Sunday, January 15, 2017

Serious injuries transform pets into nurses

Popoki the cat on my lap

Most of the time, the dogs and cats of the menagerie have a pretty easy life. They have warm beds, cozy sweaters, clever catios, awesome cat stairs, healthy food and a whole lot more. Their only real "job" is to pose for blog photos from time to time. And as Popoki is demonstrating nicely, these little pets are pros at the one task they're asked to complete.

But this week, our world got turned upside down. And that's meant these little pets had to move from being beloved pets into being experienced nurses. And you know what? They're all up to the challenge. I thought I'd share a few snaps of the way they help as part of the Sunday Selfies series, as hosted by The Cat on My Head.

For those of you who may have missed the original post (it's here, if you're curious), I slipped on ice last Saturday while walking Liam, and during that fall, I broke both my tibia and fibula. I spent three trying days in the hospital, and when I came home again, I was told that I couldn't put any weight on that sore foot. So I've been alternating between sitting in a recliner and lying on the bed.

The first night, everyone wanted on that lap.

Liam and Sinead and Fergus asking for lap time

The bones in my left leg are just splinted, not repaired, so they're very unstable. Even small pushes and pulls hurt my leg terribly. So I tried to give everyone a little lap time, but I also had to remind them to share. And sadly, I had to tell heavy, squirmy Liam that he can't be on my lap at all. He likes to launch his body from lap to floor, and I just know he'd be tempted to jump off that casted leg.

At first, he seemed heartbroken. But he set a new task for himself. Now, when I get up with my walker to head to the bathroom or the kitchen, he follows right behind me. And when I get settled in either space, he sits right by my feet to escort me back to my starting place. He does this even in the middle of the night. To him, that's his job.

Fergus the kitten sitting on my lap

Fergus can be very rambunctious as well, and he's been getting into a few troubles during my time at home. He's knocked over get-well flowers, pulled blankets from my legs and tried to play with the walker wheels. But he also spends a lot of time sitting on my knee while purring. I've been told that cat purrs are transmitted at a frequency that promotes healing. Maybe that's what he's doing. I can say that it feels wonderful.

Popoki the cat resting with her mother

Popoki's home base--my writing studio--is inaccessible to me at the moment. There are three stairs and a bit of slick walking I'd need to do to get inside. I'm not quite ready for that yet. So hubby has been spending time with her, reading to her and petting her and otherwise soothing her. And she comes inside to visit me several times per day. This is a huge leap for fearful Popoki, as she's never been comfortable spending time inside the house where the other cats are. But I can see her taking a deep breath and facing her fears before she settles down to share her purrs with me. That's something I need to do for myself, and she's a great role model.

Sinead the boston terrier on my lap

But the main nursemaid has been Sinead. She has decided that she needs to sit and sleep with me at all times, and since I am not resting comfortably these days, she is resigning herself to a life of very little sleep. Just look at how tired she is in this photo. She doesn't even have the energy to try and get my food.

Sometimes, we try to give her a break and put her down to sleep in her own bed. This doesn't seem to satisfy her. Within minutes, I can hear her scratching. And if I look down, I see this little face.

Sinead the Boston terrier wants to get up

Sinead cuddles up tight to me when I've been crying, and she crawls deep into my armpits when I have trouble catching my breath, as though she wants to pick me up and carry me away. I don't know how I'd get through all this without her.

At the moment, my break is in a very heavy, inflexible cast that is designed to keep the bones in place. On Tuesday, I'll go in for surgical repair. In the end, they tell me I'll have 2 plates and many, many screws holding things in place. They are hoping I will be able to walk again, after very extreme physical therapy. They tell me it's unlikely that I will ever run again.

It's hard to process these statements. And it's hard to know what kind of changes my animals will have to endure if the worst comes to pass. But for now, I am so grateful for their help and understanding during this tough time.

It's likely that I won't be able to visit as many blogs as I'd like to over the next week. And I'm not sure what my blogging schedule will be next week. But I'd love for you to leave me a comment of encouragement. Your kindness means the world to me.

This is my (wordy) entry into the Sunday Selfies series. Do be sure to check out the other blogs in the hop. You'll be glad you did.


  1. I am so sorry this happened to you. My heart goes out to you. What blessing all the critters have been. That is so sweet. I hope all goes well with the surgery and the physical therapy after. I will pray for you.

