Hi, everyone, I have been actively reading this list for a month or so now,
so I figured it was time I join.

My cat, Kong, just turned 3 in October. I found him in a Wal-Mart parking
lot when he was 12 weeks old. He was mostly feral, had been starved, most
likely abused, and had a nasty case of lung worm.

It was love at first sight.

He had his initial kitten vaccinations, and was declared to be in good
health once the lung worm cleared up. He has come such a long way in
socialization--he is not a lap cat, and really doesn't even like to be
petted for long periods of time, but I can tell he adores me in his special
"Kong" way. He also has an incredibly intense bond with my 4 year old cat,
Gonzo. I've never seen two unrelated cats take to each other they way they
did.

Around October 15, I noticed Kong wasn't acting like himself. I am a law
student, and I am gone most of the day, so I kept an eye on him and told
myself if he didn't perk up I'd take him to the vet (I was hoping he would
perk up, because I am unemployed, live on a very limited student loan budget
and live in an incredibly expensive area of Chicago--money is VERY tight). I
noticed he wasn't eating or drinking much, and when I saw him wobble as he
stood up, I knew he had to get to the vet right away.

To make a long story shorter, he ended up at an Emergency treatment
facility. He had many tests done, and 3 blood transfusions. He was diagnosed
with FeLV, and non regenerative anemia. His ELISA was negative, but the IFV
was positive. The emergency vet charged me over $5K and sent Kong home with
me to die.

A vet in my neighborhood is now treating him, and I have him on prednisolone
and interferon. It's been over a month since his diagnosis, but he is
hanging in there. He has a healthy appetite, and occasionally feels well
enough to play with his favorite string. I call him my miracle cat, because
according to every vet I've spoken to, he should be dead right now.

He is my world, and I am going to continue to do every thing I possibly can
for him. I've currently spent about $7K on his treatment, which is about the
amount of loan money I will get for my spring semester starting in January
(so I've got to find a paying job pronto, or I'm in big trouble) I'm
terrified that he will require more transfusions or expensive treatments
that I can't afford.

So, that's Kong's story. I look forward to talking with you all and learning
from your experience.

--Ashley
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