Latasia // Photographer, Designer, Visual Artist


The Kerfuffle

So my cats are idiots and I'll tell you why.

Yes, they're my adorable, cuddly, playful little children, but that doesn't mean they're always on their best behavior. In fact, more often than not, they're tiny devils terrorizing the apartment and each other.

So it's no wonder that, while I was rolling out of bed and sluggishly making my way to the bathroom, Khali (the baby Tortoiseshell weighing in at 7 lbs.) had broken her leg clean off at the hip joint. Her big brother, Rogue (a Maine Coon weighing a staggering 17 lbs.) had attacked her – as he usually does every hour or so throughout the day.

The difference between this time and every time before now was that Khali landed just so and snapped her leg. Immediately, I knew something was off because I went to stop them from fighting and she was limping away and whimpering.

After a day of limping around for her and me hoping it was just a sprain, I called the vet. They told me to see if there was any improvement within another 24 hours, which there wasn't, so we snatched up an emergency appointment to get her x-rayed. Low and behold, a complete fracture at the ball of her hip joint. This meant surgery for sure.

When the vet said FHO surgery, I had no idea what that meant and couldn't even process when he was explaining because I was so worried. You know that panic mindset when something bad happens and just leaves you stunned, in shock? That was me.

Neither of the cats have ever really had issues besides Roe throwing up his food incessantly because, for an alley cat, his stomach is super sensitive – go figure! So this news took me completely by surprise.

An FHO (femoral head ostectomy) is the surgical removal of the head and neck of the femur. The head of the femur is the “ball” part of the ball-and-socket that makes up the hip joint. I contained my worry once I knew she wouldn't have to suffer the further pain of healing a wonky fracture with a sling, splint, or cast – and it helped that a coworker of mine knew an amazing vet that didn't charge an arm and a literal leg for the surgery!

Things around the apartment have been much quieter the past month with her still in recovery after her surgery, but a few minutes of physical therapy (just like her mom, i.e. me) everyday and being separated from her tormentor should help. Being so young and spunky doesn't hurt either!

Borrowing a kennel from a family friend helped immensely! We set her up with a ton of blankets to pad her healing hip – of course, Roe thought it was his new home and didn't want to give it up. We've since returned the kennel and she's doing loads better getting around and won't quit jumping up into the cat tree – regardless of how much she struggles to get there.

While she may always sit at a 90 degree angle, favor her right leg more, or sleep in the most awkward positions, she'll always be well taken care of and loved beyond belief – no matter which direction she lands next time (fingers crossed, don't break anything else). Now she has a funny gait to match her funny personality and I can't wait to see what other adventures await us.

Now if only that patch of bald cat would grow back...that would be nice.