approximate birthdate: Feb. 6, 1992

    age when diagnosed: 7 years old     date of diagnosis:  Sept. 1999

    rear leg tripod

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Gidgey was seven years old when we discovered her tumor. It was very large, the size of a baseball on the inside of her left leg. This was the site of her leukemia vaccination. Because of her size and long hair we did not notice it. The vet came to our house to give our other baby a cortisone shot and was looking at Gidgey because of her allergies. He found it.

Two days later they did the needle biopsy and a week later after consulting a feline specialist they told me I had three options.  We had her leg amputated.  His options were to watch her die slowly, put her to sleep then or amputate. There was never a doubt what to do, just heartbreak, guilt and tears. I felt so responsible to have caused this for her. She never went outdoors except to go to the vet once a year for vaccinations. She had her shots in March and had her leg amputated on September 8, 1999.

Gidget is a big girl and has had some problems adjusting. She hid under the bed for the first week. I stood and cried my eyes out when I first saw her. I didn't know how to hold her to get her home. She had never been in a carrier so that was not an option. She had spent the night at his office and came home without a patch. My baby, that could jump on anything could now barely take a foot off the floor. We keep a stool by the bed so that she can get up with two hops. She doesn't try to jump more than that. She never did tolerate her buddy again and Muffin died without ever really being friends with Gidget again.

Gidget weighs roughly 15 pounds and most of her fur is very long. She is a Ragdoll. She is my love and companion and I just can't imagine what the past five years would have been like without her. With Gods help I hope to have her for several more years.

I think she has arthritis probably in her back and other leg and there are days when I notice she is not so limber. I give her cookies (treats) with Gloucosimin in them daily to try to help. I had asked my vet about not giving the leukemia shot but he persuaded me to do it one more time. When the day comes and if I have another kitty besides my babygirl they will NEVER have vaccinations. My vet knows this and respects my wishes. An inside kitty does not need them and the best way to love and care for you cat is to not let them out on their own. That way you don't have to worry about it. We got shots because Muffin was not friendly to new people and if they came around and tried to pick her up. I had to worry that she would really scratch or bite someone. Not my Gidgey. She is a big Boob!

Would I have her leg done again, in a heartbeat.  Would I ever have to be concerned about something like VAS again.  No!  Just say NO to vaccinations for indoor only babies and I tell everyone I know including people at the vets when I see them that same thing.  I want everyone to know what trying to do the right thing can cost and not dollar wise. That was never an issue and we didn't even ask the cost to save her life. Our regular vet did the surgery and so far we are one month shy of five years and counting. This group was a Godsend to me when it first happened. Maybe with all of us fighting together someday this will never happen again. I hope so.

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