Minnie At Home

minnie at home  146

It feels so good to have Minnie back home.  I’m not sure why it should make such a difference in how I feel, but once she got home it seemed like things were normal again.  Lenore came over  to Minnie’s crate with a stuffed animal in her mouth, Red completely ignored her, as usual.  And Frieda, well, even though Frieda wasn’t literally licking her chops, I knew what was on her mind.  Nothing different there.

When I opened the crate, Minnie crawled into my lap.  I took the cone off her head and scratched her neck and she purred like she was on high speed.  She has her usual  voracious appetite for food and affection.  She’s even grooming herself (I watch her when I take her cone off to make sure she doesn’t work at the stitches) all signs of a healthy cat.

I never imagined spending so much money on a cat, but when Jon and I talked about it, we both agreed that more than anything our decision to go ahead with the surgery was less practical and more intuitive.  When Izzy had cancer I had no doubt that he should be put down as soon as possible to keep him from suffering.  With Minnie it just felt like she had a lot more life in her.  I never felt like she wouldn’t be just fine with three legs instead of four.

I think that’s why  it was confusing for me.  I’ve known lots of animals with three legs who don’t seem to know the difference.  And I got tons of emails from people telling me their stories about their three-legged dogs and cats.  Not one of them regretted keeping their pet alive or even spoke of the animal not being able to adjust.  And I  don’t believe Minnie has a sense of loss or regret in the way a human might.

So intellectually and intuitively I knew Minnie would be fine, but I was still feeling a huge amount of sadness and grief.  I knew it didn’t make sense to feel it and yet still I did.  I couldn’t help putting myself in her place and imagining what she might be feeling.  I kept thinking that she was no longer Minnie, now she was the cat with three legs. I thought of all the things she might not be able to do again, like climb trees and sit on the fence post, what if she couldn’t hop up on the rocker.  I told myself that people go through much worse and I should be feeling for them, not a cat.  I knew it was a projection and didn’t want to admit, even to myself, that I was thinking these things and feeling what I was feeling, which only made my misery worse.

It was only last night, when I spilled what I was feeling, all in a jumble of words and tears to Jon, that I started to feel better.  It still amazes me how each time I speak the words out loud, how when I’m heard, it actually makes a difference in how I feel.  And now with Minnie home it seems the worse is over.  From now on Minnie will do what she can and not what she can’t.  And I can see, she’s not the three-legged cat, but Minnie, who happens to have three legs instead of four. I don’t know what she’s feeling or thinking, but Minnie seems to me to be ready to get on with life. Different as that may be for her,  she’s still Minnie.


16 thoughts on “Minnie At Home

  1. So very true. Animals live more in the present I think and she’s enjoying being home and a part of life. Everyone’s life will evolve. She’s not suffering. I’m glad you found her and were able to get good vet care. It’s an unhappy place to not be finding a missing animal…and a better place when you find them

  2. I’m so glad she is home and you are feeling better. I, too, wrestle with my work/spending/love balance for people and for our animals. All of life is a balance. You and Jon describe Minnie with such sweet words. It will be interesting to see where her spirit leads you from here :))

  3. What an insightful & loving post, Maria. Bless you (and Jon) for your compassionate commitment to Minnie. Best wishes for her comfort & recovery.

  4. Beautifully written, Maria. I don’t think we can put an equation to our love of animals, or that by loving and saving Minnie it means you care less about people or you don’t reach out to people in need. To love is to love, to help where and when you can is to help where and when you can. You and Jon make the world a better place for being in it and I am happy that it is Minnie’s good fortune in her time of need to be cared for by you. All the best to you all.

  5. welcome back home, Minnie! Yeah!!! Maria……wonderful that you can share your feelings of sadness and grief. You say you know this does not make sense, but it does! I think this is so normal, as we tend to view things from our own human perspective. As you said so well, Minnie is still Minnie……only minus a leg. You will all be adjusting….. and healing……. and before you know it, she will be doing exactly what she CAN do and wants to do. 3 cheers for all of you!
    Fond wishes for her speedy recovery

