Knee osteoarthritis and Pavarotta

Well, earlier this week we had to say goodbye to our eldest cat, Pavarotta. She was 19 years old.

Here, in brief, is what happened: last Monday, November 27, I heard a scary, very loud howl coming from the dining room, where the kitties have their water fountain. I got there in time to see Pavarotta fall on the floor and begin scrambling about, trying to get up. A few of our other cats came running and sat around her…I think they wanted to help. After hearing my reassuring voice (but I was freaking out, truth be told), she finally lay down and rested for about a half hour, then got up and seemed almost normal. She even ate some wet food. I called the vet hospital immediately but couldn’t get an appointment with our usual vet, and I didn’t want to take her in to see another vet. I made an appointment for the following morning. With our vet.

Our blue-eyed Pavarotta, recent photo

Pavarotta had another neurological issue in the late afternoon…same thing…but again, like the first “fit,” she rested, then got up and even ate some food. At 3 AM, though, another fit, the final one, I think, in retrospect. In the morning, she wasn’t really moving.

She was always such a feisty girl who hated to be picked up, but when Stefano lifted her and put her in the cat carrier, she didn’t move or make a sound. We knew that she wouldn’t be coming home with us…and she didn’t.

Ciao piccolina, ti voglio bene…I never thought I’d say this, but I really miss your ear-splitting howl for attention in the mornings when I go down to the kitchen…

Okay, I’d better change the subject…

Knee news. Ah yes. Well, I finally received a diagnosis for the pain I’ve had in my left knee since July. Yes, July. I didn’t have it checked out back then, because we were about to go on holiday, and I had a zillion things to do. But climbing all those castle stairs in Scotland became agonising for me. When we returned to Italy, I postponed going to the doctor mainly because I had pain only when I went up a flight of stairs, so it didn’t really have an impact on my regular routine. Plus, I was super busy at the time. But, about a month ago, I had had enough and decided to have some tests done.

The diagnosis arrived more than two weeks ago: knee osteoarthritis. That basically means that my knee joint cartilage is gone on one side, and the pain is caused by bone scraping on bone.

But it’s not all bad news: I went to see the surgeon who did my perfect hip replacement two years ago, and he said that even though I’m in stage 4 (and there is no stage 5), the damage is, put simply, on the left side of my knee (he used a more technical explanation, of course), which means I won’t need knee replacement surgery, not now, anyway. Phew!

However, there is no going back. The damage is done. But I can try to stop it from spreading, mainly with physiotherapy. Fine, let there be physiotherapy!!! And even though I haven’t had more than 5 sessions, I already have no pain going up our stairs. No pain. Amazing.

Anyway, unless the pain gets much worse, my surgeon said that I won’t need surgery for six years. Six years…not bad at all! However, I’m aiming for…never! We’ll see…

Okay, that’s about it for now. I hope everyone is doing well. Take care! Ciao!