Saturday, October 23, 2010

A Death in Catland

I was not gone long. About 40 minutes. While I was gone, the orange kitten died.

I can't tell what happened, except the water dish is tipped over and his face was wet. I believe he tipped it, while drinking, inhaled water and drowned. I don't know that for sure, but with the dish tipped over, water on his face, and him three feet from the water dish, something happened in that manner.

He wasn't strong and probably wouldn't not have made it. But it was a shock to come home and find him recently deceased. He was alive when I left. I used the bathroom right before leaving.

He didn't move around much the last couple of days. His breaths were not fast but deep and infrequent and strained. I don't know what happened to him. He could have had heart failure. There's no sense wondering anymore. He's gone. Poor little guy.

His brother and sister were staring aimlessly at him, from a few feet and were relieved to see me. He's gone. Dead.

Rest in Peace.

I looked at him, after he was dead. He's abnormal in so many ways. His rib cage extends within an inch of his pelvis. He has too many ribs. Inside his mouth, at the back of his throat, on his left, is a tumor, the size of a pea.

I need to get these kittens tested. It's likely his abnormalities are inbreeding or birth defect but I need to be sure the other two are not Felk positive, before I go further. This colony has had virtually no surviving kittens. Except for last year, when four survived to breed this year. Both females had kittens, but the mother, the Siamese, of those four now adults, has gone missing. She lived many years there, however, having multiple litters. Unfortunately white kittens get killed by hawks and owls, foxes, almost everything. They stand out. I'm not surprised there have been few survivors. Only one of the four siblings, young adults, this year, was light colored. The light colored cats get eaten.

What I'm saying is just because there are no kittens doesn't mean there is leukemia prevalent in the colony. The male, the only adult male there, is huge in size, yet looked healthy. The colony is remote and isolated and he had no competition.

No fighting means less liklihood of disease coming in, unless he or the abandoned Siamese already had FIV or Felk.

They have excellent color to them, even the little guy who died, bright pink mouths, inconsistent with Felk. And yet, there was something I had noticied, redness along the gums, a spot of red on the top of his mouth, that made me think, from the start, 'I wonder if they were born FIV positive."

Time will tell. Tests aren't that reliable on kittens so small. They'll remain in isolation until I know. My guess is going to be that they're negative. I don't know why. Maybe it's the healthy pink gums and they fact they survived in a horrible location, which usually means they're tough and I do think the little orange guy got ruptured by his own mother when he was trapped with her. She probably panicked right at first and tromped him, rupturing something. That's what I think happened.

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