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Gracie update

February 11th, 2007, 04:08 PM
Tomorrow is Gracie's big day at the vet. On tap is a spaying and her vac's. I suspect that she will be pretty pissed at us in the morning after we take her food and water away this evening.

She is starting to play a little bit with us and will chase the small balls that we got for her. We also picked up a scratching post/cat condo dealy. She hasn't figured out that she can get on it or in it just yet but is getting there (she still prefers my office chair for her elevated snoozing).

The meet and greet with her and the dogs is still going slowly. We are now at the stage where we are bringing the dogs (one by one) into her room while on their leashes. Gracie generally lays on her pillow with one paw at the ready to fend off the barbarian should it become necessary. Other than wanting to give her a good sniffing, both Jack and Lucy are being very good with her. They will sit / lay and watch her, but are not pulling after her.

A few moments ago Gracie decided to venture out of her room. We have a baby gate across the door as well as a small shower curtain rod spaced about 8" above the gate (with the gate alone, Lucy has discovered that going over top of it is not a difficult task, but she hasn't figured out that she can also get over the rod bar if she tried!).

We heard Lucy upstairs bouncing back and forth in our bedroom. When my wife got up to the room, here was Lucy in a jumping back and forth play bow (picture a normal play bow but with the butt and back feet moving in a side to side motion very quickly) while Gracie was trying to figure out the best way to get out of Dodge. She found her opening and immediately exited the room and jumped between the gate and the bar back to 'safety'.

We were very pleased that she is now feeling comfortable enough to expand her horizons.

:dog: :pawprint: :cat:

February 11th, 2007, 04:24 PM
awwww that's so cute:cloud9: Lucy wanted to play :D

February 11th, 2007, 04:31 PM
That is cute:cloud9:

Sounds like everything is going great:thumbs up

February 11th, 2007, 04:36 PM
Awww....they'll all be best buddies in no time. :lovestruck: Hope all goes well at the vet tomorrow :fingerscr and, hugs for Gracie. :grouphug:

February 12th, 2007, 04:59 PM
Some good news and some not so good news concerning Gracie. She was in for her spaying today and all went well, although they were much later performing the surgery than we expected. We are going to pick her up in about an hour.

When we brought her in we noticed that she had a bad limp. The first week or so she would wince when you touched her back leg, however, the last week we were able to touch / pet her back end with no noticeable reaction. As well, her limp, while still present, was not as pronounced. When we took her up this morning we asked that they check her back end over.

When we pick her up we plan on speaking with the vet to get the whole story as right now we are going on a brief telephone conversation with one of the vets. After an initial look they called and asked permission to do some xrays. The results were not good. Seems that she had a previous break in her leg (they are guessing that it is several months old based on the scar tissue) and that she is not in great shape. They are telling us that she will either need surgery to hopefully correct the bad leg or possible amputation.

Hopefully we will have more information when we return. Regardless, nothing will be done until after she heals from her spaying which will give us some time to get her into another vet for a second opinion. They are initially telling us that we cannot leave the leg the way it is.

We are quite upset about all this. This poor girl has been through a hell of a lot already and this is just one more thing to add to the pile. We are worried that if the leg requires amputation, how she will adjust to the dogs (right now they have a very uneasy truce going on), will she be able to defend herself / get away quickly if she is feeling the least bit threatened by them (perceived or actual), etc.

We really don't want to have to give her up after all this as we've become quite attached over the past 3 weeks (exactly three weeks today at noon). On the other hand, we want her to have a very long carefree life and are not entirely sure that she will have that will the two nutty mutts running around the house.

When I get some more info from the vet I'll post an update as soon as I am able.

Please send some positive vibes for this little survivor.


