Hi Sue
How is Buzz doing?

On Nov 10, 2008, at 5:56 PM, Sue & Frank Koren wrote:

> Chris, I am so sorry to hear about your little Romeo.  Thank you  
> for sharing
> his story.  Of all the cats it so often seems like the FeLV+ ones  
> are the
> most special of all.
> Sue
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Chris" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
> To: <felvtalk@felineleukemia.org>
> Sent: Monday, November 10, 2008 4:37 PM
> 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 ½ 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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