You Win Some, You Lose Some

Jack’s guest post is sad, but on time – –

Wendy and I run a hospice for cats. Mostly they have feline leukemia (FELV), which means their immune system doesn’t hardly work. So we try to keep them as healthy as possible, and show them a good time, until eventually and inevitably they fall prey to something microbial. Then it’s usually us making them as happy and comfortable as we can – –

Some have lasted for years, but lately it’s been just a few months.

Our latest was Suzi, and she arrived in February. Bright as a button, she immediately latched on to our big dog Bruce, who took her as his own. They followed each other around the house and often slept together in his bed, her spooning against his stomach. If you could call it that; stretched full length she still wasn’t as long as his belly.

Suzi wasn’t much interested in our other two cats and they weren’t much interested in her. She was less than a year old after all, hardly able to hold a sensible conversation. Let Bruce have his pet kitty.

But a couple of weeks ago we saw a change in Suzi – losing weight, not eating much and sleeping a lot. She still liked to go out into the sun in the back yard though. We took her to our excellent local vet who found she had a high temperature, so was put on antibiotics. There wasn’t much improvement so back to the vet she went.

That’s when we discovered she had FIP. All cats carry some coronaviruses inside them, but if one wins the unlucky lottery, that virus will blossom into something awful. FIP is awful.

Suzi spent her last morning yesterday curled up beside Bruce (FIP does not transmit to dogs or humans) and then went on her final journey.

Our vet is great and knows what we do and when to do it, sending them over the rainbow bridge with love and tenderness. Wendy always goes if she can, and holds them and sings them their favorite songs.

We still have Molly – the queen of the house – and Momma who is FELV positive, but healthy so far. And since Suzi kinda ripped the heart out of us, we’re going to have to say that’s all for a while.

RIP Suzi. We didn’t know you long but we are grateful to have been allowed to be part of your life.

Cats and Dogs

Jack makes it in time again –

We look after cats with feline leukemia, which means that often (but not always) they have short lives. Their immune systems are severely compromised so if they catch an infection they can’t fight it. Of course, with the help of our knowledgeable friends and wonderful vets we do the best we can, but the time inevitably comes eventually. While healthy cats usually live for fifteen or even twenty years. Ours generally last about four or five at best.

They usually get it because they’ve been dumped and get in a fight with another cat that already has FELV.

So we give them the best we can while they are still here – – –

Then a gentle ride over the rainbow bridge – – –

We cry and then take in the next two or three – – –

Our latest are Momma and Susie. Momma rolled up her sleeves and decided the whole place needed sorted out, while Susie hid under our bed. Our resident, Molly, had assumed she would now be the solitary cat and was very happy with that, and then met Momma!

Susie & Bruce

Meanwhile Susie emerged and saw our big dog Bruce and decided he was her Dad. She waited until he laid down in his bed (where he spends of his time) and then snuggled in beside him. She didn’t know that if any cat gets in his bed before he does he goes elsewhere, so she often waits in vain. But she’s learning!

So here we are, after losing many over the last fifteen years, adjusting (along with Bruce and Molly) to a new domestic arrangement.

Onwards and upwards – – –