February 12th, 2007, 05:08 PM
:grouphug: oh my heart just breaks for that little kitty. so much guts and tenacity. shes so lucky to have found such love. Thanks for all the updates. its great to hear how she is progressing. :fingerscr for the second opinion. hopefully she will just need a little op to fix it or even better be able to learn to live with a little disability (and i dont mean one less leg.) big hugs and lots of healing vibes for Gracie:goodvibes:

February 12th, 2007, 05:17 PM
Awwww....poor Gracie :grouphug: I would ask for her to be seen by a specialist before agreeing to amputation. Fingers crossed :fingerscr and sending good vibes your way. :goodvibes:

February 13th, 2007, 10:51 AM
I was finally able to speak with the vet today to get the first hand account of Gracie's leg situation (when my wife spoke to her yesterday she tried to take in everything that was said but was not really paying close attention as her thoughts were on everything that Gracie has been through).

The xrays show that there is a severe break in the left femur. The two bones are separated and as callous tissue has started to form between the bones, they have no way of aligning properly to heal. They figure that the break is about 6 weeks old, as we have had her in the house for 3 weeks, she was likely living outside for at least 3 weeks with a broken leg.

When I asked whether she would still be jumping onto things on her own (i.e. no doggy motivated get away jumps) if she was in pain, they said that she has likely now learned to deal with the pain that the break is causing, but that she would still be experiencing pain.

We discussed the options (surgery to try and correct or amputation). She said that surgery to correct is possible but the recovery time could be quite long and the surgery may not fully correct (possible blood flow issues, etc) at which time amputation will be the only option.

:shrug: Wife and I are going to discuss this evening to decide what to do. I am leaning toward trying the surgery to correct first (if I was my leg, that is the route I would want).

Poor little girl. :sad:

February 13th, 2007, 11:00 AM
poor little sweetheart. what a brave girl. its amazing what the body (people and animals) can learn to live with if you have to. its amazing that she survived out there on her own with a broken femur! shes a survivior and i think she will be one of those super healers. I hope so anyway. lots of sunshine for Gracie and you guys with such a hard decision! :grouphug: :goodvibes:

February 13th, 2007, 11:07 AM
Poor Gracie. :goodvibes: :grouphug:

February 13th, 2007, 01:45 PM
Aww, poor Gracie!! I have to say I would do just as you are - if need be the surgery 1st and then opt for the amputation. Cats do amazingly well with 3 legs- they do not think of it in the way we do. There are some wonderful resources for disabled pets tho it is really the humans who would use those terms. For cats and dogs with only two legs, there are little carts they use extremely well - and they adapt so well!!!

Many tripod kitties run just as fast with 3 as with 4 legs and they never feel sorry for themselves - they are happy to be alive and have TLC, good food and vet care and love!

We rescued one tripod - he became a tripod apres rescue due to similar circumstances (was hit by a car and taken in by my grandmother. He was a black kitty who could out run all the other cats!!, a real character! I think as someone who serves on way too many so called "disability" commissions - and has a disability myself - tho admittedly not as noticeable as it once was thx to mega surgery - that little cat certainly taught me many lessons!!!

I do hope in the end tho amputation will not be necessary. If she is in severe pain tho, I would talk it over with the vet.

My grandpa had an amputation and it never slowed him down either. He continued to garden - fashioned himself a contraption (now there is a Maritime word, lol) he could sit on and do his digging and weeding. He even broke his hip in the process and still kept going!! As someone who had to learn to walk all over again myself, it was a joy to help him to do the same.

Anyway - I guess I have a different perspective on disabilities and amputation if only because my own disabilities never slowed me down (they kept me from doing certain things certainly like sports but I could still be a team manager! - I learned from the kitty, there is always an alternative).

Anyway - sorry to go offtrack!! I just think animals can teach us so much!! They don't sit around and brood about loss - they get on with life and revel in what they have!

February 13th, 2007, 05:26 PM
Hugs and good vibes being sent for Gracie. :grouphug: :goodvibes:

February 14th, 2007, 01:46 AM
Poor Gracie :sad: . Good luck with a tough decision and keep us posted :grouphug: :goodvibes: .

February 15th, 2007, 06:06 AM
After speaking with the vet who would actually perform the corrective surgery (different vet than the one who took the xrays and did her spaying) he provided a much brighter recovery picture. We asked him what he would do if it were his cat or dog. Without even hesitating, he said he would fix the leg rather than amputate. He felt confident that, based on the xrays, the leg would return to normal (or as normal as a badly broken leg could be).

