Dixie was happy and healthy until a few days before she left this
earth--on her own. I can't tell you about a lot of the questions you
raise. I can just tell you that Dixie came in from a pine thicket
behind my mother's. Apparently she had been dumped or got lost---she
had been spayed and was not afraid of people. I got the sense that
she had been an outside cat who was always looking in and wondering
what life was like inside. I took her to Louisville to my very
special vets at Middletown Animal Clinic to be spayed (not obvious
that she had already had surgery). Dr. Bishop called with the results
of a FELV+ test and ....well, death came off the table and Dixie spent
the rest of her life with me. We slept in my mother's garage for a
while (don't go there) then she became a trailer cat then a cat with
two houses. She had EVERYTHING. Thanks to the vets at MAC and my
holistic vet, Betty Boswell, Dixie was cared for and was able to leave
this world on her own terms........certainly not mine since my heart
still breaks and it has been 3 years...but she left cared for. She
had some gingivitis when she was first vetted but very little else.
She went to Betty's and was on supplements, the best food I could get
and she would eat, etc. Do not kick yourself. Sometimes I do when I
wonder if I could have done something to have postponed Dixie's death
(that is all we do for any being--we are all dying). I can tell you
that, had anything been obvious, she would have been back in
Louisville a lot earlier than she was.
I am very consious of the expenses involved in any pet care (just got
through paying 1 K thanks to a tick who infected a feral with a virus
the last of Decemeber when ticks are supposed to be dead) and you
should never kick yourself over this. That was not an issue with
Dixie. It was just time for her to leave.........and break my heart.
FYI: A month after Dixie left she sent a tiny kitten from the same
pine thicket to keep me busy. Two weeks later she decided I wasn't
busy enough and that the 1st kitten needed a brother. The family of 5
hawks was deprived of tiny snacks.
All of this is to say, you do the best you can with the nowledge and
resouces you have and with an honest heart. Sometimes things work
wonderfully (both kittens are FELV- and extremely healthy, most of the
time happy 3 year old cats) and sometimes you have the honor of
carrying for a little one for a short time....and having your heart
break. It is worth it to you and to the wonderful cats you love.
On May 20, 2011, at 12:49 PM, Debbie Bendell wrote:
I am new to this listserv and couldn't figure out how to reply, so I'm
posting a new message.
Thanks for your responses. I feel a little less stupid and guilty
having every cat tested before it joined my household. I have many
the fee for testing is $40, so I can't afford to do them all at once.
Does a cat get noticeably sick when it's first infected? Three of
have been sick enough to need bloodwork since I adopted Tulo, and
tested negative. If a cat is infected by an asymptomatic carrier,
newly infected cat also be asymptomatic?
My cats are indoor cats. There is no possible outside source of
I am just baffled at how Tulo could go from alive and healthy to
and dead in one week. I'm also baffled that no other cats have
*You may not change the world by saving one animal, but to that
means the whole world and eventually, saving animals will change the
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