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The beginning

March 1st, 2014

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To start off my name is Rachel and I’m 22 years old. I currently have a dog, cat, two birds, two leopard geckos, two mice, and some fish. In this blog I will be sharing my adoring feline friend, Niko, with you all. Please forgive any grammar or spelling errors, they’re not my strong suit.

To start I’d like to tell you a little bit about Niko. She is a 9 year old calico cat (she was a shelter kitten), she is about 14 pounds, and ┬áloves to be in every ones way. She gets along well with my Malamute/husky Jasmine (they do have their moments because Jasmine is 10 months old and still learning Niko is a cuddlier not a rough houser). Luckily my last Dog, Dawn, was a very calm and collected dog and was a perfect introduction to dogs for Niko because Dawn (who has since passed away) had already passed her crazy teens when we had gotten Niko. Niko loves to sit on her tree and listen to the parakeets, and she of course has claimed the mice as her own personal Discovery channel show. She is my third cat I’ve owned and to me the closest one because my other cats really preferred my parents rather than me and my crazy adventures at that younger age. (the other two passed away before I got Niko). She loves to chase my feet under the covers and loves to play cops and robbers with the pesky little red dot. She loves my mom because she gets to ‘help’ her grade her papers, she loves my Dad because he’s always spoiling her, and she LOOOOVES me because I’m an Xbox gamer and therefore am her personal throne 90% of the time. Usually if I’m home and on Xbox you can find her cuddling with me in the chair getting lovens between/during games. I like to think I’m her favorite because of those moments. To be honest I’m not really sure how to start into all this so here goes:

About three weeks ago my family and I noticed that Niko was walking with a strange little limp on her side. Upon further inspection it looked like she had cut her paw (the soft skin part and not the furry part) and that maybe it just needed some first aid and it would all be ok. I’ve had many different kinds of pets in my young adult life time so I wasn’t a stranger to the occasional scratch or odd wound on my animals and knew how to treat it accordingly. After a week of treating it it did not seem to get better and so I made a vet appointment.

Of course this visit wasn’t without its hissing and being angry that mom would even dare to remove her from her domain and into this strange smelling place. At first the Vet thought it was an infection but decided to do some testing just in case. When the results came back it was discovered that she had a large tumor in her upper thigh and that a tumor had also set itself into her paw and was the reason for it looking infected and her leg would have to be removed.

I want to take a moment and express how scary this really is for me as a pet owner. I didn’t know what to do or if I should even go though with the surgery or put her down because she is in serious pain when she walks. At first I put off researching because I was scared at what I would find. I didn’t want to put her down but I was scared I would be putting her though trauma for the selfish reason of not being able to let her go. What if we go though with it and she ends up wasting away from depression? What if she ends up hating me? The defining moment in all this was when a friend of mine told me of this site and all it’s stories. I cannot express to you how much release this all was to me when I found every ones stories of their pets and their path and to know Niko and I weren’t alone on this hard journey.

Niko has a set surgery date of Wednesday March 5th (next week) and I want to thank everyone that has every person that has shared their stories on this site. I cannot express enough how much it helped to read everything and know we’re not the only ones out there. I have everything ready for her. I have onesies to put on her so she won’t have to go though the stress of a cone, I have those pill capsule treats ready for her (I’ve given her a few before hand so she won’t think it’s totally usual), I’ve done a ‘deep clean scrub’ of my room, I’ve already moved her new lower litter box and food into my room so it isn’t a strange adjustment for her, and she (of course) has her micey mice next to my bed for easy viewing pleasure. Once again I thank you all for your stoires and I hope that if someone else does have to go though this they find this story hopeful also.

-Niko and Rachel

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4 Responses to “The beginning”

  1. elizabeth on March 1, 2014 1:44 am

    Welcome Niko and Rachel! What a lucky kitty to have you taking care of her!

  2. rica55 on March 1, 2014 2:08 am

    Hi Rachel and Niko!
    I am so glad you found tripawds. When my Jill (also a kitty) was first diagnosed with osteosarcoma there was only one other kitty amputee here and now we have a bunch of kitty members! I know you are probably still shocked by the diagnoses as I was, Jill’s vet originally thought she had an infection as well. But it sounds like you are doing a great job at preparing! Niko will do great as a tripawd. I was and still am shocked at how well Jill does on three legs. And I’m happy to report it’s now 14 months later and she remains cancer free.
    Please let me know if you have any questions at alll prior to the surgery or during recovery! I’m more than happy to help! I know how lost I was with so few resources out there.

    Erica and Jill

  3. jerry on March 1, 2014 2:28 am

    Ohhhh Rachel & Niko, welcome to Tripawds, the club nopawdy wants to join. We are SO glad you found us because we guarantee that you will be supported and helped by caring folks here who know exactly what you’re feeling and what recovery is like. I promise you will also be inspired, especially by fellow feline Tripawds. As our feline community grows we will be adding more and more cat-specific tips & contents to Tripawds. By being here and blogging, your’e already contributing to that, so thank you!

    We are SO glad you joined us, thank you. If we can do anything at all to make your journey easier please let us know OK?

  4. benny55 on March 1, 2014 5:24 pm

    No indeedy, you are not alone! We are all family here!

    And good for you for buckling down and dong your research. You have prepared yourself as well as one can! As you know, recovery is no picnic!
    But o e th recovey is ocer andyou see her sparkle come back…she’ll be beating you at all the Xbox games!

    One of ou Super Star kitties here is Jill…going on fourteen months of enjoying life to the fullest!

    Nikko sou ds like a lovely soul who jas some fine Guardian Angels watching over her! When you can, we’d love to see so e pics of her! Take lots and lots…we love them!

    Look forward to more posts! You are a great advocate for your swee kitty! She’s very loved and she knows it!

    Hugs to all! And you stay connected tomus, okay? We’re here for you!

    Sally and Happy Hannah

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