We have Gracie scheduled for the surgery on March 13, although we are thinking about changing the date (not that we are superstitious or anything but we lost Monty on Oct 13, We received word of the extent of Gracie's leg damage on Feb 13. The 13th hasn't been working out well for us lately).

On a better note, Gracie is recovering from her spaying quite nicely. We are discovering what a picky little princess she really is. We swapped her food and water bowls the other night. She would not eat her food the way that she used to (she would take one or two pieces every now and again). Noticing that she wasn't eating much, I put some food in my hand, which she gobbled right up. When I put the bowl under her nose, she looked in it then turned away. More food in my hand; all of it eaten. This morning we swithed the bowls back and she immediately started eating out of it! :crazy:

We also put a blanket over my office chair figuring that it would be more comfortable for her. She would not jump into it. I took it off last night, only to find her curled up in it this morning. Friggin sukky baby!

BTW, her weight when we found her was 5.1lbs, as of Monday morning she 7.3lbs. What a difference 3 weeks makes. :thumbs up

February 15th, 2007, 06:23 AM
Great to hear. Good luck with the surgery. Hopefully all will go well and it will heal as if there was nothing ever wrong:fingerscr

February 15th, 2007, 08:15 AM
Dogastrophe,Thank you for going all out for Gracie,she is a very lucky kitty she has you on her side:cat:
Nowhere did you mention costs,which will probably run in to a lot of $$$$,with a stray kitty,I doubt many people would do for her what you are and I am sure Gracie will reward you with years of love and purrs...:lovestruck:

February 15th, 2007, 11:43 PM
Sorry, I had missed this thread. I'm so sorry you're going through so many ups and downs, but is she ever lucky to have found you! :)

Rick C here has a kitty with two back legs amputated, so if that's ever on the table, maybe you can talk to him about it. :o

I hope her next surgery goes well, and that she continues to recover well from her spay. :) :grouphug:

February 16th, 2007, 01:20 AM
Glad to hear some better news from the surgeon :thumbs up . I think it's time we see a new pic of sweet Gracie :D hint, hint.

February 16th, 2007, 06:10 AM
Wow ~ what a "good news" story. Gracie gets a second chance (well, actually A chance at real life). Such luck that kitten had in finding you both! But I agree with Prin ~ why are you depriving us this way of Gracie pix ???

February 16th, 2007, 07:29 AM
I haven't transferred any new pics from my camera yet ..... :sorry:

You can get a small fix from the original Gracie pic thread:

The first two pics were taken the day we found her (Jan 22). The next set were taken a few days later, and the third set were taken about two weeks after finding her (with her new collar!).

I was looking at her last night. Her coat is beginning to look fantastic. Still a bit of dandruff, but not nearly as bad as it was. She is extremely soft and fluffy on the chest.

I have a couple of great shots of the dogs looking at her from behind the baby gate that I'll try to post soon. :dog: :pawprint: :cat:

February 16th, 2007, 07:33 AM
No pressure hun ~ we're just razzin' ya cuz you are SUCH a good Dad & Mum.

February 16th, 2007, 09:59 AM
Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!! Thx for thre update Dogastrophe - some of young patients may want to send Gracie get well cards, lol (I've been telling the little ones especially about this brave little cat but how she was lucky and was saved and now is a Princess. :) OK, so I like melodrama, lol

Seriously, am thrilled with the news that no amputation is needed!!!

Is she part Siamese? (Thinking she owns the world, lol? Tho, I think that is a feline thing - they KNOW they own us, lol

Get well soon Garcie!! And thank you Dogastrophe for being such a great furparent!!

February 16th, 2007, 10:30 PM
So glad to hear the optimistic news. You are such a caring person and Gracie is lucky to have found you. :angel: But, we both know that she will return the love many times over. :cat: :lovestruck: Sending prayers and good vibes that the surgery will go well. :fingerscr :pray: :goodvibes:

February 21st, 2007, 07:53 PM
We are still in the process of deciding what to do about Gracie's leg. After quite a bit of thought plus seeing her jump over her baby gate, onto her scratching post, etc, we've decided to get a second opinion. A girl that I work with used to work as a vet tech in Halifax. She gave me the names of a few vets who specialize in orthopedic surgery. We have Gracie booked to see one of them tomorrow evening. I'll post an update after we speak with the vet.

Gracie is become a bit more adventuresome in the last few days. The other night, just after we turned off the lights for the night - dogs all settled into bed (between us!) - I heard a noise come from Gracie's room. Thinking that she was playing with her toys, I ignored it. About 45 mins later, Lucy woke me from a dead sleep by barrelling off the bad, not caring who she stepped on in the process. She immediately started pacing around the bed, sticking her nose under it. Jack quickly followed and did the same. Up we get, flip on the light, look under the bed, and who do we find but Gracie curled up (trying to figure out how to get past the dogs). When we got hold of the pups, she quickly exited the room and jumped over her gate to 'safety'.

Much later (~5am) I ventured off to the bathroom only to see Gracie come over top of the gate and head for our bedroom. Lucy, now on the futon in our spare room, came into the hall, gave Gracie a sniff, then watched her do a 180 and head back over her gate.

She has since ventured out a few times while the dogs have been out with us. During the day, while the dogs are crated, we remove the gate in the hope that she will check out the house. We don't think that leaves her room ... silly girl!

The pups are quite used to her being in the house. When we take them into her room for their daily meet and greet they are well behaved (at least as well as they can be). They have both sniffed her all over and have occassionaly received the odd smack to the nose for their efforts. The look on their faces when they take a paw to the nose is quite funny.

:cat: :pawprint: :dog:

February 21st, 2007, 08:12 PM
During the day, while the dogs are crated, we remove the gate in the hope that she will check out the house.

Or she goes and hassles the dogs ; na nananna na you can't get to me ! I'm glad things are going well, but it would be better with pictures to show us....:D

February 21st, 2007, 08:25 PM
She is getting so brave :). I agree with Frenchy though, we really do need some new pics of her :D . Fingers crossed for a good vet visit tomorrow :fingerscr :goodvibes:.

February 21st, 2007, 08:36 PM
:sorry: Somehow, I've totally managed to miss this thread! :eek:

Good luck at the vet tomorrow! :fingerscr that you get some really good news. Gracie sounds like a sweetheart. I think she's found her :angel:...he he he...but I also think she's still trying to figure out how come the angel has those dratted :dog:s around! :D

February 22nd, 2007, 07:06 AM
Love reading about Gracies adventures:laughing:
It seems from what you write,the pups are starting to accept her presence,I am sure Gracie will ease up on them very soon.:fingerscr
She obviously would like to join them in your bed,it will happen,hope you have a King Size bed:laughing:

February 22nd, 2007, 12:23 PM
Awww, Gracie and the doggies will be buddies in no time. :) If the dogs don't chase her I would just let Gracie roam around the house when you are there to supervise.

Glad you got an appointment with a specialist tomorrow. Good luck. :fingerscr :goodvibes:

February 22nd, 2007, 06:36 PM
We had Gracie in for the second opinion regarding her previously fractured leg. The films were quite cool and scary at the same time - I have no idea how she could still walk on it or can walk on it now. I wish I had my camera with me to take a pic to post. To give you an idea of the way the femur is now, with your index fingers make them point at each other. Now take slide your fingers toward each other until the first joints line up. Now, put a gap of about 1/8" between the fingers, and you will have a view of her bone as it stands now.

Callus (sp?) has built up between the bones quite heavily, which explains how she is able to walk and jump. The vet said that clinically she is doing very well and is not showing any signs of pain from it. He recommended not doing surgery. He said that IF something should happen to it in the future that would cause it to rebreak, then surgery can be done, but otherwise, if it is not hindering her in any way, to leave it be. Much better option than amputation!

Several times he looked at the xrays and commented on how amazing animals are. I'd have to agree! We have her booked for new x-rays in 6 months to ensure that the callus build up is progressing and the fuse is getting stronger.

I toasted my camera media card, but when I get a new one I'll take some more pics and post them.


