Esteban and the Gang

Looks like Esteban figured out how to get on top of the dog crate! Look what adorable scene I happened upon when I went to get a snack in the kitchen!

L to R: Esteban, Steve, Spyder
L to R: Esteban, Steve, Spyder, Saxon
L to R: Esteban, Steve, Spyder, Yorrick (found out pictures were being taken and had to insert himself!), Saxon (running off!)
L to R: Esteban, Steve, Spyder, Yorrick (making a great face!!)

I don’t know how he got up there, and I don’t know how he got down! What I do know is that if I were to put something there for him to use to get up or down, he would ignore it! I’ve totally given up on any of that. Last night he jumped up into shelving that we have built into our bathroom. I removed a few things that probably made it easier for him to get up there, but I knew that really if he wanted to get back up there, he would. I’m glad that he’s at least settling in with the crew!!


Figuring Things Out

Everyone is in gen pop now and it’s a circus! Zissou still sleeps in the foster closet because she isn’t really getting along with everyone too well. She’s hissing and spitting and growling. She’s won the prize for being the first foster to get squirted with the spray bottle. Steve, just now, decided she was sick of the BS and cornered Zissou in a closet. I let her do it because no one is going to teach Zissou to get over herself except one of the other cats!! Zissou does have something going for her though. She’s the snuggliest cat EVER! I thought Gigglepuss was snuggly. If I let Zissou hang out in the bedroom while I’m sleeping, she comes right up to my face and rubs up on it. She paws at my nose and tries to get as close as possible! She even tried to sleep on my face!!

Esteban is making himself at home. He goes where he pleases (and where we don’t please). He ignores anything we’ve placed for him to step on so he doesn’t have to jump. He zooms in and out of rooms like a cat should. I realized last night while he was eating that he has a different challenge there than Steve does. He looked awkward bent over his bowl. Steve usually just hunches at her bowl and eats. Esteban looked uncomfortable. I raised his bowl up maybe 8 or 9 inches and it seemed to improve the situation. I think maybe I’m feeding him out of too deep a bowl, too. Unfortunately, it’s the only spare bowl I have.

Today, Esteban got a case of the goofies and ran into the bathroom to play. He jumped into the tub and started grooming. Steve then went into the bathroom and watched Esteban in her favorite spot. Then she jumped in with him. He chirped at her and did a weird goofy twisty thing with his body that I can’t even describe! Then he jumped out and ran off!! The two of them in the bathroom and the tub was too cute, though.

I added a couple of more DVDs after this
Esteban and Steve tub 1
Hey, Esteban! Isn’t the tub fun?
esteban and steve tub 2
Mom? Is it ok if I get in the tub with Esteban?
esteban and steve tub 3
Just a couple of Tripawds hangin’ out in the tub!!


Time to Just Be Foster Cats

Esteban and Zissou had visits with their surgeons on Monday. Both received good reports! Zissou has dissolving sutures and Esteban had his removed, so no more e-collars for anyone! Zissou is still fighting her upper respiratory infection – though she sounds a lot better – and is in quarantine until the end of the week.

Esteban no longer spends nights in the bedroom with us. He has earned his freedom 100%! He has found a few places where he feels safe to hide when it gets a little too chaotic in the apartment; but for the most part, he’s not afraid to stand up for himself and just hang out. He seems to enjoy Steve’s favorite hang out spot on the Rubbermaid bins we have under the kitchen table. He also likes to sit on the perch in the window and snuggles up in the tunnel underneath it. The other day he leaped right up onto Jay’s desk! That was a big no no!!

Steve seems to like to follow him around. I don’t know if she’s keeping tabs on him or is just really interested in him. Saxon no longer hisses at him. He laid down on the couch next to him a little bit ago. Spyder and Esteban finally really crossed paths today. One of them hissed, but I’m not sure who!

The plan now is to put just a little bit of weight on Esteban (I know it’s better for him to be thin, but he’s stick thin right now) and to improve his coat. His fur is very patchy and I’d like to see it fill out before he goes to his furever home. I’d also like to see him gain a little bit more confidence. Zissou will have to learn to tolerate other cats when she’s done with her quarantine. I’d also like to get her over her food aggression. They’ll be here a few more weeks!

esteban no sutures
Esteban feels much better without those pesky sutures!

I should also mention that Esteban isn’t the only Tripawd available for adoption from my humane society (Mohawk Hudson Humane Society in Menands, NY)!! Danni just came up here from the south and is available!


Welcome to Gen Pop, Esteban!

Esteban is officially a member of Gen Pop! Yesterday, while I was at work, Jay tried putting Esteban back into the foster closet just to see what would happen. Within minutes he heard Esteban jump the “door.” Jay said that there was no point in trying to keep him in there. Esteban sleeps with us in the bedroom at night, and gets to roam the apartment during the day. He’s clearly proud of himself for taking a stand!

