What My Cat Can Teach Us About Running

PoppyCat

This is the 1dt picture I saw of him.

This is the 1dt picture I saw of him.

On April 1st of 2012 my wife, then fiancé, and I adopted a cat. He was a rescue cat from City Kitties that a friend had posted on Facebook. This was the picture she posted:

Along with a description, 2-3 year old male cat, extremely friendly and docile. Loves people and loves being held. So while holding back the tears I told my wife I was bringing him home. Keep in mind we were getting married in 20 days. He already had a name; “PoppyCat” named after the popular children’s TV show. We have kept the name and he seems to know it is his name.

Within minutes PoppyCat was rubbing his head against us. He took little time to adjust to his new home. The first day that I came home from work with PoppyCat in the house I bent over to pet his head. He got up on his hind legs, smashed his head into mine and with one front paw grabbed my neck to hug me.We love this cat. He follows us everywhere, sleeps with us and talks to us non stop. The second his face is next to your he will start licking you.

His brief history before finding his forever home with us was that he was dropped off at a farm-house. Luckily, the woman who lived there loves cats and gave him a place to stay temporarily. A friend of hers took him to the vet to get him neutered and his shots.

After about 5 months we noticed a lump on his hind leg. At first we thought nothing of it but the lump was getting bigger. We took him to our vet, The Cat Dr. They felt confidant that it was a benign tumor since it wasn’t attached to any bone. We asked them to remove the tumor. The doctor told us it went well and she felt even more confident about the tumor because it had no tendrils.It was a clean cut.

We got the dreaded call a few days later. The tumor was a malignant form of cancer called fiber sarcoma. It’s common in areas where cats were given vaccines, usually in the neck. We decided to wait a few months until this wound healed. No need to keep sending Poppycat back and forth to the vet.

His scar healed and before long, the lump returned. It was starting to look nasty and full of veins. My wife and I worried constantly. The only forms of treatment were amputation or radiation. There was no way I was going to give my cat radiation. It’s wrong and it also tires them out. Our vet recommended a great doctor at Penn Veterinary School. After doing much research we decided to go with amputation. It sounds horrible but it was our best option.

PoppyCat went in for surgery. We got a call saying that there were clean margins and everyone felt great about  the amputation to remove the cancer. My wife and I were happy to hear this but then the realty set in. They took our cat’s hind leg.

After an overnight stay at Penn we picked up our cat and brought him home. It was so sad at first. We both cried a lot. PoppyCat was all doped up and was missing a leg.

On his way to recovery

On his way to recovery

For the next 2 weeks we had him confined to a kennel. we would take him out for his medicine and food / water. After a week he was getting up and down and moving around. When the 2 weeks were up we took him back to Penn for a follow-up. Everyone there was even more confidant after seeing the CT scan and were the cancer was. PoppyCat was now free to roam his house again.

He immediately went running all around the place. He went to all of his favorite spots and even staked out the mouse that he always hunts for in the kitchen.Our apartment is bi-level and he runs up and down those stars like he always did. he jumps up on our bed at night. We made a few ramps for him to get to his windows. All of his hair grew back and we often forget that he has 3 legs. He is more active and happy than ever. It’s almost like he knows we gave him life and a happy home. He thanks us every second of every day.

I can haz beer?

I can haz beer?

The Big Poser

The Big Poser

I have to wonder on those days when I’m too tired to wake up for an early run or the work day got the best of me so I won’t go out and run. How dare I say it’s 80 degrees out and too hot for a run. If this little guy can get around on 3 legs and be himself than I have no excuse for being lazy. Granted there’s such thing as listening to your body when you’re in pain, or opting out of a run when it’s 100 degrees out. Or when I’m having trouble pushing past mile 3 to get to mile 4 or 5.

Today was a scheduled hill repeat workout for me and Katrina. The rain has chased those plans away and has literally dampened any plans for running at all today. So, I’ll be swinging the kettle bells to keep my cardio up, It’s officially August which means it’s “crunch time” for the upcoming fall races. I ran a healthy 5 miles yesterday to a slow and easy pace of 10:40. It’s hard to run slow on purpose. When I started it was the only way I ran! Since there’s no running today I thought I’d share this story with you about our cat. I’m certain there’s a lesson in here that ties in with running and fitness in general.

Here’s a little video I put together to tell a short version of his story. I hope to one day expand on this and make it more informative in helping people decide if this action works for their cat.

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5 responses to “What My Cat Can Teach Us About Running

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