Last week was a tough week for my family and our kitties. My mom and stepdad had to put one of our family cats, Figaro, to sleep on Monday. He had cancer in his kidney and his body just couldn’t fight anymore. He was with us for 16 years, including my teenage years when a cat companion is especially precious.
Then on Friday my Auntie Kay was in the heart-breaking position of having to put her 5-month old kitten to sleep, China.
He had Feline Leukemia, apparently the most common disease in outdoor cats. It is incurable, and unfortunately very contagious. We are all so stunned and sad and wished we’d known more about this disease before finding out the hard way. Unfortunately even if you vaccinate against it, cats can still get it. But it is still a good thing to be aware of and something to talk to your vet about. You can test your kitties for it and if they have it, you need to make sure they don’t come into any contact with other cats – they transmit it to each other through saliva, with bites, licks, or even sharing the same food bowls.
We are hoping with anxious hearts that my aunt’s other kitten didn’t contract it and also that Hobbes, who spent 3 1/2 weeks at her place while we were away also doesn’t have it. Hobbes had a preliminary test on Friday that was negative but we won’t know 100% until he is tested again in two months. Karen will be testing her other kitten then as well.
In the meantime we are soothing are broken hearts with our own little embodiment of the circle of life –
We picked up our new kitten yesterday! He looks a lot like Hobbes did when we first got him, but he already has a different personality. He was a big ‘fraidy cat for the first part of today but he is starting to come out of his shell now. It’s pretty understandable – those were big changes for the poor little guy! He went from living with his mom in a familiar environment, to making the 6 hour drive back home with us and then into a big room with unfamiliar stuff and smells. But he seems to be quite happy passed out on the bed beside me after our big play fest 🙂 they adapt so well.
We are waiting to get to know him before we give him a name so I’ll introduce him properly once we’ve had some more time to get to know each other. Now I must go kiss his tiny little head because it pretty much just screams “kiss me” every time I look at him.