Steve has accepted her foster brother as a member of the pack. She doesn’t hiss at him anymore. She kind of follows him around and keeps tabs on him. Earlier, he was laying on the sofa between Jay and I with his tail hanging over the edge, and she came over and swatted at it! He didn’t care at all. He’s so easy going! He will be so easy to adopt out!

Saxon still hisses at him, and Spyder is pretty indifferent. I think Spyder actually just noticed him for the first time today. Esteban was drinking from the community water bowl and Spyder went over to take a drink but stopped a few feet away when he saw the unfamiliar cat. Then he just turned around and went back to his bed. I don’t think Spyder cares.

Esteban is making himself right at home. He settles into the couch when I’m watching TV. He snuggles up between Jay and I when we’re both on the couch. He loves to lay on Jay’s lap! He’s found a safe spot inside the tunnel on the cat perch. He’s not afraid to check anything out. He’s such a talker, too! He’ll tell us everything that’s on his mind!!

Zissou has five more days in quarantine, then we’ll start to work on her socialization skills. She’s gonna get a rude awakening when she meets the rest of the pack!

I think he likes it here
Zissou loves to hang out on my shoulders!
She was standing on my arm right under my face!
Esteban says, “Thanks for letting me hang out in the apartment!”


That’s OK, I Didn’t Want to Sleep Anyways

Last night, I tucked the kitties in, said goodnight, and climbed into bed. Almost immediately, Esteban started crying. He had been out with Jay and I for a lot of the night, so I thought maybe he was just having a hard time with going back into the closet away from us. I got out of bed, opened the makeshift door, and pet him for a little bit before putting him back away. I climbed back into bed and he started crying more. And more. And more. And louder. And harder. Then I heard Zissou hiss. Then I heard a big commotion that sounded like a cat climbing the wall. Jay banged on the wall and things quieted down for about 30 seconds. Then more crying, more hissing, and someone climbing the wall again. Jay sat up in bed and said, “Uhhhh, someone just jumped the door and is out of the closet!” I assumed it was Zissou. Nope. Esteban thought maybe he’d like to give me a heart attack! He scaled the makeshift door, jumped to the floor, and started crying on the bedroom floor!!


The “door” is about as tall as I am, so a little over 5 feet tall. It leans into the room a little, so there’s a slight incline and an extra space that other super-agile cats have taken advantage of. I’m guessing he did this, and got up to the low point at about 4 to 4 1/2 feet. He didn’t pull or tear any sutures or any part of his incision!!

I decided that he was going to have to spend the night with us. I grabbed the extra litter box, filled a bowl with water, and tried to go back to sleep. He kept crying, though! I spent a lot of the night comforting him, pulling his leg out of his e-collar (I really don’t know how he does that), and keeping him quiet.

I stopped at the humane society today to get more antibiotics for Zissou and was able to talk to the vet. She wasn’t concerned with Esteban’s giant leap, and is glad to hear that (besides that jump last night) he’s being careful about how he gets up and down onto and from things. She also appreciated the advice I’ve been getting from other front amp pawrents! I let her know that I think Esteban would benefit from some more foster care in “g-pop” (general population, ie out with the rest of the pack) after she sees him on Monday if she thinks he’ll be ok to not be segregated.

Last night, during his time out of segregation, Esteban found his voice and wasn’t afraid to hiss back at Saxon and Steve. He even hissed at Yorrick when he got too pushy with the sniffing! Today, he’s giving everybody their fair chance. He’s been hissed at a few times, but hasn’t hissed back. He head bonked Yorrick and sat next to Steve. Saxon came up on the sofa to sit near Esteban. Saxon tried to be good, but ended up hissing. We’ll get there!!

Did I mention, Esteban’s incision looks AMAZING?! He pulled one of his own stitches out last night. I’m not at all concerned. He’s 99% closed and healed. He’s also starting to center his front foot when he walks, sits, and lays down. Steve still doesn’t center her back foot!

Day 11 post op. Look at that healed incision!
Front foot centered!
Steve is working on being a good girl and not hissing!



Nothing But Improvements!

Esteban is hanging out next to me, helping with this blog post. By helping, I mean nudging the laptop screen and walking on the keyboard!

His incision looks great! He’s on day 9 post op, and he’s definitely looking as good as Steve looked at this point. His skin is closing or is closed. The warmth I felt is gone. He shows very little signs of feeling irritated by the sutures, and I’d be hard pressed to believe he’s in any pain. He really never stops purring!

Zissou earned her way out of her e-collar when she dunked it almost completely in the water bowl, then dragged it through a fresh poo in the litter box. I thought about that series of events happening in reverse order. Since the swelling in her tail was completely gone, the incision was closed and clean, and she could pretty much reach around the e-collar anyways, I made the executive decision to remove it.

