitty, Monroe. You can connect with them on their Facebook page, Monroe the Two Legged Cat
UPDATE 08/22/2013: Sadly, Monroe succumbed to a series of mini-strokes due to complications from his blood clotting and passed away in Lindsay’s arms. But they remain an inspiration to everyone and remind us that we should NEVER GIVE UP
Monroe’s Cancer Diagnosis
A few years back he was diagnosed with Vaccine-Associated Sarcoma, which is cancer at the injection site of a vaccine he got as a kitten. We had to have his back leg amputated to make sure the cancer didn’t spread to the rest of his body.
The surgery didn’t even phase him, in fact he almost enjoyed being able to run and slip through crevices in doors even faster to get outside to the wild cat nip in our yard.
Tragically, More Health Problems
Monroe was doing fine for a few years until one day he had a seizure. he was taken to the vet, and diagnosed with epilepsy and given medication. A week later he had another seizure, this time even more severe. We wanted a second opinion so we took him to an animal neurologist and they said it was indeed epilepsy and he would be fine with medication to make the seizures less frequent. We were happy with this diagnoses and went back to our daily lives of Monroe sleeping on our necks at night, drinking out of water bottles, stealing our hairbrushes to rub on, and climbing in our pants every-time we went to the rest room.
And then tragedy struck. My mom called me in NYC and said Monroe’s back leg stopped working and he was acting very weak. I thought it was possibly a symptom of his epilepsy. Nothing prepared me for what I flew home to.
Monroe was diagnosed with a Saddle Thrombus, a blood clot that blocks the blood flow to back legs and paralyses them. While I was flying home, the emergency vet told my mom there’s usually nothing they can do and to euthanize the cat. My mom refused to and had him examined by a veterinary cardiology specialist. They preformed lots of tests and gave him medicines to break up the clot. They diagnosed him with Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, which coincidentally is the same heart disease I have.
Monroe Loses His Other Back Leg
We visited him every day at the clinic while waiting to see if the clot would break up. Every time we walked through the door he was bright eyed, so excited to see us. He would climb into my arms everyday on the examining table and take a nap.The vet said there were signs that the back leg was dying and that we should take him home to wait it out and see what happened.
We took him home and his leg did end up dying. Dr. Garnett said our only options were to amputate his remaining back leg or euthanize him. They had never had a double back leg cat amputee but said he would be the best candidate they could think of. He was young (5 years old), and he had an immense will to live and that he was such a “chill” cat that he would adapt fairly quickly. He would risk more blood clots in the future though. We took him home for the next week and prepared him for surgery.
Surgery day came and were plagued with fears of all the complications mainly of the blood clots he could encounter during surgery. We were a mess sitting in the waiting room seeing other animals parents emerge from rooms crying that their pets could not be saved. Dr. Garnett came out after 2 hours and told us the surgery was a success and we could go back and see him in a little.
Monroe is a Miracle Kitty!
We walked to the back room, and even though he was a little loopy from anesthetic he was absolutely ecstatic to see us and wouldn’t stop rubbing us and trying to get up and squirm to us. He eventually fell asleep with his head on my hand. We visited him at the clinic the next 2 days then were able to take him home.
Immediately when he got home he was himself, He was trying to scoot around. After just 3 days he had perfected his scoot and had started to carry his back in the air occasionally. Its now a week and a half after the surgery and he can walk on his front legs and he is beginning to get used to his cat wheelchair. Monroe is a miracle and were so lucky he persevered through all his hardships and is coming out such a strong motivational kitty.