TRICK KNEE TESSI (The story of the Luxating Patella)

Sounds like the opening to a circus pony act doesn’t it?  Oh, if only it were!

Before getting started I would like to give a shout out to our new friend Maggie May.

I stink at linking things, so hopefully this will be posted correctly so you can check out her blog.

Maggie May showed up just as I was falling apart.  I did every search I could think of to understand luxating patellas in cats and EVERYTHING was about dogs!!! (hiss)

When I found Maggie’s blog and a photo of her and her story…I knew we could get through this.

This is Tessi’s Story:


Tessi had her right knee issue corrected a week ago Wednesday. (March 13th)  Orthopedic surgery to correct the malformed groove that kept allowing her patella to “fall out” and causing her to go lame.  The night before, while working the election, I almost cancelled.  I called and told poor Dr S. I couldn’t go through with it.  I don’t know how the guy put up with me the last several weeks of panic and back and forth.

I was terrified I was making the wrong choice.  What if things got worse?  What if she suffered more because of my choice?  What if I did nothing?

It didn’t help that the knee didn’t go out ONCE from the time we scheduled the surgery till I dropped her off that Wednesday morning.  The surgeon they brought in called me that morning once the surgery was complete and told me I did the right thing.  It didn’t even POP out when he did her preop exam…it pretty much fell out.


For those of you who don’t know Tessi, she is a two year old brown patch tabby Maine Coon.  Her story and her face caught my attention back in May of 2011.  A timid girl, the breeder warned me…  She may never come around to liking strangers…  She may hide a lot.

Oh, was I ever up to the challenge.  I brought her home Memorial Day weekend.  She ran behind the sofa and I was afraid she would never come out. But, this story has a happy ending.  She did come out.  She and Teddy were instant friends.  She follows me absolutely everywhere. ..and while she still runs under the bed if she hears the doorbell ring, she follows my granddaughters around as if they were the pied piers of cats.

Tessi has always been clumsy, she doesn’t jump much.  She waits for me each morning to put her in the bathroom window to smell the snowy winter air.  She never jumps up there on her own.  I always thought it was just part of “who she is” not that something could be wrong.

It will be interesting to see now that the knee has been fixed if she will “come out of her shell” a bit more.  I wonder if fear of not being able to flee fast enough has been part of where her shyness has come from.  Maybe I’m reading too much into all of this.  Time will tell, I guess.


I brought her home Wednesday night verses bringing her to the 24 hr Veterinary ER a couple towns over.  The vet and I both agreed that considering her character, she would feel better at home.  WHAT A NIGHT IT WAS!  Without going into detail I’ll just say it was a long night.  I didn’t sleep at all…and when I got to work the next morning (only intending to stay a couple hours at most) I was telling a story, sitting in my chair, fell over backwards and separated my shoulder and tore my rotator cuff.  Yes, Tessi and I are, together now, an orthopedic mess!!!


Overall, Tessi has done fabulous!  She’s one tough girl.  One hungry girl too.  She never lost her appetite. She never once pee’d outside the litter box and she has yet to complain about being in the crate.  (okay…I know….we have WEEKS to go and that is bound to happen)  Teddy is good about keeping her company.


Her mother, on the other hand, has been stirring clear!  Could it be guilt?  They say it’s genetic! lol

We were told after one week to do PT by massaging and bending the leg.  She’s a great patient and hasn’t complained once.

I’m nervous when I watch her standing in the cage, all shaky, but I can only imagine how badly that leg hurts.  There are sixteen staples in her leg.  They are due to come out on the 27th.

Overall, I think everything went great.  I know we still have a long road ahead of us, but the initial nine days have been better than I anticipated.  I owe the surgeon, my vet, and anyone who had to deal with me the week before surgery cookies at the very least.  Hard to believe I was such a mess and that it’s all gone so smoothly. (for Tessi that is.  I still have another visit with the Orthopedic Surgeon and start physical therapy on Monday. hehehehe)

I hope that telling Tessi’s story will make someone else aware that this DOES happen to cats, it can be corrected and it’s not the end of the world.  I hope Tessi can be for someone else, what Maggie May was for me.  Light at the end of the tunnel! ♥




Yes, your observation is correct.  I have avoided photographing that poor leg.  But, tonight I will.  We’ll post to show it’s not as horrific as it sounds.  She only looks like a poodle groomer went a little crazy on her foot!  Thank goodness they didn’t paint her nails!

Hugs and purrs from all of us,


Tessi, Theodore and Evie


About Arline Grant

I'm a forty something grandmother who loves taking photos of my grandkids and my cats. I have three Maine Coons. Theodore, Tesserae and Evangeline. I enjoy photography, gardening and cruising around on a Harley. Happy Shooting and Blogging.
This entry was posted in daily blog, Everyday Life, Luxating Patella, Pets, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to TRICK KNEE TESSI (The story of the Luxating Patella)

  1. Maggie May says:

    Beautiful Tessi, you brave girl! You did it! The hardest part is over and now all you have to do is heal. You will be better than ever in a matter of weeks. I know this blog will be helpful to other kitties with these naughty knee caps 🙂
    So sorry to hear mom separated her shoulder. That just sounds like the most painful thing ever!!!

    Lots and lots of healing purrs to both of you!

    • Arline Grant says:

      Maggie May,

      Thank you so very much for your continued support. Mom and I both are doing our physical therapy and getting better every day. She has a lot more sympathy for me after her first visit to rehab and she’s understands why I try to get away when she starts bending my leg back and forth. I like the massages though…and purr nice and loud so she keeps doing it.

      Hugs and Purrs,

  2. Merry says:

    Wow that was strange. I just wrote an extremely long comment but after I clicked
    submit my comment didn’t show up. Grrrr… well
    I’m not writing all that over again. Anyways, just wanted to say superb blog!

  3. I do not even know the way I stopped up here, but I believed this
    submit was once great. I do not know who you are but definitely you’re going to a famous blogger if
    you happen to aren’t already. Cheers!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s