Ooh! Someone just stepped down from the couch and wandered off! He did it just like all the front leg amp pawrents said he would! He leaned way down until his front leg was close to the ground, then took a gentle jump down! He took a lap around the kitchen, jumped up onto the mini cat tree in the window, gently jump/stepped down, and is back on the couch with me again! It all happened too quick for me to get photos or video. He’s getting around like a pro!! And he’s gone again!

Both kitties have a recheck appointment with the humane society vet next Monday. She thinks that Esteban will be staying to go up for adoption. He was already doing so well before I took him. I think they only sent him with me because it’s easier for fosters to medicate than for the shelter staff to do it. Really, the only thing he needs from me is to put weight on him and improve his coat. He’s so scraggly and skinny. He’s got this Tripawd thing down!! If he doesn’t do well on the adoption floor, I can take him back and he can be adopted from our home. Zissou definitely needs some socialization, so she’ll be staying.

My sister’s family is fostering a Tripawd Golden Retriever mix out in Natick, MA! My sister’s sister in law is a veterinarian and a volunteer at a shelter in Sudbury, MA. I got a text last night that they were fostering a Tripawd! I don’t know why or for how long, but my sister knew that I’d be proud!

Incision is looking good!
Saxon is checking Esteban out
Saxon hisses at Esteban. Esteban is not phased one bit.
Trixie, the Tripawd living with my sister temporarily

Sometimes Snuggles are the best Medicine

I’ve been told that the reason every little sound wakes me up at night is because I’m of child bearing age and my hormones tell my brain that I need to be aware of a baby in need crying for me in the night. Well, last night, Esteban was crying for me again. I got out of bed and glanced at the clock. 3:30. Zissou tried to climb into my lap, but I had to push her away since Esteban was in such desperate need of attention at this very hour. I sat in the closet doorway, leaned my head on the doorframe, and pulled Esteban close for snuggles and pets. I think I was starting to fall asleep when my hand slid down from his head to his front leg, which was on the wrong side of his e-collar!! That’s why he was crying! How on earth did he manage that!? I can barely fit it over his head, and he managed to get his leg through it!!

Today, after walking my midday client, I stopped over to the humane society to pick up the foster paperwork that wasn’t ready for me on Friday and to hopefully talk to the vet about when Esteban and Zissou’s surgeries were, when/if sutures needed to be removed, and what their vaccine schedule needs to be. The vet was in surgery, so I couldn’t talk to her, but I did get the paperwork. I now have an idea of how old the kitties are and a diagnosis for Esteban’s leg (non-union fracture of the radius and ulna suggesting he was injured for a long time).

When I got home, I decided that Esteban needed some snuggle time, so I broke his quarantine and brought him out into the living room with me. I really think he appreciated it. He was purring like a motorboat and head bonking all over the place! Yorrick came over to sniff and Esteban didn’t care at all. He must have had good experiences with dogs in the past. Steve then came over to check things out. She sniffed and poked, but when Esteban sniffed back she hissed. She’s always been bratty at introductions, so I’m not too worried. Especially since after a few minutes, she climbed up on the couch and laid on the arm behind Esteban while he slept. Saxon just came over for a minute to sniff from the floor. He didn’t seem too interested. Of course I took a ton of pictures!

The only real concern I have for Esteban right now is that his incision feels warm to the touch. I know that’s a sign of infection, but I’m trying to remain level headed since he is on Clavamox. There’s no swelling or signs of irritation. I just don’t remember Steve’s incision ever feeling warm like this.

Steve is here to check things out
This was the shot I really wanted!
Steve is such a brat! She reaches up and pokes at Esteban then hisses at him!!
Esteban is hamming it up for the camera!
He’s such a great cat! Didn’t care at all that Yorrick got all up in his business!
Esteban is accepted as one of the pack, even if it’s only temporary!


Esteban and Zissou: Night Two, Day Three

Night two went much better. I didn’t hear a peep out of either kitty. Sneezes yes. Peeps, meows, hisses, or growls…no.

This morning, I was up early for work and tried to sneak in and out of the closet quickly for feeding, antibiotics, and once overs. I made the mistake of sitting down. Zissou climbed into my lap! Purring even!!

Esteban seems uncomfortable, but not entirely unhappy. I just went digging for dated pictures of Steve post op to compare her surgery site to Esteban’s at this point in the recovery. I won’t know until I go to the humane society tomorrow to get my paperwork and chat with the vet, but the staff member who set the kitties up to go home with me said she was pretty sure that Esteban’s amputation was last Monday and Zissou’s was Wednesday or Thursday. His incision doesn’t look swollen. He’s not bruised or edematous. I found a picture of Steve 10 days out (compared to Esteban’s almost 7 days) and she looked a bit more healed with her skin closed a bit more, but I’m not ruling out that 3 more days will make all of that difference. I’m also hesitant to compare them because their surgeries were so different. The incisions were different shapes and sizes; and I believe his leg was removed from the scapula down, whereas Steve still has a nub of her femur. I’m a little weirded out by his extra skin flap, I’m not gonna lie!

