Three months after breaking her leg, Ralph is finally free from her cast.
When we first went to the vet at the beginning of November and he said it would be 6-8 weeks, I gulped. Keeping a barn cat contained for two months? This wasn’t going to be fun.
Well, it ended up being just over 12 weeks, and our barn cat now lives in the house.
We started off with Ralph in the mudroom. We keep the door from the mudroom to the house closed, so she could be contained and safe, but not in the house. For the first few weeks of her confinement, she was mad. She hated being inside. Then she adjusted and we had a peaceful couple of weeks. But then she got mad again. This time she was mad that she wasn’t in the house.
She would yowl for more than an hour at a time. Finally I couldn’t handle the noise, and I moved her inside. She settled into a corner of the kitchen and has lived happily ever since.
Fortunately, the transition has not been difficult. She stays in the living room or kitchen. She uses her litterbox. She does not scratch or climb on the furniture (aside from a couple of attempts in the early days).
She’s occasionally more nocturnal than I would like and yowls in the night. And I really don’t like having a litterbox in the house and having to clean it.
But I think this is what’s best for our girl right now.
Her leg is still healing. I can feel a bump where the break has mended. But her leg is skinny and weak after two months with a splint and another month wrapped in a bandage. She needs to walk on it to rebuild the strength in both her muscles and bone.
The vet checked her over at her last appointment, and the verdict is she’s a lame, blind, deaf, toothless cat. She gets to have whatever comfort she wants right now.
She curls up on Ellie’s playmat if we have a morning sunbeam. And when Ellie and I have lunchtime picnics in the living room, she comes to join us.
At night when I’ve finished work, I sit in the living room for a few minutes and read. Ralphie invariably gets up and hobbles over to my chair for pets.
While I may not be an indoor cat person, Ralph isn’t a bad cat to have indoors.
I am extremely grateful that she wasn’t hurt too badly and the leg seems to have healed.
How lovely that you have given a compromised kitty a loving home to be apart of with you and Ellie. The greatest gift we can teach our children is the giving of our time and showing kindness which you have done hands down Julia. If you have Netflix you may enjoy watching ‘Penguin Bloom’, based on a true story. It is about a family’s struggle to overcome a tragic accident which they manage to do together. It involves ‘a pet’ but it isn’t a penguin. It won an award at TIFF.
Thanks for the suggestion. I haven’t heard Penguin Bloom and it sounds intriguing. Seeing Ellie with Ralph–and other animals–is so special. Her gentleness and compassion impresses me all the time. I’m glad that Ralph is able to be part of our lives in this way. It’s good for all of us.
Aww, Ralph. That’s loving and generous to open your home to her; just what she needs. Here is what I do with nighttime yowling – I do respond, but don’t give them what they want. So in your case, I would gently but firmly put her out in the mudroom and shut the door. It won’t take long, maybe once or twice, before she realizes she’s getting something she doesn’t exactly want when she does that. (At least it has been successful with my kitties! They don’t prefer to be shut in the kitchen, and it’s another layer between me and the yowling.)
I’ve missed a few of your posts lately – I’m up to my ears in a stats course! I’m looking forward to catching up soon. 🙂
Thanks for the yowling tip. I considered trying something like that, so maybe I’ll give that a try next time it happens.
Good luck with your studies!
Oh goodness Ralph!! I can’t imagine either of my barn cats doing well with a cast. I love that she has made herself at home in the house.
I am definitely a dog person but I have always had a cat as a pet and enjoy visiting with my Ruff and my Toothless twice a day.
I had really low expectations at the start, but we all did much better than I expected. Tell Ruff and Toothless to stay safe!