Saturday, September 22, 2007

kitten problems

We are not doing well with kittens.

Spock (one-year-old silver tabby) is fine (probably -- see Isis, below).

Citrus (12-week old orange tabby) was diagnosed with a previous spinal injury that left him gimpy and not reliable in the litterbox. Our vet adopted him from us and is rehabilitating him for placement in a home that can handle his special needs. (I love my vet!)

Isis, Citrus's replacement, (10-week-old tortoise shell) tested positive for feline leukemia. I didn't realize how bad this is -- basically, it's a death sentence*. And it's extremely infectious to other cats. She is currently isolated in a bathroom until we get the results from a more accurate laboratory test. If that is positive (and the vet says it almost certainly will be), we'll have to euthanize her.

The vet feels that Spock's risk of having contracted it from her is low, as he is older and more resistant, and has only spent one week with her. Nevertheless we will have to have him retested in four to six months.

So it's kind of a hard weekend, with Isis basically on death row until we get the second test results. It should come in Monday or Tuesday. In the meantime, we are trying to give her love and attention without focusing on the outcome. She deserves all the love she can get.

Think good thoughts for my daughter, please. She is taking it hard.

*I understand that one can keep a cat with feline leukemia comfortable as long as possible -- apparently 85% die within three years -- but not with other cats free of the disease. We don't think it's fair to Spock to keep her, or fair to Isis to keep her in a very confined, separate space long-term. While there is a small chance that she could overcome the infection, it is only a small chance, and would take months before we knew for sure.

ETA: On September 24, the second test came back positive, and we put Isis down. My vet was wonderful, treating Isis tenderly and crying right along with me.


Donna said...

I'm sorry to read this, how very difficult. I understand your decision to euthanize, I would choose the same given the same situation.

futuregirl said...

Very sad news. :( My parents-in-law just lost a beloved older cat that was very sick. They had to make tough decisions, too. I hope your daughter deals with it OK. My thoughts will be with her.

Heather said...

Oh Anne, I'm
so sorry to hear about your pet difficulties. I know the time is coming soon for my 2 old dogs and it's just a heartbreaker. I might suggest a book "Elsewhere" by Gabrielle Zevin. A fiction for the teen reader, both my stepdaughter and I quite enjoyed its imaginitive vision of the afterlife. (Where pets are most definitely included.)
love and condolences

Heather said...

I just noticed you have D.I.Y. on your book list - lots of fun. I just got D.I.Y. Kids - lots of ideas for fun projects plus a subtle, subversive education on "Branding".

Lisa said...

Oh, I'm so sorry. It's never easy, even when you're doing the right thing.

LLA said...

I had no idea how behind I was in my blog reading, until I noticed the date on this post....

I may be almost a month late, but I still wanted to let you know how sorry I was to hear this news... I know it was a heart-breaking decision.

I'm glad that Spock is going to be OK, she's a beauty and I know she's been a comfort....

Stephanie, housewife extraordinaire said...

Oh, I'm so sorry! Our kitty Mao was just diagnosed as well. Our other cat is negative but since they've been together for the last year between tests we think she'll be okay. They are both indoor kitties now.