Friday, September 21, 2012


Remember how we used to have five foster kittens?  Well, now we only have three.  I wish I could tell you that two of them got adopted, and that's why we only have three left, but the real story is much sadder than that.  So if you are a person who gets sad easily, you might want to have your tissues handy.

Anyway, first of all, there was little Mickie who, as you probably remember, was rejected by her mother, so we thought maybe something was wrong with her.  But she seemed to be doing okay, and she was eating real cat food with the other kittens, and she was running all around really fast, and she meowed a lot.  What was strange, though, was that she didn't seem to be growing.  She still looked really little, with a big round head and a round body with a pot belly.

Then on Tuesday, Mom decided Mickie wasn't acting right because she didn't have any energy or want to do anything.  Also she had diarrhea and she seemed like she was dehydrated.  So Mom took her over to visit Dr. Regan, who said Mickie had ADR (Ain't Doing Right) and Failure to Thrive.  Mickie weighed  6.5 ounces, which was the same as she weighed three weeks ago when we first started fostering her.  One time Mickie got all the way up to 7.5 ounces, but on Tuesday she was back to 6.5.

Mom thought maybe the time had come to admit that Mickie had something serious wrong with her, and she would never grow up to be a big kitty.  But Dr. Regan and Aunt Tania couldn't bear to put little Mickie to sleep because she was still so active and alert.  So the three of them talked about what to do, and Aunt Tania said she would take Mickie home for a few days to give her fluids and try to get her feeling more perky.

Meanwhile, Mom had planned to take the rest of the kittens to the shelter on Thursday to get them weighed and dewormed and stuff like that.  But then Macie started acting like she didn't feel very good, and we could tell this because she wouldn't eat any supper Tuesday night or any breakfast Wednesday morning.  And then when Mom gave the kittens their lunch, Macie not only didn't eat, but she went over and puked under the rocking chair.

So Mom decided maybe she shouldn't wait until Thursday to take Macie to see Dr. Regan.  But first she had to go to the Department of Motor Vehicles and get new stickers to put on her license plates.  The stickers are orange, and they are very pretty.  And also, Mom had to take Aunt LaDene to the Department of Motor Vehicles so she could get her handicap parking tag renewed.  But after all that was done, Mom took the kittens to the shelter.

Dr. Regan thought Macie was pretty sick, and she said maybe the reason her tummy was so swollen was because she had a bunch of worms.  So Macie got dewormed, and she also got penicillin and vitamin B12 and fluids and something else that was supposed to make her feel less like puking.  And the other three kittens got dewormed.  Then all four of them were tested for FeLeuk/FIV, and everybody was negative, which is a good thing.

Oh, and Aunt Tania said that Mickie wasn't doing very well, but she thought maybe Mickie got weaned too soon, so she was feeding her with a bottle again part of the time.

We hoped that Macie would feel better Wednesday night, after she got all that medicine, but she just sat around and acted like she felt crappy.  She still didn't want to eat, and she didn't poop out any worms or anything else either.  Mom was afraid Macie might die during the night, so she brought Macie's carrier up to our bedroom in case Macie started crying or something while we were asleep.  But whenever Mom got up to go to the bathroom, she looked in the carrier, and Macie started purring.

Well, yesterday Macie still seemed really sick, and her tummy got more and more swollen, and Mom thought maybe there was something stuck in her gut, sort of like that time I ate part of a blanket and it got stuck.  Either that or maybe Macie was bleeding inside.  So Mom made an appointment for Macie with Dr. Patricia because she knew Dr. Patricia could do x-rays and stuff that the doctors at the shelter can't do.  Plus Dr. Patricia's office is lots closer than the shelter, even though it costs more to go there.

It's hard to see a whole lot on an x-ray of such a little kitten, but it looked like Macie had a lot of gas trapped in her intestines, which would mean there was a blockage.  Also there was a bunch of fluid in her abdomen.  Dr. Patricia said the only way to fix the problem would be with surgery, and she was pretty sure Macie would die during the surgery.  So in the end, Mom decided that Macie should be put to sleep.  She called Aunt Tania first to let her know what was going on, and Aunt Tania agreed that was the best decision.

Mom also paid to have a necropsy done on Macie, which is the same thing as an autopsy, except it's for animals.  Dr. Patricia thought maybe Macie had something called FIP, which stands for Feline Infectious Peritonitis.  I'm not going to try to explain what FIP is because it's very complicated, and complicated stuff makes me confused.  But I will say that there are lots of symptoms that might mean a cat has FIP, and even when a necropsy is done, the lab can only say that the results are "consistent with" FIP.  But if Macie maybe had FIP, then our other kittens might have it, too, and it would be good to know that.

After Mom got home, she called Aunt Tania to talk to her some more, and Aunt Tania said that she had Mickie put to sleep yesterday, too.  It turned out that Mickie started getting a lot of diarrhea and was acting all lethargic, and by yesterday morning she was very sick.  So she and Macie ended up dying on the same day, and now they can play together at the Rainbow Bridge, which will be a lot of fun for them.

Dr. Patricia called Mom after she had looked at Macie's insides, which she had to do so she could get a bunch of samples ready to send to the laboratory for the necropsy.  She found out that Macie's intestine did this weird thing like a telescope, where one part went up inside the other part.  Dr. Patricia said there was no way this could have been fixed with surgery.  Also Macie had a swollen liver and kidneys, and there was lots of fluid in her stomach and abdomen.

In about five days, we will get the results back from the lab.  We are just hoping that Macie does not have anything "consistent with" FIP because we don't want our other kittens to get sick, too.

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