Saturday, September 15, 2012

A Long Week - And a Birthday!

I haven't had any news about placement for our FeLV+ kittens yet.  They're still in my bathroom.  I have to remind myself that they don't know that they're sick.  As far as THEY are concerned, they are normal kittens, with normal kitten goals.

Clark has fallen into the toilet TWICE now because he is so desperate to explore it.

He has also fallen over the side of the tub while I was showering.  His little eyes went so wide when he realized that water was falling from the sky.

Lewis also has gone "swimming" in the toilet.  Mind you, we keep the toilet lid down in general.  But in that two seconds after a poor, unsuspecting soul LIFTS the lid with the intention of using the camode for its intended purpose, BAM!  Kitten.

A sleepy Nellie paws up my leg.

Lewis shows that string who's boss.

Clark vanquishes his arch-nemesis, the vacuum.

Kitten wrestling.

Of course, when you have needy kittens in the house, it's easy to talk about nothing else, but the other animals' lives are continuing on as well.

Now that the weather is cooling off, they are a bit more active.  (OK, in the picture above, Argos doesn't look all THAT active, but he has been friskier when we go outside.)

The cats are more likely to come downstairs and interact with us, instead of napping the afternoon away.

Thomas has proven that he is actually quite fond of table scraps, thank you very much.  Now that he's learning that we're not going to flip out and start hitting him with brooms, he's gotten kind of cheeky about it.  Sometimes, he'll jump up onto the table and just walk over to your plate like he owns it, and as we've learned the hard way, he is more than happy to help himself if you don't move fast enough!

Thomas and Jeff have a "conversation" about whose dinner it really is.

And I feel super-guilty about this, but Maera had a birthday!  Last Saturday, in fact.  And not only did I not remark on it, but I completely forgot about it.  In my defense, we'd JUST gotten the bad news about the kittens, we were on vacation and therefore not looking at a calendar, AND my folks drove out from Missouri to visit us that weekend.  Maera has forgiven us.  I got her a stuffy today to make up for it, which entertained her for all of... oh, 30 minutes.  ANYWAY.  Happy Birthday, Maera!  She turned three years old.

A certain tranquility has descended upon the house.  Oh, we're insanely busy.  There's far too much going on, and I went back to work this week.  But the animals have reached a certain peace with one another.  Every once in awhile, it will erupt into sniping - usually Bit v. Thomas, but every once in awhile it's Bit v. Annie.  Or maybe Annie v. Thomas.

But overall, I'm very pleased with how everyone is getting along.

In closing, everyone keep your fingers crossed for our FeLV+ foster kittens.  I would love for these little love-bugs to get homes regardless of their retrovirus, and know for a fact that it doesn't HAVE to mean a death sentence for them.  We need all of the good thoughts, prayers, and positive vibes that you can send us!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Heartsick - FeLV Strikes

One of the main reasons that I have fallen behind in my blogging this summer is that I have been fostering kittens.  Even the most trouble-free litter takes up a lot of time and energy, and when juggling foster care with care for my own animals, work, and yes, trying to get some much-needed R&R, there isn't much time OR energy left over.

But this last litter...  this last litter is determined to not only break my heart, but to stomp it into little tiny pieces.

On Monday, after being sick with diarrhea for several days (even with the prescription medication) Amelia, named after Amelia Earhart, died.  Her intestines had telescoped inside of themselves, and there was no cure.  Nothing could be done.

The very next day, her sister, Nellie, got very sick.  She had a 106 degree fever, and was hospitalized at the shelter's clinic for four days.  She rallied, came back home with me, then got worse again on Monday... this time, the site where she received sub-q fluids swelled up to nearly the size of a golf-ball, and she couldn't use her front legs as a result.  She was literally trembling in pain... BUT  she rallied yet again after a change in antibiotics, and we thought that was the end of it.


But today was by far the worst.  The entire litter was retested for FeLV,  and even though they originally tested negative, today they tested positive.

And I am so at a loss.

The shelter cannot adopt them out to a normal household.  I can't keep them indefinitely - I have my own cats to think of.  The vets are fairly certain that the very limited contact that my cats have had with these babies has not infected them, but we can't take chances with prolonged contact,  and we can't keep them in quarantine indefinitely - that's no way for a cat to live. The reality is that these babies have nowhere to go.

They are sweet, innocent little kittens, and it is not their fault that they have a disease.  They are face-kissers, nose nuzzlers.  They are perfect lap-cat material and have no fear of humans, dogs, other cats.  They should have been some of the most adoptable kittens available.

But any windows of opportunity that they once had due to their cuteness are closing.

Does anyone know of someone who already has an FeLV positive cat that might want a kitten?  Multiple kittens?  A sanctuary that wants a three-pack of adorable kittens?   We're in Western Pennsylvania, if that makes a difference or helps.  I don't have the authority to place these kittens - they're fosters, not mine, but the shelter is willing to attempt to place them if a suitable situation is found.