Friday, November 05, 2004

friday cat blogging

This week's kitty is Eep, named for the name she made as a kitten. She's also is or has been called the Wild Eep, Fluffybutt, Little Miss Priss, Typhoid Mary, and You Little Shit.

Eep squeezing herself under the entertainment center.

I was on my way to a meeting from the main office of my employer to a customer when I saw this little ball of fluff tumble into the gutter on the side of the busiest streets in the city. I flipped around at the next safe opportunity and commenced a cat rescue. I found a 4 week kitten sitting in the brush between some public housing and the street, with what looked like a broken jaw. As I approached, the kitten dropped a dried-out rats foot, and cautiously approached. Good, no broken jaw. I scooped her up, put her in my satchel I had rapidly emptied, made a quick call to the client from my cell phone saying I would be a few minutes late and hurried home to my apartment. I rushed in the door, suprising my husband who expected me to be at work, and handed him this tiny ball of fluff. "Here. I found her. I gotta go." I got a I-thought-I-said-no-more-cats look as I went back out the door.

When I got home I found Tom asleep in the recliner, a little fluffy ball asleep on his chest. He tried to feed her, but she was too young for chunky canned food still. She was very thin, understandably so, if the best she could do was dried rat foot. So we went to the pet store and got her some powdered kitten milk, which is apparently pure kitty heroin.

We didn't take Eep to the vet immediately, since we really couldn't afford it, and she was too young to get vaccinated. We'd had her for 2-3 weeks when we finally were able to take her to the vet at the same time we took the others for their yearly trip. The vet had some bad news for us, her blood test came back FIV positive, and it was possible that she had exposed the others while playing with them. We couldn't know for sure on the others for 6 weeks since it takes that long for the virus to show up after initial exposure. In 6 weeks we would take the other 3 back and see if their test were still negative. We had to decide if we wanted to put Eep down immediately, or keep her in isolation. No shelter in town would take a FIV + kitten. We decided to keep her, since she was healthy at the time. We would have to keep Eep separated from Noah, Amon, and McCullough forever. This was interesting in a 2 bedroom apartment.

That night was the worst for me. I was kicking my self for not getting her tested immediately, before letting her be in contact with the others at all. I knew better, and I had maybe taken years off the lives of the others. In saving one life, I had maybe shortened the lives of my three cats.

Eep ended up living in the master suite, bedroom and bathroom. She had one window she could look out. The other three had the rest of the apartment normally. Each day, we would put the others in the other bedroom/bathroom for a while and let Eep run around the living room and kitchen. Six weeks came and passed, we took Noah, Amon, and McCullough back to be re-tested and they were all negative. That was a great relief. We kept up the separation for about 4 months, until we moved to a 3 bedroom apartment. Overall the apartment was twice as big, which we all appreciated. Eep once again had the master suite, so she wouldn't be lonely at night, and was given run of the main area for a few hours while the others were confined to the other 2 bedrooms/1 bathroom.

About the time Eep was 8 months old, and she was going to be fixed, I read an article discussing the FIV test in kittens. Basically, in kittens less than 6 months old, the test is not accurate. The kittens can have the antibodies for the virus, which is what the test reacts positive to, and not the virus itself. The kittens get the antibodies from their mother through nursing, if the mother has the FIV virus. After 6 months of age, the antibodies disappear if the kittens do not have the virus. When we took Eep to be tested, I asked the vet about this, and said that it was true. The information had not been available when Eep was tested the first time, the study was that recent. So Eep was re-tested, and she was NEGATIVE! The vet said we shoud do another test to confirm the results in 6 weeks, and if it also came back negative, then she was. Six more weeks, and it too was negative. Eep could rejoin the group.

Of course, now she's spoiled and somewhat antisocial toward the other cats. She spent most of her kittenhood alone, only Tom and myself as her companions. Her only contact with the other cats was sniffs under the doors. Let's just say she never learned how to learn to play nice with others, or how to share. She's been slowly learning to adjust over the past 3 years, although I don't think she wants to learn to share. Stubborn little cat.

So Eep's story does have a happy ending. Despite the scare all the cats were fine. I know it could have been very different, and should have known better then. I shudder to think of what could have happened...

On a lighter note, here's a RFOAC to skritch and play with. Move your cursor over and around the kitty, you don't have to click anything.

Also check out the Friday Ark.


Anonymous said...

You make it sound like I could, in fact, say No to a kitten. Sadly, not the case. I was, however, obligated to be the Devil's Advocate where new accusitions were concerned. *Sigh* Although her behavior has improved, especially as regards the other cats, she still betrays a complete lack of remembrence of that first day, as a tiny ball of fluff curled up under my chin.

-He Who Is Apparently Now To Be Known As Tom

mira said...

Wasn't trying to imply you could say "No" to a kitten. You always were a very good devil's advocate, I would tend to forget an apartment is not a very good cat shelter.

As far as being "Tom", Blogger ate the change to the summary saying "All names have been changed to protect the guilty". :-)