Thursday, December 23, 2010

R.I.P. Forest is Gone

Forest's insides were a mess. Her intestines were knotted together in adhesions, the vet said. When touched, the outer layers would crack and the rest was mush. Forest had FIP.

FIP results from a mutated corona virus. The disease is still a mystery since most cats shed the corona virus but never get symptoms of FIP.

Forest had the wet form.

Whether her siblings will or won't come down with it, there is no way to know. Some think there is a genetic component to susceptibility to the mutated corona.

The vet read all sorts of things, after I asked him if I should keep them seperate as they have been, or how long if they might come down with it, until they would. In the end, he said, there's nothing you can do to protect them or to even know if they will or won't, except just keep the stress low for the cats. There's nothing else you can do. It's a big mystery. One cat will get it while one who has shared space, grooming, food and water, won't get it.

He lamented there's no way to really test for FIP and it causes severe suffering, like Forest went through and you never really know it's FIP and that a cats insides are falling apart. He also said he sees so many kittens and cats die of pancreatitis, like Toby did, and wonders why and wishes that could be tested for or prevented too since it too is so painful on little kittens.

I had a hard day.

If this news wasn't enough, while I awaited news on Forest at the rest area, my car failed to restart, battery drained for some reason. I'd had the lights on, but only for twenty minutes or so.

Finally, a guy comes by. I have the hood up and am cleaning the battery terminals, which did have some corrosive buildup. He is a mechanic travelling down from Seattle to Eugene for Christmas and had jumper cables and like an angel. The rest area, where I was at, was actually vacant of other vehicles and I was not sure exacly what I was going to do. I'd called my Albany tow truck friends, who of course couldn't come that far, and my brother, on his way to central Oregon for Christmas. They could only offer advice and hope I found a way out of my broken car dilemma.

After the young good samaritan jump started my car, I then had the battery fully charged at Les Schwab in Wilsonville, and they did not charge me to do it. I hope the charge holds. It's been chirping badly every morning.

The nice guy who jumped my car said I should have two different pulleys and the alternator belt changed. One pulley is called the tension pulley and I cannot remember the name of the other one. They were shrieking and chirping there at the rest area, just after I got it started.

I thought Forest would be Felk positive from the beginning. Something about her eyes, like they'd roll up, the pupils, or to the side, almost independently of each other. They had a glazed look, like the pupil seemed distant inside or something. I think I have a picture I took of her when she first came her that sort of shows what I mean about the eyes. I have associated that look with Felk, but she tested negative. I do have the photo. See what I mean about her eyes.

I loved Forest. I knew from the start she was struggling. She just pounced on food like she was starving to death. Yet she did not play like her siblings, and had a hoarse meow. She never grew much while her siblings did. Last night with that massive belly bulging and her in obvious pain, I laid with her. If I'd had the money, I would have taken her to be euthanized at an emergency clinic but I didn't have the cash on hand. I thought it would turn out to be a twisted or telescoped intestine. Although she struggled here, she was never sick. She did not have diarrhea. She did not have eye drainage or sneezing. I had always thought with FIP, a cat or kitten first had enteritis, exhibited in diarrhea.

However, in thinking back, I believe she had some very blackish loose stools, which can mean intestinal bleeding. I am also concerned about one sibling, her sister, who had the same look to her when she came, the same eyes, something about them. She will not be leaving isolation and my eyes on her now. But she is growing, her hair is returning from the ringworm. She has normal stools and no bloated out belly. At least, not now.

I washed everything again. Soaked food and water dishes in clorox. Litterbox and litter scoop too. I know what they say but I can't help myself. I changed all their bedding and washed the old in hot water with clorox added. I can't stop thinking about what if the other two kittens get it. Or even Zuli, the Siamese, from the same place, who has been in there with them. I can't stop thinking that and horribly little Forest suffered.

I think about her eyes, how I know deep down from the start there was something wrong with her because of her eyes. And I think if a necropsy was done, it would show eye involvement in some way and maybe just maybe that would be the key to finding a test or some sign, by looking in the eyes.

And what if it's also related somehow to fungi? Can fungi combine with viruses or mutate them?

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