Pet Tips ‘n’ Tales: Tripod ‘Kitty’

One day, a shy stray ‘Kitty’ mysteriously arrived at Laura’s home, and then ‘forgot’ to go home. The kitty homesteaded on their porch until winter.  Then she nestled warm and safe in their garage. When the family moved, so did Kitty and she became an indoor cat.

“Our cat groomer found a lump on Kitty’s hind leg, and it received a cancerous diagnosis,” said Laura. “Our veterinarian said, ‘Cats are resilient, and amputation is her best chance for survival. Becoming a three-legged cat will not hinder her enjoyment of life or activity.’”

The third day after surgery, their cat was up and walking.  

“Kitty’s balance was great, she insisted on getting up on things in the most difficult way paws-ible,” said Laura. “She creatively climbed up the upholstered headboard to reach our bed.”

Still, after surgery Kitty wasn’t the same cat. She seemed depressed.  Laura decided a new furry friend would cheer her up and motivate her to play, so she adopted a little, mustached kitten, Samuel.

“Samuel’s youthful spirit got her up and moving,” said Laura. “When Kitty walks, she hops, but when she runs you would never know she has only three legs. She quickly mastered running. Samuel is now three years old and can still get Kitty up and running.”

Even years after being a feral cat, Kitty’s fears make her aloof and she’s never changed her dislike of being held. Yet, at night, she insists on sleeping next to Laura and purrs like a motorboat’s throttle is stuck. Samuel, on the other hand, makes up for Kitty’s emotional distancing. He is the family’s cuddle boy who loves being held.

“Pet parents facing the decision to remove a pet’s leg need to know that their pets can still live a full life on three legs,” said Laura. “Our decision gave Kitty the chance for a longer life. She has created a new tripod form of ‘Zoomies’.  She spins on the floor like she’s wild on catnip. My husband, Donald, built our crazy cats an outdoor catio for their safety. Oddly, neither of them like going in it on cold or rainy days, even though it’s covered.”


“Our home is next to a busy road,” explained Laura. “We wanted to keep our cats safe. So, my husband built a 10 X 10’ catio, with access through the bedroom window. Right now, all it contains is a cat tree and steps to reach the grass. Donald plans to add ramps, perches, and cross ramps. Angel Scribe told us that her husband hung crystals in their cats’ enclosure that sparkle in the sun so the cats can chase rainbows. There is also a pet approved small tree and bush for summer shade and a log to scratch claws. Facebook offers pages of great catio ideas.”

Tips ‘n’ Tales reader, Lynne, in Texas wraps a muslin cloth around her pointer finger and wipes her pet’s teeth each day and reports that, “It helps keep plaque off.”

Cats have a golden rule: ‘The more expensive a toy, the less interested they shall be.’ This rule applies to cats whether they are in Cottage Grove or Saudi Arabia and includes: catbeds vs cardboard/paper bags, fancy chenille throws vs a bath towel, a sheep skin vs a piece of wrapping paper on the floor. Each time, the box, bag, towel, or paper wins paws down!

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Cottage Grove Humane Society for Neuter/Spay Assistance Program (541) 942-3130