Friday, May 14, 2010

RIP Rowdy

This week, I had to say goodbye to a dear friend. Rowdy is the second cat we lost from the original group of the three wild kittens we raised. Oreo was the first.

Last Sunday, Rowdy became very ill. I knew he was sick from the way he was acting, and he also felt warm. I got him out of the bushes where he was hiding and brought him up to the carport. He slept in the same place on the love seat all evening.

The next morning, he was still in the same spot. He hadn't moved all night. A few hours later, he got up and he could hardly walk. His left front foot seemed injured, and he seemed dizzy. I immediately gathered him up and took him to the vet.

I left him at the vet while I went to work and waited for a phone call. Honestly, I thought he had contracted a cold or something, the vet would give him an antibiotic and he'd been fine.

A girl from the vet's office called - they wanted to draw blood. I said okay. She called back and said his white blood count was too low...which is indicative of feline leukemia. They wanted to test for it. I said ok.

The next call I got was from the vet himself...when I heard his voice, I knew this wasn't good. Rowdy tested positive for feline leukemia. His fever was 106. He was very, very sick. His white blood count should have been around 5000 - it was 1000. The vet told me, he most likely would be picking up everything that came along as his body didn't have the defenses to fight off anything anymore. He also told us this was very contagious, and could easily be given to the other cats, if it hadn't been already.

It was time to make a tough decision. I went to talk to Bill, who is a "co-owner" of these cats and who loves them all dearly. We decided it was best not to put Rowdy through continual sickness and pain, and it was best for the other cats, as we had no way to separate him.

So we went to the vet's office to say goodbye to our dear friend. Rowdy was with us two years. He touched our hearts in more ways than you can ever imagine. He was unique and special...and we will miss him forever.

I made him his own personal grave marker. It's pyrography on wood with color pencil, and sealed to protect it from the weather. Linda is going to plant some pretty flowers on his grave, too.

RIP my dear Rowdy...we loved you the best we could, and we are so sorry we had to say goodbye too soon.

*The other two cats we have left tested negative for this horrible disease and have also been vaccinated for it. The vaccine is only about 70-80% effective, and there is no cure.

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