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A Look Back On Ellie’s First Two Years

June 3, 2013
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By the time this post is published, Ellie will officially be two years old.

Window - EllieThe time has gone so quickly, and yet at the same time she is just as much a part of our little family as any of us. And although she continues to age physically, emotionally and mentally she’s still the joyful, affectionate mama’s girl she was when we first brought her home.

Her disposition is remarkable, especially because her two years have passed with a number of difficulties. So much so that I’ve nicknamed her “Braveheart” for approaching challenges and confronting fears beautifully. But if I think about it for a moment, perhaps I’m the one categorizing those moments as challenges and reasons to be afraid, because she doesn’t certainly seem to think they are, which could be why an event that happened Friday barely seemed to register on her scale.

We were all relaxing on the couch when I realized that one of her front toes was bloody. I took a closer look and saw that she had ripped out yet another claw – but this time it was still attached slightly.

It was a strange moment. I was shocked and worried for her, but this isn’t the first time she’s pulled a claw out. In April 2012, she pulled a claw out completely after tumbling from our cat tree. After a number of weeks a new one grew in, but it still shook me. And although I know that she’ll be fine, it does truly concern me that this is the second time that something this serious has happened.

And yet as concerned as I was, Ellie was acting fine. She cried out a bit when I was examining her toe –  I must have touched it in the wrong spot or with too much pressure – but other than that, she was getting around normally.

Ellie - stretch 1Matt and I tried to figure out when it could have occurred, as we obviously didn’t notice anything wrong before that. After some detective work, all we found were a number of bloody toe-prints around our first floor. Unfortunately, they couldn’t tell us too much, as trying to track a CH cat’s travels from bloody toe-prints is as difficult as it sounds. It reminded me that Ellie doesn’t just walk from point A to point B, but serpentines, falls, bumps, and tumbles her way to places.

And that’s just life. Ellie, a moderate CH cat, has come a long way in her two years, but at the same time she still faces daily challenges. If I were to describe her mobility, I’d say she’s just mobile enough to be dangerous. She can walk, but often tumbles. She can climb our carpeted stairs, but occasionally falls. She loves to climb, but sometimes falls off and tries to catch herself in the process. But she does her best – she doesn’t know any better – and she absolutely loves life. And that’s one of the many reasons why I love her so much.

Anyway, the point of this is to convey one thing: Wobbly cats are absolutely precious creatures, but they also have a condition that can lead to serious injuries. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that, to think that our cats are normal. But it’s essential to remember the duality of the condition so that we can prepare for and try to prevent injuries like this so that all of our CH kitties can live wonderful, happy lives as long as they’re intended to be on this earth with us.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Shoshanna permalink
    June 3, 2013 7:09 pm

    Happy Birthday, Ellie !

    Elvis turned two also, last month. It is a tightrope indeed, between illusion and reality.
    They are so vulnerable on the one hand, but they don’t acknowledge it, on the other.
    I don’t think ” denial ” is the right word; “acceptance ” is further still.

    I like to think we ” embrace our CHness ” with pride, but that’s pretty anthromorphic. Language fails; it’s something that doesn’t translate from Cat to People. We muse, we analyze – they just go on about the business of being a cat.

    Thoughtful, eloquent article, Amanda.
    Many happy returns !
    ~Sho

  2. natsera permalink
    June 5, 2013 12:30 am

    So were you able to get the mostly detached claw off? Did you snip it, or take her to the vet? I’m thinking that walking on it must be painful to her, even if she doesn’t complain. And wanting your beautiful Ellie to be pain-free! 🙂

  3. LAT permalink
    June 5, 2013 12:55 pm

    Oddly enough, that’s never happened to our CH cats (knock on wood), but our dog pulled her thumb claw most of the way out on the stairs at our old place, and our one able-bodied cat caught her thumb claw on a cat tree once. In the case of the dog they just clipped it off and we had to soak the paw in salt water twice a day (you never saw a more confused dog), our cat didn’t hurt herself badly so it healed on its own.

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