Tonight, I re-rearranged their bedding. I gave Esteban another blankie and made Zissou’s more bunchy and less folded. I also had the joy of pulling a 6 inch tapeworm out of her butt. I was worried that it was a string or a piece of toy from her previous life. I was actually relieved that it was a worm! I love Strongid! Results you can see!!! Sorry if any of that was too much info 🙂

Here are new pictures! I cleaned the boogers off of Zissou’s nose and tried to get a picture of her new, clean face but she just wanted to climb on my lap. The way Esteban is laying in this picture is actually the most relaxed I’ve seen him since he arrived. Usually he is laying in that uncomfortable cat pose with all of his feet under him. Now with the new blankie, he’s at least a little recumbent. I also included a picture of his incision site from today and – for comparison – Steve’s site 10 days post op.

esteban comfyesteban sx site 6 days post opSteve in foster

Night One With the New Fosters

Zissou talked a big game yesterday, and had quite a bit to say last night, but was a brand new cat this morning.

First, the first night. Zissou growled at nothing for awhile before she fell asleep. Sometime in the middle of the night, Esteban started crying. His crying got louder and he awkwardly (loudly) moved towards the door of the closet to, I guess, get our attention. He upset Zissou in the process and hissing, spitting, and growling ensued. His crying continued to get louder, and my shushing wasn’t doing anything, so I decided to get out of bed to comfort him. I squinted at the clock and saw it was 5 am. I moved the makeshift closet door aside and squatted down on the floor to pet him and quiet him down. If he wasn’t on restricted activity, I would have left the door open and let him get on and off the bed as he wanted.

Today, when I woke up, they were much quieter. They were each keeping to their own side of the closet. Zissou is seeking attention and even purring! PURRING!!! She still gets growly when food is involved or if Esteban gets too close, but for the most part, I think she feels a lot better because she’s acting a lot better. I have a lot of hope that I’ll be able to continue fostering them both together.

I remembered that I still had the soft e-collar from Steve’s surgery recovery (almost a year and a half ago), so I put it on Esteban in place of his hard plastic one. He immediately seemed more comfortable! He ate his first meal in front of me after that. So far the only thing I have gotten Zissou to eat is turkey from a grocery store roaster. She also is fighting an upper respiratory infection besides being in pain from a recent surgery and is pretty snotty, so I can’t really blame her for being a finicky eater.

Here are new pictures of the kitties, plus pictures of their surgery sites!

esteban surgery site estebanzissou surgery site zissou

Two Amputee Fosters!!


We have two amputee fosters!!!!

We have a tail amp whose name we changed from Amore to Zissou. She is miserable, growly, and food aggressive! She’s my new project. I will make Zissou a loving and sweet cat! We’re hoping that part of the anger is due to pain/discomfort from the surgery. No one has seen her when she is not in pain or in an uncomfortable state. I do not know why her tail was amputated.

We also have a TRIPAWD!!! Esteban, who came to us as Kris, is a front left amp. Steve is a right rear. TOTAL OPPOSITE!! Esteban’s leg was amputated for almost the exact same reason Steve’s was. His leg was all mangled and his joints were facing the wrong way. I decided to name him after Steve (Esteban is Spanish for Steven) since he sorta takes after her! Esteban is a total sweetheart. He just sits there and purrs and purrs…just like Steve! He gives head butts and loves to snuggle! He’s a talker like Steve, too!

I can’t wait to learn what it’s like to have a front leg amp and see how it differs from a rear leg amp! Esteban will be on a two week quarantine mandatory per humane society protocol. If I have him beyond that, I’ll start introducing him to the rest of the apartment and to the furry family. At that point, I’ll start building him the steps that I had built for Steve so he can get into windows and onto perches and furniture.

Oh! Jay picked Zissou’s name because of Esteban. It’s A Life Aquatic reference. The main character is Steve Zissou, but one of the characters calls him Esteban. Jay said if we have one cat named Esteban, we should name the other Zissou! Cute, huh?!

I suppose you guys want to see pictures? These are pictures I took when I first brought them home. My phone died at work, so I couldn’t take new pictures tonight. I promise to post new pictures as they heal and as Zissou warms up. I’ll post them here, on Steve’s Facebook page, and on the Tripawds Facebook page!

Esteban and Zissou 1 Esteban and Zissou 2 Esteban and Zissou 3 Esteban and Zissou 4