We had a good check-up this morning. Aside from taking out his medicine catheter last night and fussing with his cone, Castiel did well overnight. The nurse said he was trying to ambulate, although he was not doing too well at balancing yet. She said he ate three small plates of food and peed, although he wasn’t able to get to the box yet. He is still on some very strong pain relievers. She said he was doing as well as could be expected after such a major surgery. The doctor said he could come home this afternoon.
We finished setting up his recovery rooms in the morning. We moved the furniture out of our guest room and took the futon mattress off the bed and placed it on the floor so that one of us could sleep with him in the room and the other upstairs with his tiger siblings so no one would feel lonely. We figure we’ll rotate nightly. We also have a large soft crate with lots of padding that we can move him around in so he can be wherever we are. He likes that. We have tons of wee wee pads and a low litter box. We also have a nice soft sofa style cat/dog bed that is very low in front that he can nap in when we bring him out of the soft crate and can supervise him. All the beds and bedding are machine washable.
At 2 pm, the nurse carried Castiel out in his carrier. He was so happy to see us! He immediately gave us happy meows and combo purr-meows. We told him how much we loved him and petted him and cooed over him as we loaded him into the truck to head home. We thanked the nurse and asked her to please tell the doctors and all the staff thank you and let them know that we were very grateful for the excellent care Castiel received.
We brought Castiel to his recovery room and he was so happy to be out of the carrier. He immediately wanted to try and walk around. He kind of hopped about. He is working on the balance thing and the drugs were not helping with the that, but he wanted to try. We had to settle him on some soft blankets. He tried to use his litterbox – he was a bit wobbly and it took a few tries. He wasn’t good at lifting his rear but he did use his box.
Eventually he snuggled into a fluffy comforter we placed on the floor for him and rolled around in the sunshine waiting for belly rubs. He is so happy to be home and he seems like Castiel. He’s making happy meows and purrs and he is enjoying chin and bum scratches, and lots and lots of belly rubs.
He has some frustration that he has vocalized with learning to walk and balance but he keeps wanting to try. The litterbox balancing act seems to be the most frustrating. We have a low box with an even lower front entrance and supports on the side of the box to use for balance — he’s trying to get the hang of this but mostly sits in the box when he has to go. We have wipes to help with cleaning. He also needs a little help with the digging, but we got that. I think he’ll figure it out, it will just take practice.
He is also a bit frustrated with his large crate. He wants to move around. If he would sit still more we could let him out under observation but he wants to roam so he is sitting in the crate — enforced rest. He finds this frustrating and spent a good amount of time telling us all about it.
We’re feeling a little better. Most importantly, he still loves us. He was happy to see us, and he still seems like Castiel. Silly, goofy, parlor panther. Both his siblings checked in on him. We let them into his recovery room and observed them closely. They mostly sniffed everything and him, but no one hissed, ran away, or acted out. They seemed glad to have him home too. The nurse said Castiel might not want to eat much. He came home and gobbled down his food (small portion so he didn’t get sick). He had another small plate for supper. He is snoozed out in his crate now. It’s been an exhausting day.
Castiel has been given three medicines (1) Robenacoxib 6mg tablets, which we give 1 once a day to reduce inflammation. He has to take that with food; (2) Buprenorphine 0.3 mg/mL oral. He will take 0.2 to 0.3 ML on the gums every 8 to 12 hours as needed for pain. However, he doesn’t start this until drug until 6+ hours after he has completed the fentanyl patch (so, Monday night/Tuesday morning). We are to give one of these by mouth every 8 to 12 hours as needed for pain; and (3) Gabapentin 50 mg Tiny Tablets. He takes one tablet by mouth every 8 to 12 hours as needed to control discomfort. The nurse explained the side effects to watch for and what to do if we were concerned about a reaction.
We were told to carefully watch his incision for any signs of infection, and report any signs to his doctors immediately. He is also not to lick or scratch his incision, and it is not to be cleaned by us or his siblings. We were told to watch for a seroma. This is a fluid filled sac that sometimes happens after these kinds of surgeries. We were told they could swell for several days. If he gets one, we are to place a warm compress on it 3-4 times a day for 5-10 minutes at a time.
We’ve also been directed to treat his incision site with a cold compress 3-4 times daily for 5-10 minutes for the first five days. The compress is wrapped in a towel so the cold pack is not right against the skin. Castiel hates this. We got 6 minutes in before some major fussing. Working on this.
The doctor said Castiel should be confined to a small room without furniture or a large crate for the next three weeks. We’re doing a bit of both so he can join us in the rooms where we are — he likes this, although he fusses for a while in the crate before settling down. He is not to have free access to the house or furniture. He doesn’t go outdoors; but if he did, that would be strictly prohibited. He is also not to run, jump, play, tackle stairs, etc. during this initial recovery period of 14-17 days. His body needs time to heal and we want to keep his sutures in place. The instructions we were provided have a note that says, “Cats are notoriously difficult to rehabilitate with exercise restrictions, but every attempt should be made to minimize activity which may stress the surgical repair.” Yeah, no kidding.
He has a follow-up appointment in two weeks on November 10. We hope to get the pathology results sometime next week. Hopefully, he will have a good rest tonight knowing he is safe in his home with his siblings and hoomans who love him. Our vet friend called to check up on him too — we thought that was super sweet and were very grateful. Castiel has also received lots of love, support, and prayers from our friends and from the parishioners of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church here in town. We are so grateful to everyone — and especially to those in this community.