Written by Michelle Kennedy (Soleil’s mom!) as an e-mail to me. I asked her if I could post this as a blog post to get some insight from readers – please read on and offer any suggestions or prayers!
I’m not sure if Soleil is a Ragdoll or not. I got her from the local SPCA and she was listed as a ragdoll/siamese cross. I fell in love with her little face and took her home. She’s a dead ringer for Wendy Knit’s Lucy, though.
I’ve been meaning to send you Soleil’s story, but I’ve been putting it off. About 5 months ago now, she got really sick, and the vet thought she was going to die.
Did a bunch of tests and sent me home, and when she phoned me at home that night, was shocked, really shocked to hear that she’d been eating and drinking and using the litter box. She came back from that, but then about 2 days before I was moving from the west coast back to the middle of the country, she was in bad shape again. They wanted to refer her to a surgical referral centre for a transfusion, and exploratory surgery. I wasn’t sure what to do, as I had 2 days left in my house, and a uhaul rented. I didn’t know if it would be better to have surgery and recuperate on the way home, or get home, and then have surgery. We decided that it would be better for her to have any drastic intervention at home.
I guess I should tell you home is the farm I grew up on, in Manitoba, Canada. And the vet clinic is the one our horses, cattle, and my dogs and previous cats have gone to, that I absolutely love.
So, her red blood cell count was really low, but they didn’t know why. The first time she got sick, they thought it was blood parasites. But she shouldn’t have got sick again if that was the case. My vet checked her count, and it was up from the last test in Vancouver about 3 days ago, so he decided to hold off on the transfusion. Like most of us animal lovers, I do have some people around me that didn’t understand why I was so upset, and so determined to find a cure. Look, she’s going outside, off by herself, she wants to die. I was sobbing over that, and went to check on her. She’d caught a squirrel, and eaten the whole thing, except the tail. I figured that was a sign she wasn’t thinking about dying.
After that, she put on weight at a rapid amount, almost a pound a week, and her red blood cell count was going up. My vet doesn’t understand why she was getting better, or even what was wrong with her.
She took another turn for the worse in the last week, after my parents thought she needed a “change and some exercise” and moved her from her safe place to out in the barnyard. She made it back to the house, but utterly drained. She’s now had a blood transfusion and is back on full dose steroids. She’s stretched out on my bed at this very moment. She’s not so sick that she doesn’t do that cranky twitchy tail thing when she thinks I’m pestering her, and to give me the big bunny kick shove, when I’m in her face too much.
I don’t know why, but I’ve been afraid to send you her story, just in case things got really bad, I guess. I’ve decided to take things into my own hands, and I’m doing a bunch of research on foods high in iron and vitamin B, and I’m working on a diet to help. Since I’ve moved back to be with my parents, she’s been eating dry cat food.
My parents think that’s a better choice. Hill’s Diet from the vet, so not crap food, but I don’t believe it’s the best for her. But, she did seem to prefer it, and when she’s sick like this, I don’t care what it is, as long as she eats. I guess this is like cooking wonderful, healthy, delicious (in your eyes) food for your kids, and have them go crazy over McDonalds and rave about how delicious it is.
I’d sure appreciate any advice you have to give, or any prayers or positive thoughts.
I’ve got an assortment of Soleil pictures (I usually call her Leilei. The majority of them were taken before she got sick, but the “on the farm” one was taken her on the farm, a month or so ago. The other cat in the pictures is Sampson. I adopted him from the SPCA at the same time I adopted Leilei.
She’s still drinking lots today, and NOT happy when I try to get the steroid pill down her. I made the chicken stock, and then boiled liver chunks in some of the stock, and whirled the whole thing up in the food processor so it was a drinkable consistency. I don’t think she’s had any yet on her own, but I’ve managed to get some into her with a syringe. Not happy about that either. It’s been above 80 degrees here today, and she’s been sleeping like a cat in the hot weather. You
know, all stretched out, legs in all directions. That always makes me feel better, because when she’s really feeling badly, she kind of looks like the loaf cats from I Can Haz Cheezberger.
I did read your pages about anemia in cats, and I’ve been googling. I guess what makes this even scarier and more frustrating is my vet really can’t figure out what’s going on.
I have been thinking about an animal communicator. I don’t want to sound too whackadoodle, but I do think there’s definitely a lot to be said for people with spiritual gifts. But, that also being said, I know there’s a lot of unscrupulous people out there.
Thank you so much for your response.