Hi Sheri

It is extremely difficult to go through what you and Mo are going through, and 
all of us have been there. I too have known the frustration and guilt of 
constantly harassing one of the babies in my charge with food. However, I have 
very often seen them come through the other end, and so, while things look 
bleak right now, if they are able to get enough to eat and if the meds end up 
helping, all is forgiven and forgotten. There is no question it is absolutely 
gut-wrenching to have to decide if you are helping or hurting at this time, and 
only you can know the right answer. All of us would  do different things, and 
every situation is unique, so there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Make the 
decision out of love and no matter what the outcome, remember that it was out 
of love that you did it.

As I mentioned in my earlier post, I find baby food very helpful in these 
circumstances and I will squirt the food via syringe, into their mouths because 
they need more than they will take on their own right now and squirting it in 
their mouths actually means I harass them for LESS time. After the worst of the 
crisis passes, they usually will begin to show interest in the food without the 
need for the syringing, but even then, if they aren’t getting enough intake, I 
will keep syringing to ensure they are getting enough, until they get to the 
point that they are licking up enough on their own. It is a vicious circle of 
course, because not getting enough to eat makes them feel horrible and week, 
and worsens their appetite even more, etc. Thus, I try to break that cycle by 
ensuring they are getting enough intake, to allow the meds time to kick in.

When I started in “rescuing” of strays, I was told by the animal welfare group 
with which I was volunteering, that you cannot get a cat to eat, who doesn’t 
want to eat. I have not found that to be the case, but I think that my success 
has been due to keeping the feeding time short and effective, and thus, I keep 
the skirmishing short. I can get 1 3-cc syringe of pureed baby food into most 
cats in just a few minutes, and even 10 syringes will take 15-20 minutes 
(because if I go that far, my baby is clearly open to getting more food). 
Keeping the time short and effective will minimize the fighting and 
unpleasantness for both of you, so if I can only get 1 syringe in before my 
baby gets terribly unhappy, then I will stop. But my minimum is 1 syringe at a 
feeding, and I set goals to increase that as I am able.

Sadly, of course, we all know that the meds may not work, and so the food 
intake ends up being for naught (along with the regretful harassment). For me 
and Zander, that is one of the ways that the weekly bloodwork I was having 
done, was helpful. I was able to see improvement in the bloodwork, so it 
lessened the uncertainty regarding whether I was going down the right road. 
However, even bloodwork results are not always definitive because you can see 
an improvement in the numbers but it is not enough to end up helping. For that 
reason, doctors are taught to “treat the person, not the numbers”. Nonetheless, 
as long as you are seeing a few good moments and glimmers of improvement, there 
is hope and we are with you and Mo.

Amani

From: Felvtalk [mailto:felvtalk-boun...@felineleukemia.org] On Behalf Of Sheri 
Burbridge
Sent: April-09-17 1:20 PM
To: Felvtalk@felineleukemia.org
Subject: [Felvtalk] Mo update

I feel a lot like Bob right now, it's hard to tell if we are making progress. 
I'm trying very hard to be patient but time is not on our side and it's 
difficult.

Mo has been eating less and less every day and won't really lick the gel off 
anymore so I'm going to try the baby food today. With how picky he is I don't 
have much hope of him liking it. I feel like a bully constantly restraining him 
and shoving things in his mouth. I know it's the only hope he has but it's 
still hard.

Yesterday I set up a little area for him on a nightstand by the window. There 
is a pad for him to lay on, his own water bowl, and he can look out on the back 
yard while the afternoon sun shines on him. It makes me feel better that this 
is where he's spending his time and not in a dark room somewhere. He seems so 
relaxed and happy there.

This is all so mentally and emotionally draining. I am so grateful for you all 
that understand this struggle and don't think I'm crazy for putting so much 
effort into this.

I'm going to try the baby food a bit later and also see if he will try some 
chicken. I cook for my dogs and have a batch going today so I might as well 
give it a go!

Enjoy the rest of the weekend, thanks for listening.

Sheri
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