One Year Later – What I’ve Learned

Mona’s leg was amputated June 13, 2014. She is still a happy sweet cat on three legs. She was especially happy this morning when I gave her dental kibbles in bed at 5 am. Great way to start the day!

During this past year I’ve learned about the resilience and determination of tripawds and their parents through this website and am thankful for that. Other things I have learned:

  1. Mona is smart, resilient, and adaptable. I assisted with placing boxes at locations where she likes to jump up and she uses them to go down instead of diving off the bed.
  2. Mona knows the boxes were meant for her. She doesn’t allow my other cat Eli to use them. He’s smart too and only sleeps on them when she’s not around.
  3. Vaccine Associated Fibrosarcomas in cats is not curable. Hopefully tumour removal through surgery stops it from spreading. Radiation, chemo, and Interleukin 2 only delay re-occurrence. If possible immediate amputation is the best hope to rid the body of VAS if the vaccines are injected low in the leg. My vet and pathologist are confident the cancer left with the leg. All I have is hope. I don’t dwell on it but am thankful for every day she is with me.
  4. Question the prognosis if statistics are used. The stats show that re-occurrence is 66 after tumour removal or 325 days after amputation. Mona had her leg amputated 365 days ago! She had no additional treatments.
  5. Do not change the type of kitty litter used during surgery recovery. Mona would not use the new stuff.
  6. Have the vet or technician open the medication bottle before I leave the clinic. When it was time to give Mona pain meds, in my panic I couldn’t open the lid.
  7. Make the decision, live with it and don’t look back.
  8. Take control of my pets’ healthcare. Annual vaccinations are unnecessary. Follow the Veterinary Association’s Guidelines even though some vets don’t.
  9. “Listen” to Mona, she tells me what she needs. When she runs into the house really fast, up the stairs and under the bed that means something scared her and Eli starts his thug walk to go outside and take care of it. When she runs real fast and lies down at the bottom of the stairs then she wants me to brush her.
  10. Love Mona exactly as she is.

Here’s Mona waiting for me to come home from work:

Mona waiting


Mona enjoying a sunny day:







Heading to the house for supper. Note the tail is always up and gets very fluffy when food is involved.




Fluffy tail as she fast hops to the food bowl:


9 thoughts on “One Year Later – What I’ve Learned”

  1. Wise words from an amazing kitty Momma. Kerren thanks so much for sharing your insight. It’s applicable to both dogs and cats and we can’t thank you enough.

    3-paws up to you and Mona for coming through the amputation ordeal stronger and wiser than ever!

  2. Mona is so gorgeous, and I remember reading about her as I was preparing to deal with Smore.

    I’m so glad she has beaten the odds. She is too beautiful. Give her a treat from us!

    1. Thanks Tina. Yup, that Mona certainly lives life on her terms. I can’t post on your blog (errors) so I’ll comment here. That Smore has the best meerkat pose I’ve ever seen! I love how she rests her paw on the window ledge, such a cutie. I think she is so adaptable because you started working with her so young and she trusts you. Gotta love her.

      Kerren and Trikitty Mona

  3. Mona is beautiful! It’s good to hear from other two-cat families like mine, I was worrying how Leila’s brother Milo would react to her. Also to read about front leg amputations because I keep hearing that is much harder. We have not been through the amputation yet, but I am finding a lot of comfort in these tri-kitty blogs. Thank you.

    1. Hi Emily. Thank you, Mona is a beauty and looks a bit like a cartoon character. Your cats looks very close and that likely won’t change after an amputation. Mona is not particularly kind to Eli – she hits him and doesn’t want him touching her. She hits him on his head. When the vet talked about the amputation I said that at least Mona won’t be able to hit Eli anymore.The vet said she’d find a way and she did. She continues to hit him if he gets too close!

      Eli however is very kind and protective of Mona. I kept her in a closed room when she first came home from the surgery but Eli wanted in the room. He sniffed her and then stood guard a couple of feet away. He continued to follow her progress and never was disruptive in any way.

      For front leg amputees walking certainly looks laboured but they can run with ease. The momentum seems to propel them.

      I hope that reading the blogs that you will find there is nothing to fear. Cats are very resilient. We have a lot to learn from them. Keep in touch if you have any questions.


  4. Mona is a captivating kitty! I love your beckoning yard, too. I can almost smell the fresh air from here. Samba is asking for love beams from Mona while she approaches her surgery consultation tomorrow! Love you, Mona!

    1. Thanks! Mona is a cutie. Unfortunately Mona isn’t moving as well as she was so I’m trying to get her in for a chiropractic treatment. I live in a small community so the rehab services are limited. Mona does have a good attitude and still enjoys her food and cuddles.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *