My Greek kitty crew

Monday, February 27, 2012

Who's that girl?


Well... her name is Tiffy and you might remember her from some of my early December posts - first mentioned here and when rescued here.  As you know by now - things somehow got caught up in other matters during the last few months and healthy cats almost got put on the back-burner. This little girl (so small compared to her actual age 7-8 months) is still painfully timid but she is now in the fun and good company of all the lively characters around here. Those in isolation are once again enjoying their freedom and I guess - we're just celebrating each day everyone is healthy and vibrant. I have come to the hard realization that there is no guarantee when you rescue sick dumpster cats. Anyhow... I remember being keen on getting to know what beauty was hidden behind the sickly cat in the image below and these images - above and further below - is the gorgeous beauty that was revealed (yes, it is the same cat!). 

For sure worth the wait and all the effort (she's currently on her 3rd antibiotic course). These kinds of dumpster cats takes a lot of effort. They've got seriously impaired immune systems and I'm told by the vet that they'll likely to need several antibiotic treatments during their lives. 

These days at least I somehow feel more prepared that each rescued cat might not make it. It's been a hard to accept fact but then I get to live with the glow of each day they do live... 

- with a warm bed, good quality food, clean water, medical care, love and knowing they were seen. Basically, living with dignity. And as our vet would say... not a bad life for a Greek cat. 

Friday, February 17, 2012

Queen of Purrs

Today Noona was laid to rest. She went to the Rainbow Bridge last night. Noona spent 6 days at the vet whilst we waited for all test results to come back (the lab sample disappeared with the courier post among the Greek crisis chaos and had to be redone). By then we had to make the tough decision whether to bring Noona back home - we knew it would be a matter of days only. We felt though that Noona was telling us she wanted to come back home (remember she'd been in isolation for 4 weeks by the time she got ill). She wanted to be able to say farewell to her HOME. Like with Lilly... her safety - her refuge. It was a quick decision, Noona was coming with us. 

She instantly nestled into layers of a duvet and woolen blankets (she always loved hiding and snuggling under a blanket or a duvet). She was brough back to the little room where she initially started her journey with us 8 months ago - content, in no pain and purring loudly. Her distinct trademark... loud purr. This girl was SO happy to be home.  

In her remaining days we arranged small supervised walks in the garden with her (she wasn't allowed to do her toilet) - and there is no doubt being back in the garden just completed her. Once again she was allowed to quietly sit on a rock and enjoy warm rays of sunshine. She knew these were her last days and she radiated such contentment, gratitude and happiness - right till the end. Whenever we were with her she purred non-stop. Often throughout her time with us we would hear a loud constant purr... it would always be Noona who just sat and glowed at all the happiness all the cats were having and experiencing together. She was The Queen of Purrs. Noona knew she had been given a second chance in life and she lived and loved it to the full. There was absolutely no sense of regret from her - even though she only lived for 1 1/2 - 2 years. Things were complete with Noona.

During her last days she was in no pain and we agreed she would give us the sign if she needed our help to go. She'd been eating very little for 9 days (nothing the last two days) and her organs eventually began to shut down. During the last hour she had a brief bout of shaking and I knew it was the sign to ask for the vet to come. We were so moved to feel the vets resistance to put her down. He'd help treat her for her extreme case of mammary hyperplasia (how we found her) and was amazed at her incredible recovery. She'd become SO beautiful. He too just felt this was such a shame - but there really was no more we could do for Noona. She was no doubt more content than the lot of us. I feel so blessed to have had the privilege to rescue Noona from the pitiful state we found her. Here's just a recap of her incredibly recovery - these images really do speak for themselves.

 - and after her incredibly recovery in the company of one of her great friends.

Rest in peace my beautiful girl.

P.s. The top images of Noona gazing across the valley mirrors my last images of Lilly - all of them taken the same day.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

A very different year and reality


To those of you who visit regularly I am sorry for the quiet and for the absence.

January was nerve wracking after the outbreak of the deadly parvo virus. There has been many visits to the vet. As you can imagine - the slightest sniffle or not eating on cue has been a cause of concern and four more cats went in for some days for observation. One cat had the virus but miraculously survived.

During all this time I of course felt very concerned about the cats placed in isolation. They have been very frustrated but eventually all had their first vaccinations three weeks ago. Eventually things went fine but then after about a week Noona's  appetite diminished. She started loosing weight and eventually started having breathing difficulties. Last week she had blood tests and an xray to determine what what going on. The results left me stunned. She had a build up of fluid around her lungs which turned out to be FIP (feline infectious peritonitis) a fatal incurable and contagious disease - transmitted through cat-to-cat contact and exposure to feces. Well, go figure if my heart just sank deeply beneath the earth upon this information. FIP is developed via feline coronavirus and cats that have been initially exposed to the feline coronavirus usually show no obvious symptoms! From the information I've gathered I have learned though that only a small percentage of cats that are exposed to the feline coronavirus develop FIP and that this can occur weeks, months, or even years after initial exposure. There is no incubation period, which naturally leaves me even more on edge.

It's difficult to determine whether any of the other cats in isolation will have contracted the virus. If their immune is strong they are more likely to have resisted the exposure. They all just had their first vaccinations when this broke out so I don't know yet if this will have weakened them further. One had a mild cold just before the vaccination (vet thought it safest to go ahead anyway due to the parvo scare) and three others have had eye infections. Noona have obviously always been a carrier of the coronavirus and it is only (ironically) because she had the vacciantion she developed FIP. It simply tipped her immune system. On the one side sad and frustrating but on the other I would never have known about the coronavirus had she not become sick.

As for Noona she has spent 6 days at the vet but was brought home today to give her the best life quality possible for her remaining time. The vet believes this can be days or maybe a few weeks. She is back in the room where she initially started her rescue and healing. She has responded in a very happy manner to being brought back home... endless purring and thankful rolling on the floor. Now we will do all we can to give her the best time possible.

I feel saddened that a deadly virus has yet again struck. On top - sometimes fate can seem to have a strange twist of irony. The vet has only seen an outbreak of FIP 4-5 times over the last 10 years!  As I believe I've said before, I do believe things happen for a reason but it's difficult to resist the question: Why here? Why among my cats? I continue though to muster all my courage and strength although I must say that it genuinely has been a bit worn recently.

This image of Noona is from a beautiful day in early December - my last images of Lilly was taken the same day.