approximate birthdate: 10/30/84

    age when diagnosed: 15 1/2
    date of diagnosis: 5/2000

    rear leg tripod

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1. When did you notice the lump, what was the size and where was it located, was it low on the leg or higher - closer to your cat's body -     I noticed it on a Sunday night in May, 2000. It was about the size of a marble, located what I would consider high on the leg, on the outside fatty thigh right rear leg. It was hard and not movable. She went to the vet that Tuesday, vet recommended amputating the leg - I freaked out - she took out only the lump. Three months later in August it was back. (This is when I found this group) I took her back to the vet , then to a specialist. They both said take the leg off. In August of 2000, her right rear leg was removed.

2. When was kitty last vaccinated:     Over a year prior to the lump appearing. Rabies only. She's always been an inside kitty.

3. How long did you wait to have the lump removed -   I didn't wait long.  Lump was removed May 2000, same week I found it. It was back in three months when I decided to have her leg amputated.

4. Was this your cat's first surgery for VAS    
no, the amputation was Buzz's second surgery.

5. Did you consult with a specialist or oncologist?    Yes, when the lump came back I consulted an oncologist at specialty veterinary hospital. She also recommended amputation. After finding Chris's and Gigi's VAS sites, and others in my situation, I agreed to have the surgery done. I thank every day for Gigi and her VAS site as it was the members there that said she'd be fine with three legs. They were right.

6. Who removed the lump (regular vet or surgeon)    My regular vet removed both the lump and the leg. Her practice is cats only, and I felt very comfortable with her. Money was also an issue. She was $400. less than the specialist.

7. How long did your cat stay at the vet's after surgery     
2 Days. I brought her home on the 3rd. day. They like to keep them 2 days, she said this was not unusual.

8. Did you do anything special to prepare for your kitty's homecoming     No. It was a three day weekend and I stayed home the entire time. I did buy more treats!

9. Did your cat have any post-operative problems?     No, not at all.

10. What was your cat's adjustment period like:    She didn't have a huge adjustment. Was quiet for a few days, a little wobbly. Meowed when she got frustrated. Was almost back to normal in a week. I had more of an adjustment!

11. How is your kitty now?     Other than non VAS, age related issues ( hyperthyroid & high blood pressure) she's fine. She doesn't seem to miss her leg. I would do it again in a minute.

12. Please add any other information that you think would be helpful to future tripod owners or anything else that you'd like to tell people about your kitty.    I have been told by friends that my kitty is not the norm. She's very spunky, vocal and has always been determined to get what she wants. My house burned down in 2003, she made it out, three legs and all. (All 3 made it out, one didn't make it) I think her attitude had a lot to do with her quick and easy recovery. My other kitties would have had a longer recovery time. She'll be 20 years old in October, 2004. ( I'm 40) I've spent half my life with her. She meows at me in the morning and is at the door when I come home. If I asked her, I'm sure she'd agree that Tripod's Rule. While every cat is different, don't make your decision based upon how you'd like to have only three legs. Mine doesn't care, and now neither do I.


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