There has been a pause in my blogging in the past wee while. In part it has been due to the owner of these paws.
Jazz, our cat, is almost 15 years old and in the past 3 months ageing has suddenly impacted on him. We knew earlier this year that he has arthritis in his lower spine which means he can no longer spring nimbly and strongly using his back legs.
Then in August his pain levels increased and it was discovered that he had slipped a disc in his back in a different area of his spine. With advice and treatment from the vet that has healed up. However we then noticed he was limping on his front leg/s. X rays show that he has quite severe degeneration in his front elbows and their elbows take a fair percentage of a cat’s weight as they move about.
So Jazz is sore and stiff and now an indoor cat on various medications to support him and keep him as comfy as we can. He has always been a very sociable and lively cat. Not one to sleep contentedly in the garden. Neighbours often reported his visits and some of the neighbours lived a fair distance away. I think Jazz has worn out, not rusted out, as the saying goes.
Increasing the care of a cat requires increased observation, clock watching to time pain relief, tempting an appetite now borne of suspicion about what else might be added in to the food, encouraging more water consumption during hot days in a hot house and of course lots of extra patting and attention.
Jazz does send his Christmas Greetings however having settled for some of today in this Christmas hamper box:-)
At the same time I have been hobbling with a sore left knee. I too have some degenerative changes and up until late November there was a mysterious “loose body” that appeared on images of the joint. After several unpleasant locking incidents this year I agreed to an arthroscopy. The “loose body” was deftly plucked out and I am pleased to report that my knee is feeling much freer and lighter.
My challenge now is to get my knee moving fully again after all the hobbling about. The joint has become stiff and reluctant to straighten and bend fully. So exercises are a big part of my daily routine now. Holding on to the kitchen bench is a great place for knee exercises and I am on increasingly friendly terms with my physiotherapist. As well I am walking further each day as I rebuild my fitness, stamina and remind my brain to walk normally again.
Our cat Jazz is a little over 14 years old and in the past year or two has developed some arthritis in his lower spine. He is on pain relief and some medication that help eases the discomfort and increases his flexibility.
I have added this Snugglesafe cat “hottie”
to his treatment regime after learning about these on Leanne’s blog:
He was very suspicious of his new hottie at first
he has crept closer to it
and finally after two days he is enjoying the steady, warmth this fleece covered disc offers to him.
His humans have also discovered how useful it is on sore lower backs and strained rib cartilage when Jazz has been outside or when the daytime temperatures have been too warm for him to want to lie on it.
Earlier in the week I visited the nearby wetlands, wildlife area in Pauatahanui. I took my trusty “point and shoot” camera with the intention of taking some photos for possible entries in next year’s Guardians of Pauatahanui Inlet photo competition. (Do have a look at the winning photos in this year’s competition, there are some utterly stunning shots. I particularly love the ones of the herons)
As we ambled along a track I spied a native Poroporo bush (Solanum laciniatum) and on it a single orange berry set amongst the deep green foliage.
I know this plant and its gorgeous deep purple flowers and the fact that Maori used it traditionally as a contraceptive. I also know that the berries when green are poisonous and that the leaves are to be treated with caution too.
A little bit of searching around on the internet gave me further information. A member of the tomato family (Solanaceae) it is toxic to sheep and cattle so is no friend to farmers and their stock. It prefers to grow in the native bush or in rough, disturbed land.
I also learnt that the early European settlers made jam from the ripe berries.
This website provided further interesting information about the plant being studied to see whether it has medicinal properties which could be used in the treatment of arthritis and skin diseases.
The ordinary things in our environment can so often be valuable to us when we take the time to learn about them.