Thanks so much for taking the time to share your stories for the "good
story" list Laurie---boy, they are so inspiring. Squeaky, Stripes and
Bellaboo were so very lucky to find you. What a great age Squeaky and
Stripes lived to, as well! And kudos to you for having more sense and
compassion than all those vets put together. Bellaboo's story is hugely
encouraging-----she really is a walking miracle! I'm SO glad you found a
great vet in the end----I know what a difference that makes.
hugs, Kerry

[mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] On Behalf Of laurieskatz
Sent: Monday, February 18, 2008 11:55 AM
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 visitors). 
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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