It has been a while since I have posted about Fury our four and a half year old feline fur family member. She has been a gem for the last few years. Our daily days are full of cuddles, naps, zoomies and the “could care less” sass and attitude cats are known for. After the first 1-2 years we were not quite sure what quality of life lay ahead for this sweet gal we adopted from the local shelter.
Since our earlier updates from 2018 and 2019, her feline Ehlers Danlos condition has been a severity that we can manage well: She still has very stretchy skin and more of it than is typical for her frame. Fortunately she is not as bad as some other cases where there is noticeable sagging around the face or eyes, and for this we are grateful. Given the other conditions, I would venture this one is the least impactful and you cannot even tell she has extra skin when seeing her from a distance. You can see the difference when we have grooming time and she tries to lick her chest or arms; she struggles to release the fur from her tongue because extra amount of skin allows it to stretch outwards.
With the feline hyperesthesia (or “twitchy back syndrome”), she occasionally still has spontaneous moments that neurological triggers will cause her back muscles to twitch, giving her momentary discomfort and a desire to scratch at herself. There is still no cure for this condition shared by many types of animals, but we are thankful these moments pass in seconds or minutes. We have learned to best soothe her in these occurrences by letting her curl into a ball and by wrapping our arms around her for warmth and security and she tends to relax right away, helping to make the twitches disappear more quickly.
Fury still has vasculitis that has resulted in diminished pain and bleeding when she does experience self injuries. This means that just because there is not a lot of blood does not mean it is not serious and we look twice to be sure. We learned from the past that she will often scratch at a wound over and over having no idea she is causing herself further damage (and thus the cone and safety shirt is critical for the rest of her life). Some people ask if we have tried inflatable doughnut cones: Yes and they are adorable and offer some comfort in ways, but she can still reach around them with her back claws and nick her ears, so this cone is the best fit to offer her max safety and comfort.
We know it’s always sad to see any animal in a cone. But Fury has grown up in hers and regularly has it removed several times a day for snuggle time and monitored grooming.
We never did solve the question around if Fury has an officially confirmed allergy that may contribute to her propensity to watch to scratch her head and neck to the point of self injury. Two or three years ago, we did run a full blood work up to check everything possible. While we did get several likely suspects, we stopped the lab work at that time since she had been through a lot and it was not as medically-necessary as the other issues we were dealing with. We keep her away from the suspected allergy causes just in case (certain grasses, trees, etc.) If our vets ever decide it is worth it to re-visit, we would, but we are all about only exposing Fury to procedures that are necessary for the near future.
All Fury knows is that twice a day, she gets wet food that is very tasty for accepting two small squirts of medication. That mix of medication keeps her in a place of balance that allows her to experience less awareness of the conditions that she has. The prior idiopathic seizures she began to have in years 1-2 have also gone away and are managed by her medication as well.
We still get woken up every morning without fail to ensure no one forgets breakfast time. There is also zero confusion when her furry highness wishes to go outside for a walk (the entire house is informed). She has her pick of cat trees, a bucket of cat toys, window beds and the best food and treats. Basically it’s her home, we just pay the mortgage.
Humor aside, Fury gives us unconditional love and loyalty every single day. It humbles us that this small creature was given the short end of the stick in so many ways yet still loves these lumbering caregivers despite all that has happened to her. We owe her so much in return and we will keep trying to give her our best every day. We look forward to sharing more photos and stories in the future!