Phantom Limbs

A couple of nights later, we're painting the spare room, and I hear a noise that sounds like cats fighting, but it was coming from the bedroom, Archie was writhing around in agony on the bed, holding his back leg out, stretched out like he'd hurt it. He couldn't and wouldn't put weight on it, and if we tried to examine him, he'd hiss and snarl at us. So, back to the vets he went. He doesn't like going in the car unless he can run around on the back seat, but he was in the cat basket and he was going crazy in there. Snarling and hissing and meowing like I've never heard him before (even worse than at the time of the accident). I was worried again. What had he done now? I came to the conclusion he had dislocated his hip and this road to recovery was getting longer and longer. In the waiting room he settled down. I opened the cat basket in the vet's treatment room and he strolled out as if nothing had happened. Jumping on the floor and clawing the door to get out. Cheers mate, make me look like a mug! The nurse agreed that he might have dislocated it and all the thrashing around in the cat basket might have popped it back into its socket. So, we set off home again!

The same night, a couple of hours later, he started doing it again. But now the vets was shut. I didn't know whether I should try and massage the area to tease the bone back into the socket or what... So I phoned the emergency vet again. Same man. At least this time it wasn't 1am! He agreed to meet us back at the vets again. So I got the cat basket again, thinking that when I got there he'd be fine and this could get a very long road to recovery. But would he go back in the basket? Would he heck. He's probably worked out now, that everytime he goes in there, he gets jabbed with needles or loses a limb! We wrapped him back up in a towel and headed off.

Sure enough, on the surgery table, he was walking fine on it again. He was jumping around the operating theatre like nothing bothered him at all.

Acute pain, or phantom limb pains. Thats what the doctor said. I have heard of this before. Its where the nerves to the leg are damaged (where they've been cut off!) and the brain doesn't realise that the leg is gone. So the brain believes the leg thats missing is still there, but because the nerves are damaged it doesn't understand the sensation. So the brain is giving the cat pain feelings. I read somewhere that 80% of all amputees have this sensation.


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