Don’t forget to switch off the cat…

Our nine-month-old kitten, Harry is a bit of a character. We nursed him through Parvovirus, also known as Feline Enteritis and kept him hydrated, knowing that if he recovered, there was a risk of Ataxia (or nerve damage).
Harry couldn’t walk well after his short fight with Parvo and had to retrain his back legs to move in the same direction and at the same speed as his front legs.
He’s done quite well with this, although he does sound like a trotting pony on wooden floors as he holds his back legs rigid and lifts them high in the air.
He can run in a straight line now, but can’t change direction without falling over. I’ve seen him running away from something and dragging his back legs behind him.
He can’t jump – the muscles won’t propel him into the air, so he launches himself upwards, grabbing onto a cushion or piece of wood and hauling himself up by his front legs.
He does get 10/10 for effort and progress.
He has no bowel or bladder damage, which is a blessing. It’s amusing catching him in the act of taking a dump in the cat litter tray. He bangs his rear on the plastic to force the crap out, as he can’t shake his back end to aid this process.
He has a magnificent tail, with beautiful dark auburn circles, which show up in relief against the pale end of his tail. He doesn’t have any sensation at the far end of his tail, which makes accidentally standing on it, much less of a guilty act.
If he’s on the way to perform an act of gross harassment on our poor older cat, Lucky then he can be halted in mid-step by grabbing his tail.
He doesn’t feel this, but wonders why he isn’t moving, looking around with a puzzled expression, not putting two and two together at all.
He sleeps on our bed each night, as he is very good at sleeping and doesn’t move until eight o clock the next morning.
Lucky sleeps downstairs, in peace and quiet. He was showing signs of stress after nights spent in the company of Harry, who I expect gave him no respite from ambush and attack.
Harry gets tired at about 8 o clock at night and wants us to go upstairs to bed. He starts to express his feelings by leaping on the furniture – or more accurately, clawing his way up the furniture, to dropping onto our shoulders and biting our hands. He becomes more and more infuriated by our lack of action and finally turns on Lucky.
After the twentieth time of shouting ‘NO HARRY!’ at him, he either gets evicted from the kitchen or goes and hides under a folded blanket.
If the weather is awful and he is very badly behaved, we’ll put him on the sofa and cover him with the blanket, which has such a sudden effect that it’s as though someone has flicked on ‘off’ switch.
He does this on the bed. Harry sleeps under a lightly-folded blanket and as soon as he’s crawled under it, he’s off. He occasionally spends five minutes purring, but in general he curls up and falls asleep. Switched off for the night. It’s really rather sweet. He’s happy, sleeping next to Mr P, his saviour and favourite person in the whole world.

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One Response to Don’t forget to switch off the cat…

  1. Sugarplum Valkyrie says:

    Vitamin B12 (Marmite) is supposed to help humans with ataxia – might work for kitties….. and both mine love it, although poor Caspar isn’t allowed it any more due the salt content not being very good for his failing kidneys. SPV x

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