:dog: :pawprint: :cat:

February 22nd, 2007, 07:34 PM
Oh, that is such great news. :thumbs up Hooray for Gracie and you. :highfive: :grouphug:

February 22nd, 2007, 08:13 PM
Yeah for Gracie. Fingers crossed and good vibes for continued improvement :goodvibes: :fingerscr .

February 23rd, 2007, 06:57 AM
That is great news. I think it is great that you took her to see a specialist, it worked out for the best for you guys and for Gracie. Hopefully it will continue to improve:fingerscr :thumbs up

February 23rd, 2007, 07:28 AM
DA,good news for Gracie,thank's!!
I saw something similar on Emergency Vets(Animal Planet)but it was a small dog,where they opted for no surgery or amputation,since the bones had already fused and the dog was not suffering.
Surgery was not excluded for some time in the future,if needed.

February 23rd, 2007, 03:22 PM
What wonderful news for Gracie and you and your family too!!! (Not to hear of her femur but how well she has compensated and that she should be able to lead a normal life with it) Animals are so amazing aren't they in how they compensate. I think they do not see these things as problems in the same way we do. That's part of their secret to success in life!!! (tho Gracie lucked out when she found your faily and I bet you guys will come to think you lucked out in finding her - she seems a very special little girl!!!).

My best wishes go out to Gracie and your family and I hope she won't need any surgery!!!!!

:grouphug: :grouphug:

March 13th, 2007, 07:18 AM
It's been a few weeks since I posted an update on Gracie, so I thought I'd take a few minutes to fill everyone in on her progress.

Gracie has turned into quite the (wonderful) pain in the butt! During the day while the dogs are crated, she leaves her sanctuary and proceeds to wander the house happily knocking the odd plant or telephone off their preassigned location. I wouldn't be surprised if she spends a few minutes taunting the dogs.

Her back leg is getting stronger and is not slowing her down a bit. I think we made the right decision to leave it as is.

Introductions with the dogs are still ongoing. Lucy doesn't seem to mind her as long as she is quietly sitting / laying in her room. If she is playing with her toys (which she loves to do) and is making fast movements, Lucy gets a bit worked up. She seems a bit more comfortable with Lucy than she is with Jack. Jack will come in for a visit, Gracie will jump onto my/her chair, and swat at him each time he walks by, which he mistakenly thinks is an invitation to play (Lucy will whack him in the head with her paws when they are gearing up to play). With Lucy, they just sniff each other and all is calm.

Each night, Gracie ventures over her gate and starts to proceed across the hall only to be 'greeted' by Jack and Lucy. Occassionaly she gets herself backed into a corner (or behind the toilet) and cannot get away until human help wakes up and arrives on the scene. Most often she is able to get back to her room (where she gets close to the gate, stares at Lucy, and I think sticks her tounge out at Lucy and goes 'na na na na na').

We are having a difficult time keeping the pups from chasing her when she comes out of her room. Our only indication that she is out is when the two of them bolt up the stairs. They are far quicker than we are and are usually at the top of the stairs before we can get off the couch. Plus, typical tunnel-vision terrier nature makes it difficult to call them back quickly.

I'd post some pictures but I've somehow managed to ruin my media card and have yet to get a new one. All the pics I've taken in the past month are now on regular film.

March 13th, 2007, 07:28 AM
Thanks DA,it's fun to read about Gracies progress,I can picture in my mid what is going on:laughing:
Your doggies beeing terriers might take a little longer to get used to Gracie,but I am certain with lots of time,they will accept her as a family-member,it takes patience and more patience and I think you have plenty:thumbs up

March 17th, 2007, 11:33 AM
Since my last posting, the Jack / Lucy versus Gracie standoff has entered into a tenative truce:D . Last evening, Gracie decided to come downstairs (while both dogs were out of their crates). She quietly slipped behind a few chairs and made her way to a livingroom chair that, based on the hair on the cushion, she has been using during the day. She laid on the chair most of the evening keeping an eye on the pups, but not showing the least bit of nervousness.