  6. Maria, you are only running through all the normal thoughts one does in a situation like this. Do I save her, don’t I save her, spend the money, don’t spend the money. We all look back and then wonder if we made the correct decision. As you have gone through this process, I feel you and Jon made the right decision. Minnie only lost a leg, she didn’t have a dread disease that you knew would in the end, sooner or later, take her life. Cats and dogs can live a fulfilling life with only three legs. If we have the resources, and feel okay with spending the money, why not? 🙂 My last two dogs, one had cancer in the nasal passage, the other had massive seizures. For us, it wasn’t a difficult decision, but yet painful. We did not have the resources to put out for the cancer treatment, and then, to know, it probably wouldn’t keep her alive that long. So, we brought our Shaelyn home, and she lived over a year, without a lot of pain, only nose bleeds, which we handled. We had all this time to love on her, and be with her, without the side affects from treatment. We were thankful for the time we had. Our other little 13 1/2 year old gal, Alicia, had been having small seizures over the summer, and then, two massive ones only a few hours apart. She was anxious, confused, and that in itself was enough to not want to see her go through any of these seizures again. Also, a lot of money could have been spent to control the seizures, but again, we would be limited in being able to leave her along again. I didn’t see that as a good future for her, nor us, being anxious about going to the store, the library, work, etc. The decision was made, and I still questioned myself. But, it was the best for her, as she lived a very good long life, for a lab, and we were thankful she was in our lives.

    Give that Minnie girl a big, big kiss for me, and our gang of cats: Squeeky, Sadie, and Gracie! 🙂

  7. Oh Maria, She’s precious in this photo. I’m so relieved she’s home. She’ll heal wonderfully at home. That’s a researched fact. Whew! Breathe! Your feelings are yours. They’re normal. Especially for a woman I think. We need to say no to self-doubt and second guessing ourselves. I must tell you, last week with Maya I was doing a lot of self-deprecating and I got an earful from Jacqui,my wise instructor. She set me strait. So I think we both need to put away the baseball bat. I agree,feelings shared are much easier to process. Especially when we have such non-judgmental,loving friends to share them with.

  8. Dear Marie, it is a good day when things feel normal again. Minnie might just climb trees and jump up high. Her strength and agility is not that diminished with one less limb. If her weight is maintained at a healthy percent she will just adjust. Always following your voice and yes….. it is being heard that makes our LIght shine. Blessings to you this day! Renae

  9. Maria, you were just working it through. Minnie is only different on the outside as so many people are who go through illness or injury. She is still Minnie on the inside. And of course you are sad, everyone was sad for her and you love her more than any of us. So Minnie, I am sure, still believes she is a chicken; and now a very special chicken indeed. And if your potholders are a bit of whimsical fantasy, then she can still climb trees and fenceposts. And perhaps she will again. She is getting the best care possible with you and Jon and all will be well as you adapt to the new world. Candy

    P.S. I smiled at Lenore’s sweetness and laughed out loud at Freida’s ponderings!!

  10. Maria, I love what you said here, the descriptions of all your animals reactions to Minnie!! and especially how much better it is for you to verbalize what you are thinking and feeling, in order to make adjustments. I find that to be so very true. Annie

  11. Maria, you never need doubt the wisdom in what you and Jon have done for Minnie. She wasn’t ready to move on from this life on earth. You’ve given her the best chance she has to live it now, being very careful as to where she’s put and with all safety in mind. Accidents happen, animals are predators (we lost our 11 yr. old cat to a coyote a few years ago). When my heart-dog Ceilidh collapsed one morning and couldn’t walk by noon several years ago, I had her into the vet’s office shortly after and one Xray of her abdomen showed an effusion. She had cancer. We rushed her to our teaching vet hospital an hour away and as they carried her out, I knew that her life was ebbing away. We stayed until mid-night, two other Aussies tethered to leads, keeping us company. They aspirated the fluid around the wall of her heart twice and twice I was told she could die instantly. But she didn’t. I spent $3,000 on her in less than 24 hrs. and I don’t regret it to this day although $3000 for me is not easily come by. She lived another five very precious weeks. You do what feels right at the time and then know you’ve given Minnie the best chance she has at living a life of adjusted mobility but she’s alive and you’ve given her that.
    Sandy P in Canada

  12. I’ve been thinking about Minnie since I read about the accident on Jon’s website. Hoping she gets back on her feet soon and gets all healed up. I know you will give her great care and comfort as she heals. I’m rooting for her! I bet she’ll adjust and be just fine.

  13. Maria, your words touched me. I am sure so much is still going through your mind, but trust yourself and enjoy Minnie. I had a lab in 1994 who herinated a disc and went down like a bag of bones. I ended up getting him the surgery simply because he let me know he wasn’t ready to give up. I never regretted the decision, he was 8 when he got hurt and lived 5 more good years after the surgery. You, Jon and Minnie will be just fine.

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