Dear Christine,

I am so sorry to hear that it was Romeo's time to leave you.
Thank you for sharing Romeo's story with us - it is so inspiring.

Sleep soft, dear Romeo...

You are in my thoughts & prayers.
Kat (Mew Jersey)

On Mon, 10 Nov 2008, Chris wrote:

> Date: Mon, 10 Nov 2008 16:37:28 -0500
> From: Chris <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
> Reply-To:
> To:
> Subject: [Felvtalk] Romeo is gone....
> It is with a very heavy heart that I tell you that I lost my Romeo today to
> lymphoma.  I write not out of grief but to encourage all the newbies who
> wonder whether they can hang on with a FELV positive, whether they know
> enough to take care of them, whether they should mix, etc.  And the
> resounding answer is YES YES YES.  My Romeo was a throw away stray that I
> first met 7+ years ago when I helped someone out feeding a little colony
> near me.  He was already an adult (3-4 years old) who would come running
> across the field when I?d whistle and meow the whole way so I wouldn?t miss
> him.  He would get underfoot, get bullied by the other cats, bury
> everybody?s food, and just rub up against my leg for some loving.  I knew
> someone had been unkind to him cause if I raised my hand, he?d scamper away,
> just out of reach, cowering.  
> Fast forward two years and we had one of the coldest NY winters we?ve had in
> a long time.  One weekend, we were expecting zero degree temps and a major
> snowstorm.  Romeo was the last of the colony and I knew I had to bring him
> in.  I even had an adoptive home ready?but he turned out to be positive and
> they couldn?t handle it.  Soooooo, he stayed in my room for a few weeks,
> watching my every move, figuring out the TV and the vacuum cleaner weren?t
> that bad.  Slowly, he started coming out of his crate at night when he
> thought I was asleep.  Little baby steps?first the food dish got moved next
> to his crate.  Then the litter box in the bathroom.  And slowly, he?d come
> out during the day.  I knew we won the battle when I peeked out over my
> monitor to spot him on my bed.  You could see it in his face?this is
> niiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiice and from that point on, he was totally
> comfortable being in and around we humans.  Funny thing is that he never
> really wanted to get out?he rarely sat at the window?the couch and the bed
> were always much more comfortable for him!
> Over these last 4 ? years, Romeo turned into the most loving cat you?d ever
> want to meet.  Only thing I could never do was pick him up or restrain him
> in any way---he was just too scared.  But he?d jump up on me, lie on my
> chest as I was trying to get to sleep, follow me around like a puppy dog and
> otherwise just kept thanking all the humans he met for being safe and warm
> and loved.  My other cats were a bit leary of him and Tucson never did take
> much of a liking to him?all jealousy, I?m sure.  But Romeo persevered and
> the two of them had come to terms with each other...
> His final illness took him quickly.  He?d never been real sick before?had
> some gum and teeth problems a couple of times, but that was it.  Going to
> the vet was a major trauma for him so I?d always worked with my wonderful
> vet to keep those visits to a bare minimum.  But today was one of those days
> that I knew he had to get to the vet asap.  He?d been feeling poorly during
> the week and over the weekend, he started breathing very hard?like he
> couldn?t catch his breath.  He?d been on antibiotics for what I thought was
> another gum problem but when we got to the vet, I knew it was a whole lot
> more.  My vet sent me immediately to our local specialty hospital and they
> confirmed the lymphoma.  He had a large mass in his chest, his lungs had
> filled up with fluid, and I knew that emotionally and physically, he could
> never withstand an aggressive course of treatment that in all likelihood
> would only give him a short extension of his life.  So, I made that decision
> we all dread after I looked in his eyes and knew he was telling me it was
> time.  I stroked him to the end and told him I loved him.
> And do I regret taking him in?ABSOLUTELY NOT.  He gave me so many wonderful
> memories and he will always be in my heart.  And did he regret coming
> inside?ABSOLUTELY NOT?he had almost 5 years of a wonderful life and I know
> that had he stayed out, he would have died a miserable death from the cold
> and hunger or an infection and he would have been alone.  We can?t save them
> forever?but we can give them some wonderful time and we can all learn so
> very much about life from these little guys.  
> Christiane Biagi
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