On occassion she would wander down the hallway to the kitchen with the pups in a mad rush behind her. After several growls from me and a few smacks in the head courtesy of Gracie, the pups figured that chasing her wasn't much fun. At one point while she was in her chair, Lucy got her face a bit too close and was greated with a swat to the face. She couldn't have been more excited about this. Lucy tried to swat her back, stuck her butt in the air and cleaned a table off with her tail.

This morning Gracie came down again and went her newly claimed chair. The pups watched her walk by, gave her a few sniffs, then went back to what they were doing. They both still get quite excited when Gracie moves quickly, but otherwise are really getting used to her. Gracie went into the kitchen, stuck her face into the dogs water dish to get a drink, while Lucy supervised. I think they are all going to get along fine! :thumbs up :thumbs up

I was able to revive my digital camera and snapped a couple of pics.

Gracie on her newly claimed territory

Gracie getting a drink from the dog's bowl with Lucy keeping an eye on her

Jack getting a close up look .. note Gracie's front right paw ready for action

Gracie keeping an eye on the activity happening in front of her ... she's far to dignified to join in (for now)

March 17th, 2007, 11:48 AM
oh thats so great. i love the Gracie updates. ive been watching from day one and its so great to hear how things work out!

March 17th, 2007, 11:49 AM
Aw, those are great pictures! Gracie is looking wonderful!:thumbs up

:o I'm embarassed to say that I'm still having issues with my 3 after a year....mostly because of the set-up in the house. Dancer stays at the back while the dogs are mainly at the front and there is a kitchen door in between. The animals would likely have everything sorted out if that door didn't have to stay closed all the time (to keep my walking stomach dogs out of the garbage and off the counters in the kitchen.:o ). When they are all in the bedroom, its mainly peaceful but if the dogs see Dancer out of the bedroom, they want to play. And then Dancer runs, the dogs give chase and all heck breaks loose.

Poor Dancer had bad experiences with dogs in her street days, so she runs to hide behind me when they chase her. We need to work on leash with them for awhile, I think.

March 17th, 2007, 01:50 PM
Very cute pics. :lovestruck: I bet it won't be long before they are all buddies. :)

March 17th, 2007, 03:47 PM
Awww,thank's for the pics,Gracie and the pups are adorable:lovestruck:
I am sure it won't be long before they become buddies,with Gracie as the Alphakitty:laughing:
I still would not leave them alone in the house,but I am sure you don't.
Pleas keep the pics coming,Gracie is such a pretty little thingy:lovestruck:

March 17th, 2007, 07:31 PM
Awww,thank's for the pics,Gracie and the pups are adorable:lovestruck:
I am sure it won't be long before they become buddies,with Gracie as the Alphakitty:laughing:
I still would not leave them alone in the house,but I am sure you don't.
Pleas keep the pics coming,Gracie is such a pretty little thingy:lovestruck:

No worries of them all being out together unattended. Gracie has taken over Monty's place as being the only one allowed to roam the house while we are not home. Lucy has yet to shake of her Miss Destructo alter ego. She still chews on stuff that she knows she's not allowed to .... right in front of us! :evil:

March 17th, 2007, 08:04 PM
Gracie looks wonderful:lovestruck:

Glad to hear things are comming a long and it sounds like the pups are starting to understand that she is a member of the family, and not the latest play thing.

March 18th, 2007, 01:58 AM
Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!!! Thx for the update - love the Gracie pix - and the pooches too!! She looks like a Princess watching over her realm in that photo of her alone in the Chair, lol What a cutie she is - I can just tell she has you guys wrapped around her finger and she knows it too!! :)

She is a gorgeous kitty!!!! And obviously smart - to have found the right home!!!

March 18th, 2007, 02:15 AM
Yeah, finally some new Gracie pics. She is looking wonderful :lovestruck: . I'm so glad the kids are working things out :thumbs up .

March 18th, 2007, 02:19 AM
That's great news! Gracie is adorable! I love the playing pic. :cloud9: :)

March 18th, 2007, 09:20 AM
I'm glad Gracie has settled in. I love all the pictures. She's so cute, and yes, she will become the :queen: of the house.