  2. Sending positive vibes that all goes well with the surgery and recovery. It sounds like your furry ones are keeping you good company. And that's very sweet of Liam to take his new job so seriously. Sending hugs!

  3. I'm so very sorry to hear about your accident. I'm sending lots of loving thoughts and healing energy. We're all here for you.

  4. You are so lucky to have some wonderful nurses looking after you. We hope the healing progresses nicely and normal returns before you know it. Hugs from all of us.

  5. We're sending healing purrs and prayers. We're glad you have such a great team of nurses!

    The Florida Furkids

  6. O Mi Cod, Jean, we are so shocked to hear this. Thank u for sharing what happened. You didn't need this grief that's fur sure! Please know we wish you the absolute best best best results for your surgery, both of us paws crossed which is 4 paws crossed and for a great recovery. We didn't know purring promoted healing so we're going to try more of it. it is wonderful you have found an "animal escort" to accompany you. Well anyway, good luck dear Jean and praying for a significant healing!!

  7. Our fur babies are amazing. When I've been sick or hurting, Bear doesn't leave my side. They can't actually fix what ails us, but they come as close as possible emotionally. I truly think cats and dogs are underestimated emotionally and intellectually. We're sending you love and healing thoughts.

  8. Whoa! You totally did a job on that leg! TW had a walker cos she couldn't balance on crutches. I was scared of the walker but always stood in the hall and blocked her egress. She opted not to have surgery and it took 4 months to grow the bone back where it had shattered. My her the worst part was the itching since she couldn't wash her foot for months. Sending you my best healing purrz.

  9. Jean, we are so sorry you got hurt so badly! We are sending lots of love and healing purrs and prayers. And it sounds like your nursing team is wonderful and loving. Big hugs.

  10. Poor you, that is hard to be unable to move ! Cats are the best nurses when I am ill they also take care and almost push me out of the bed !

  11. Healing purrs and prayers are headed your way form our house to yours. You poor dear. How awful it must be. M said she cna't even imagine how uncomfortable you must be. Hope you get well soon.

  12. So sorry this had to happen to you.

    We hope your little furry healers help you get well soon.

    Purrs xx
    Athena and Marie

  13. I hope that the medical folks are wrong and that one day you can run again. Rest up with the assistance of your "nurses" (Sinead is such a sweetheart) - we are all rooting for your recovery!

  14. we are all sending you lots of high-frequency purrs for healing!

  15. Oh Jean! We really really feel for you! This has been the "winter of falls" I only tore all the ligaments in my foot, but my sister has a similar break to yours.
    Nellie has been an incredible nurse! There is nothing quite like a purring cat to lower the stress. And we are sending our extras along to help you in a speedy recovery!
    We are also sending you many, many kisses and loads of strength an patience.
    Take care
    Nellie and Mommy

  16. Pets do make wonderful nurses. I think it is so sweet that Popoki is getting past her fears so she can be with you. I am praying for you to heal quickly.

  17. You have been in our thoughts and prayers constantly these days. We will continue to pray for you as you go in for surgery today. With the help of your faithful furry nurses, we have faith that all will turn out for the better. Many, many prayers coming your way!

  18. I am so sorry to hear that you have had this accident, but what a blessing to have such a wonderful family to be with you and help you mend. Most of all I am so impressed with Popoki, what an amazing thing she is doing, going way beyond what she is comfortable with. Get well as soon as you can. purrs and healing thoughts and prayers. ERin

  19. We are sorry to hear that you had such a painful tumble! We have had an icy winter here in Vancouver and we understand only too well how easy it is to fall when walking dogs. Our Mama fell a few times and it is no fun! We hope the surgery goes well and that time will heal you so that you are feeling one hundred percent in no time at all.

    the critters in the cottage xo

  20. Crivens!! Mum had a tib/fib when she as knocked off her motorbike (you can see the X-ray on our about us page!!) It's no fun, but Mum was on crutches in no time, yours sounds much more damaging so we hope you continue to improve.

    Marjorie and the Dash Kitten Cats

  21. With sweet nursemaid that you haz... you should be wells in no times... Sending more purrz fur a speedy recovery. -Katie Kitty Too.

  22. Poor you...We're so sorry about your accident. It's good to have your kitties and doggie around, they are the best medicine. Healing Pawkisses for a speedy recovery <3 <3 <3

  23. We're so sorry to hear this happened. Sending our biggest healing purrs in your direction and keeping you in our thoughts and prayers for a complete healing with ease.