A very different year and reality
To those of you who visit regularly I am sorry for the quiet and for the absence.
January was nerve wracking after the outbreak of the deadly parvo virus. There has been many visits to the vet. As you can imagine - the slightest sniffle or not eating on cue has been a cause of concern and four more cats went in for some days for observation. One cat had the virus but miraculously survived.
During all this time I of course felt very concerned about the cats placed in isolation. They have been very frustrated but eventually all had their first vaccinations three weeks ago. Eventually things went fine but then after about a week Noona's appetite diminished. She started loosing weight and eventually started having breathing difficulties. Last week she had blood tests and an xray to determine what what going on. The results left me stunned. She had a build up of fluid around her lungs which turned out to be FIP (feline infectious peritonitis) a fatal incurable and contagious disease - transmitted through cat-to-cat contact and exposure to feces. Well, go figure if my heart just sank deeply beneath the earth upon this information. FIP is developed via feline coronavirus and cats that have been initially exposed to the feline coronavirus usually show no obvious symptoms! From the information I've gathered I have learned though that only a small percentage of cats that are exposed to the feline coronavirus develop FIP and that this can occur weeks, months, or even years after initial exposure. There is no incubation period, which naturally leaves me even more on edge.
It's difficult to determine whether any of the other cats in isolation will have contracted the virus. If their immune is strong they are more likely to have resisted the exposure. They all just had their first vaccinations when this broke out so I don't know yet if this will have weakened them further. One had a mild cold just before the vaccination (vet thought it safest to go ahead anyway due to the parvo scare) and three others have had eye infections. Noona have obviously always been a carrier of the coronavirus and it is only (ironically) because she had the vacciantion she developed FIP. It simply tipped her immune system. On the one side sad and frustrating but on the other I would never have known about the coronavirus had she not become sick.
As for Noona she has spent 6 days at the vet but was brought home today to give her the best life quality possible for her remaining time. The vet believes this can be days or maybe a few weeks. She is back in the room where she initially started her rescue and healing. She has responded in a very happy manner to being brought back home... endless purring and thankful rolling on the floor. Now we will do all we can to give her the best time possible.
I feel saddened that a deadly virus has yet again struck. On top - sometimes fate can seem to have a strange twist of irony. The vet has only seen an outbreak of FIP 4-5 times over the last 10 years! As I believe I've said before, I do believe things happen for a reason but it's difficult to resist the question: Why here? Why among my cats? I continue though to muster all my courage and strength although I must say that it genuinely has been a bit worn recently.
This image of Noona is from a beautiful day in early December - my last images of Lilly was taken the same day.