When we picked Archie up from the vets, the injury looked catastrophic. He had most of his hind quarters shaved off, to the skin and a very large wound, stitched up, very much like a cornish pasty. He looked well enough in himself and I think he just wanted to come home.

Archie wasn't insured, and it cost almost £600 to have the operation, and all the medication, xrays, etc. Money well spent if it meant he lived. The vet told us he would get used to only having three legs very quickly. And he appeared to.

For the next half a week he didn't really do a lot, just slept. Archie didn't pick at his stitches, so he didn't have to wear a cone. After a week, he had a nibble on some stitches and started bleeding, so we had to put the cone on him for night times, and when I was at work.

2 weeks after the accident, and he was busting to get out of the house. We weren't allowed to let him out, as he might jump and break open the wound. The catflap was locked and he knew it. He'd give out heart wrenching meows by the back door. All we tried to do was to show him love and affection. I didn't want him thinking that we'd been nasty and removed his leg. But to be fair, I don't really think he missed it; he just didn't know why he was half bald, and locked in the house. He was acting like a scaredy cat, sleeping in corners and underthings, not his usual flop anywhere that looks comfy. He wouldnt sit with us, rather prefer to be alone, protected somewhere. He was clearly feeling very vunerable, and I couldn't blame him!

One night he was asleep on a nursing chair in our bedroom and all of a sudden he started meowing out in pain, backing up on his front legs. He was appearing to be getting the weight off his hind leg, but in pain doing so. It was very un-nerving and we didn't really know what was wrong with him but as soon as he had started, he stopped and settled down back to sleep. We put it down to cramp or something like that.

In order to let him have a bit of fresh air, I bought a cat harness and took him out in the back yard. But he didn't really want to be out there, he just led down on the floor sniffing the air.

After about 18 days, he'd finished his allocation of painkillers (noroclav) and we took him back to have his stitches out. The vet was very pleased with Archie's progress and he was finally allowed out.

When I opened the door to let him out he just sat there. I was thinking at this point he was definitely scared or cautious of the outside world, which wasn't a bad feeling. We thought at least he's less likely to get hurt again if he was not as bold or brazien as he used to be. The first day I went to work and left the catflap open, he vanished. By 7pm we were having all sorts of horrible thoughts. Had he been hit again? Had he got stuck somewhere? Had he run away?

I have 2 other cats, and one of them (who is largely unsocialable) keep meowing at me, lassie style. So, she led me outside to were Archie was sat, cleaning, as if nothing in the world mattered to him. That was the best feeling, to know he was alive, and well.


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