Legume was found in a parking lot and brought to the Happy Hills Animal Shetler in Staley, NC and named Jessie.

Mom decided to help out the shelter with this special needs kitten, as they were already overloaded. It was known that he was entirely incontinent, and that he could not move his tail. His legs seemed very long and Mom started calling him 'Leggy'.

Mom brought Leggy home for a weekend to see how he would get along with everyone here, and to take him in for X-rays on Monday at her vet. As you can see, we got along immediately! I renamed him Legume. He ran all over, pouncing on everything. I ran after him trying to say hello and not get run over. At last he sat still for a moment so I could greet him by licking his head.

The X-Rays showed that Legume's spine was broken just above his tail. His tail would have to be amputated and he would always be incontinent. If the spine had broken higher, he would not be able to walk.

Mom already knew a place she could ask for information on incontinent pets. Handicappedpets.com has a messageboard she lets me post to. I asked many questions about caring for Legume and received many helpful ideas. Mom designed an easy to clean cage for him and began working on the idea of washable diapers. She did not want him to have to spend his entire day in a cage, diapers would allow him to roam the house. Mom was referred to a page for dog panties for a pattern, with a few adaptations it works just fine for Legume.

Legume's cage version one. There are two shelves, made of vinyl coated plastic, attached in the back corners. The crate gives him another 'shelf' and a place to hide if he wants. The cage is lined with incontinent pads. After tail surgery he had his little stump in a bandage. It was removed after a couple days. The final diaper version, held on with velcro. Without a full tail, the diaper needed some help staying on. The elastic strap to the collar has worked very well.

While the removal of the tail, or the invention of the diaper may seem challenging, these were not his biggest problems. When he was hit in the parkinglot he had apparently been scraped along the pavement. His lower abdomen was all swollen and bruised the first time Mom saw him. He had scrapes across his lower belly and his privates were very swollen. Despite antibiotics they were not healing.

When Mom took him in for surgery she asked the vet to do whatever was neccessary to clean up those wounds so they could heal. The vet found that his penis sheath was all dead tissue and had to be removed. He was put on antirobe, an anitbiotic for anarobic bacteria, and sent home. Mom cleaned him every day, sometimes two or three times, and put antibiotic ointment on his wounds, but still they did not heal.

It took another course of the antibiotics, cleaning with peroxide, and a tube and a half of panalog for the healing to begin. All the while poor Legume was very sore! Sometimes he would yell when Mom tried to clean him. Most of the time, however, he would just lick mom's face afterwards and purr.

He gets some time out of his cage each evening to run around. All of us get out of his way! He will run right over other kitties if they don't move. He demonstrated to Mom that he can jump five feet straight up, to the top of the kitty perch she made for us.

Mom had bought a puppy excersize pen to convert into a larger space for Legume when he is full grown. It would be set up a 6 x 4 area with plastic netting on top. It is 48" high, allowing room for shelves and a carrier for a 'house.' She also bought a sisal scratching board to put on the side where it will stay cleaner than a regular post would.

Seeing how much Legume loves to run and how well he gets along with the other cats, mom has decided instead to make the upstairs his. The rugs will be replaced with linoleum and throw rugs, easier to clean than the current carpet! He will not have to live in a cage, unless he is sick or needs to be monitored for some reason.

Legume had major reconstructive surgery of his hind end in mid September. The necrotic area had to be removed, which included his penis. He had a new pee site constructed in front of where his gentials used to be. This was a very complicated form of PU surgery. Even after the surgery, he has some big problems. The major problem is urine scald, which causes not only irritated skin but also necrosis.

After a week of cleaning with novalsan and applying Desitin the urine scald was healing well. Unfortunatley his new pee site also began to heal shut! The surgeon who had done his first PU surgery did not feel he could be of further help. Mom wasn't going to give up! She went to the Vet Speicality Clinic in search of more options. Her overall experience at the clinic was not positive. The surgeon kept saying that Mom should put Legume to sleep, that Mom wouldn't be able to care for him. The surgeon also blew off what Mom tried to tell her about talking wtih other owners of handicapped and incontenent pets. Finally Mom just had to be very insistant. She wanted the PU surgery re-done.

While Mom is glad that they did the surgery, she is very unhappy with their attitude. When she went to pick up Legume they didn't offer her the option of talking to anyone, she had to bug them just to talk to a tech. They wanted to send Legume home on Clavamox, even tho Mom had told them he had very bad GI side effects including vomiting and bloody stool from this medicine. Once again, Mom was insistant and the med was changed.

Mom arragned to have all follow-up care done at the local clinic. Legume was found to have a URI resistant to most anitbiotics so was put on Baytril. He did not have the same level of trouble with urine scald as he had previously. He is zooming around, peeing fine, and doing well.

A more detailed explination with post-op pictures is here.

On 11/30/01 Legume developed a very fast growing UTI. That morning his urine looked normal, that evening his urine was red! The vet said that he was peeing almost pure blood, and that he also had crystals. He has been put back on Baytril and on a special urinary diet. He is also on pain meds so that he can be comfy. His attitude has improved and he is once again running around (he was very depressed for a day). Let's hope he gets through this like he has everything else!

It is hard to get pictures of him zooming all over! Here are a few.

Legume and me (Bendy) wrestling. Gabriel hanging out with Legume in his cage.
Legume playing with a feather wand Legume hunting paper scraps.