I sit here this evening trying to wrap my head around all that has happened this week. I am still in shock and am coming to terms with the loss of our dear kittens. It was only in June that I brought them home on a rainy day, and now on a rainy day in September we lay five out of the sweet six babies to rest under their favourite climbing tree.
It started last Thursday morning when I noticed one of the kittens, Tubby, had removed herself from the rest and was looking a little weak. I brought her inside to keep a better eye on her only to realize she wasn’t eating or drinking without my assistance. I called our vet who suggested I bring her in for a quick check up to see what was wrong with sweet Tubby. She ended up staying for observation and to give her fluids due to her almost severe dehydration. They suspected that Tubby either had an infection of some sort that could be cured with a round of antibiotics or that she had Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP). This was the first time I’d heard of this deadly disease and that it would be likely that 50-60% (or more) of the litter of kittens could potentially also carry FIP as it is given to them at birth from their mother. There is currently no treatment or cure for FIP.
I received a call the next day that Tubby seemed to be doing a little better and could come home. When I picked her up she seemed to be almost back to normal as her cheerful, cuddly, playful self. The other kittens were happy to see her and she seemed to be doing okay.
Fast forward to Monday morning when I woke up and noticed Tub’s wasn’t looking so great. Her antibiotics didn’t seem to be making any difference which led us to the conclusion the Tubby had FIP. She passed away peacefully in the sunshine surrounded by her brothers and sisters. Once we laid her to rest, I noticed another one of the kittens, Lucy, seemed to be getting distant from the others. To make long story not so long, she ended up going to the vet on Tuesday where she was showing the same early signs and symptoms her sister had had. I then had to made the hard decision to put her to sleep.
I went home feeling helpless for these little babies and prayed that this would be my last trip to the vet. That unfortunately was not the case as later on that day I noticed two of the kittens, Henry and Betty, were heading down the same road as their sisters. They were put to sleep on Wednesday.
Four cats in three days lost their lives to this terrible disease that no amount of medicine or love could fix. I came home and hugged the last two, Indy and Gary, so much that I am sure they were tired of me. I checked them out over and over convinced that my boys were going to pull through. Especially Indy because compared to his siblings he was HUGE. Nothing was going to take that beast down.
On Thursday I noticed that things were starting to go downhill slowly for Indy. My big strong boy tried his hardest to be playful but you could tell by the look in his eyes he was getting tired. I couldn’t understand why Indy, the big strong one, was getting sick while his not so big brother, Gary, seemed to be doing just fine. Then I remembered one very important detail… Gary was ‘adopted’. Let me explain:
Back in June, I responded to a Kijiji ad I had seen saying that an equestrian center had unfortunately been overrun with cats that had been dumped at their barns. At least three of these cats had had large litters of kittens. I went there with the expectation of bringing one or two new mouser cats home for the farm. Well, when I walked into the stall where they had the mama’s and babies all together it was like a mishmash of cats everywhere! Most of the kittens were too little to be taken away from their mothers just yet so taking one or two no longer looked like an option at this point. I asked the woman if it would be helpful to take one of the mama’s and her babies home with me. She gave me a big YES and started loading kittens into a box. The Mama I had chosen, my sweet Mabel, had five kittens nursing when we picked her up. Then suddenly a little orange fluff ball attached to her and I now had SIX kittens to take home with me. That little orange fluff ball was, you guessed it, Gary.
This morning I took my Indy to the vet to be put to sleep. He is laid to rest with his brothers and sisters. My heart is broken, but knowing that these babies are no longer suffering gives me some peace.
If you are wondering about Gary, he is doing just fine. He has been playing with his Mama & Peter today and getting extra snuggles from me.
I know the saying is ‘All Dogs go to Heaven’, but I believe in my heart that my kittens ended up there too. Although their lives were much too short, I know they lived it to the fullest. They made friends with dogs, goats, and even a couple foxes. They brought so much love and happiness to friends and family that came to meet them. Heck, they even had their own Insta-fam fans. My sweet boys and girls will always have a special place in my heart and I will never forget them.
I cannot thank the people of Edgewater Animal Clinic enough for all their help this week. These kind and compassionate souls did everything they could to help our kittens and made them comfortable when it was their time to go. From the bottom of my heart, Thank You.