This is an amazing story and certainly gives one hope.
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: laurieskatz 
  Sent: Monday, February 18, 2008 12:55 PM
  Subject: Re: FeLV Vaccination--Laurie

  Sass went to live in her house with her. He adjusted well to the group of 
kitties there. The feline leukemia positive kitties are in a room in another 
house on her property (heated, AC, access to screened porch and lots of 

  I would be honored to have my story shared. Here are more details:

  I adopted Squeaky (age 8) and Stripes (age 9) from a woman whose step 
daughter was allergic to cats. She was going to euthanize them if she could not 
find a home. She loved them but didn't know what to do other than run an ad. I 
was a graduate student looking in the paper for a pair of older, neutered cats 
to adopt. They were great cats and beautiful. Squeaky would play with Stripes' 
tail. Stripes loved to lay on my chest with his front paws pressed against my 
chin. Squeaky loved our nightly combing. They chased aluminum foil balls down 
the stairs, claimed any blue jeans left laying around, chattered at the birds 
and licked the fingers of any visitors who smoked. They also slept on their 
mom's husband's jeans, which he laid on the bed when he got home from work. 
And, he smoked. Nancy and I stayed in touch during the boys' lives. 

  Nancy had adopted both as kittens. Stripes was adopted from someone whose cat 
had a litter and Squeaky was adopted from a shelter a year later. After I 
adopted them, Stripes was sick on and off. One time I came home and his mouth 
was hanging open. The vet thought Squeaky bit him (no way) and gave him a shot 
that paralyzed his rear legs. I rushed him to another vet who told me he would 
not recover. We put the mattress on the floor so he could crawl into bed. He 
miraculously recovered. I found a new vet the next time Stripes got sick. He 
tested both of them and they were positive for feline leukemia! Since Squeaky 
had never been sick, the vet said he was likely a "carrier" , carrying the 
virus in his bone marrow. Stripes lived to age 16. He was sick on and off his 
entire 7 years with me. Squeaky lived to age 22! He was sick only his last 3 
weeks of life (oral cancer). Except: he was sick for 3 days each time he had a 
feline leukemia vaccination (no vet could ever explain this to me). Of course, 
they stopped getting FeLV vaccinations after their positive test results. Both 
boys were big. They weighed 15 lbs. Stripes was a brown tabby and Squeaky was a 
gray tabby. Squeaky died October 30, 1996. He was my soul mate. We spent many 
years together ~ just the two of us.
  May 2007 my 13 year old niece rescued a smoke black tortie. She tested 
positive for FeLV. The vet literally stopped examing her when the tech told him 
this. I told him we were not going to euthanize her. We scheduled her for a 
spay. We scheduled her 3 times and each time we took her to be spayed, her temp 
was higher than the time before. It topped at 107. She was anemic and had this 
unexplained temp. We took her to an internal medicine specialist. We discovered 
she had enlarged spleen but all the other news was good (nothing else evident 
on ultrasound). Isabella was sick for  3 months. A couple times we thought she 
was dead when we went to feed her. She had unexplained pain and would have 
tremors or seizures. We even considered euthanizing her because of her pain. 
But, instead we found a wonderful vet. She prescribed antibiotics, prednisilone 
and tramadal (for pain). Isabella thrived. We also use interferon ~ 7 days on 
and 7 days off. "Bellaboo", as her foster and now adoptive mom calls her, never 
lost her appetite which helped her get better. She has almost doubled her 
weight. We've had her tested 2 more times and she has been positive each time. 
Her white blood count is still a little low but she is otherwise happy and 
healthy and loved! The vet saw her 2 weeks ago. Here is what she said "Hey 
Laurie!  Little Isabella looks GORGEOUS!!!  What a beautiful kitty she has 
turned into!"   
  I believe the love of her foster mommy, a low stress living environment ~ 
just Bella and her mommy ~ and great vet care are what saved Bellaboo. I 
believe in miracles!
  Cedar Rapids, Iowa

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