Life lessons from a Cat: My Child Elsa  and her tale of Unconditional Love

This is a story of a much beloved child, Elsa, who brought much joy into our lives and taught me the meaning of love. 

Yes, she is a cat, my child and my source of inspiration to stand strong despite difficulties.

Welcome to my family of cats, some lazy, some naughty and each of them much loved and cared for as if they are my own kids.

And when our kids feel pain or go through some illness, we feel helpless and hurt as well, don’t we?

Story of a spunky Cat

My child Elsa has had a long struggle with illness and injury but has always kept her head high and meows loud despite all odds, and lost none of her attitude!

Elsa, who was born on June 25, 2015, was the most notorious among her siblings, comprising elder sister Bella and younger brother Leo. 

Initially they all stayed with me on the same floor where they grew up from tiny kittens to feisty grown ups. But later we had to shift them because they were shedding like crazy.

Moreover, the younger lad, Leo, persisted in urinating on the sofa despite many attempts to cure this bad habit.

Finally, they were shifted to a room on the roof,  giving them all the luxury of a personal penthouse. And after all, cats are royalty! 

Sterilization gone wrong

When they were of the right age, I took them to the vet and got three of them sterilized.

I was pretty happy because I thought that was the end of constant tension in the house when the queens and king start howling to mate and whine to step out of the house, or  go on a spraying spree.

However, to my surprise, in almost a month or two after their sterilization, Elsa and Bella started howling, tossing and turning on the floor, as if they were experiencing heat.

This was extremely surprising as I knew for sure that their ovary and uterus had been removed and this was not supposed to happen after sterilization.

“Incomplete’ sterilisation process for cats

Next day I met the vet who had performed the sterilization to enquire about Elsa and Bella’s symptoms of being in heat.

To this, the vet replied, to my utter shock, “That’s because they still have an ovary each inside them”.

I was completely flabbergasted and just about managed to ask why the vet had let one ovary stay inside.

The vet replied that apparently they would have hormonal problems if both ovaries were removed.

This was a shock for  me as she had never consulted me about this decision. I had no clue that one of their ovaries was still inside.

Moreover, the vet hadn’t bothered to explain to me the pros and cons of either kind of sterilization. This was in fact the first time that I had come across an instance where the uterus was removed but one ovary retained during the process of sterilization.

Subsequent consultations with other vets confirmed my fears.

They unanimously said there was no records of hormonal problems if both ovaries were removed from female cats.

I felt cheated but the damage was already done. The vet denied that the remaining ovary would be taken out at this point.

This incomplete sterilization created a lifelong problem for Elsa and Bella! Much to their discomfort and my worries, they have their seasonal heats and climb on the roof and howl, whine, roll over most of the time. 

Elsa’s accident and her spinal injury

This incomplete sterilisation and negligence also had another lifelong repercussion. As I mentioned, Elsa and Bella, when in heat, would perch on the roof wall and walk about, peering over.

One day, Elsa had climbed up to peer over the boundary wall on the roof terrace and fell from the fourth floor, irreparably damaging her spine.

This was the day when Elsa’s life, as well as my own, changed completely.

We immediately gave her painkillers injections to deal with the pain. The next day, when we got an X-ray of her spine and hind legs done, it revealed an injury in the hind leg which will heal eventually.

However, we found that the bone in her spine had shifted upwards, and the rest of her spine did not have the power to hold her pelvis in a normal position.

In a nutshell, the injury was permanent and she would have to live with it all her life.

A tough life but Elsa proved tougher

Now, Elsa cannot raise her pelvic parts. She has to drag her upper body with the two front limbs. To my utter dismay, she would never climb, jump like other cat, use the litter box for pooping or urinating normally or do any of the activities that endear cats to us so much.

I tried to make walking easier for her with a walker made of pvc pipes, and tried to keep the spinal nerves activated through heat rays and tried different medication.

I purchased a cart wheel kind of thing, so that she can move around the house with out dragging her pelvic, but she refused to be in it and would slide out of it.

Since her pelvis was practically paralysed, she started having problems in urinating. However, medication remedied that.

Yet again, as she was not able to control her pee, she would leak urine all the time as well as poop on the floor, and sometimes drag through it.

Initially, I made her wear diapers for a whole year. This, however, came with a fresh set of problems. If any day I was late in coming home and the diapers wouldn’t be changed in time, her diapers would be filled with pee and poop, and it led to her having UTIs.

When treated with antibiotics, they in turn led to diarrhoea.

After a year,  we noticed blood in her urine and she was diagnosed with cystitis in her bladder.

story of Elsa, spinal cord injured cat,
story of Elsa, spinal cord injured cat,

In April 2021, there was frequent blood in her urine which was getting extremely difficult to control, though somehow we managed to stop the continuous blood in urine with IM injections, but the frequency of blood was not coming to an end.

After consulting several doctors, finally it was diagnosed Elsa also has presence of stones in her bladder, along with cystitis. Finally, we took the stone problem as the immediate problem and started medication.

The presence of cystitis is always there which causes the recurrence of UTI infections, and yet again there are always an endless round of medications and USGs, blood tests.

This is the never ending vicious circle that Elsa and I live in. Each time one illness is cured, something else would pop up. It is exhausting for both of us. But she never give up, and thanks to her, I learnt how not to.

Elsa being a tough cookie, overcomes every hurdles that comes her way, only she can know what kind of pain and discomfort she has to face. It is always my best effort to give her all the comfort and freedom to move around which she deserves.

Elsa’s indomitable spirit despite all odds

Elsa is always in high spirits despite her pain and immobility. Her brave front helps me keep mine and we both are still going strong.

She can’t move like other cats, but developed very strong two front limbs. Just within a few months of the accident, I noticed her trying to climb up the tree house using only her two front limbs.

Now, she has regained much of her fighting spirit and playfulness, fighting with her siblings, playing, crawling up the cat tree house, and letting us know her demands in true royal cat style.

story of Elsa, spinal cord injured cat,
story of Elsa, spinal cord injured cat,

Unconditional love

I love Elsa, because Elsa taught me what love is. That love is unconditional, braves all odds, the spirit of acceptance.

Of loving someone with both their positive and negative sides, unconditionally. Of sacrificing your own desires just to be near a person, and caring and loving for them.

Most importantly, love lends you wings to soar high despite difficulties and gives you strength to fight out any storm that comes your way.

My Elsa is like the lighthouse of my life.  She stands strong for me, she endures all the pain, and lets nothing stop her from living life on her own terms.

I would never have a child of my own, for Elsa is my one and only daughter, and the best of them all!

story of Elsa, spinal cord injured cat,
story of Elsa, spinal cord injured cat,

Elsa The Boss Cat!

Elsa has grown much stronger and we both have learned to accept the adversities.

She still suffers from cystitis, along with frequent UTIs, and diarrhoea problems. She is periodically being monitored with blood tests, Urine tests and Ultra sounds.

Her Medications is an on going process, with doctor special advised food and supplements. Inspite of this daily routine, Elsa still remains the boss among the other cats, Her demand is always the first one to be catered to.

We have made a tree house for her which is her resting place and she enjoys getting cozy in it.

My life revolves around her, and every moment with her is worth it.

Love and Good health to her and every cat in the world.

Elsa sitting in her tree house

Photo courtesy: saikat Saha -Saikat Saha: Instagram – @saikat.saha | Facebook–

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