Corners!  Who’d have them?

The last couple of months have been fabulous, worrying, interesting, and enlightening. 

Smudge’s 4-wheel drive still isn’t working (Mischief! Minx!); but after six months with us he is just loving life!  I sit at my pc in the morning and look at emails … negative … problems … challenges … and then I walk out and watch Smudge rush around at such a pace and wonder why we can’t always be so positive?

A couple of weeks ago a letter arrived addressed to ‘Smudge …….’.  R opened it and laughed.  The day before Smudge and R had been back at the Vet; this time for a blood test.  He (Smudge that is) is so good when he goes to the Vet.  R and Smudge chat in the car all the way there; Smudge sits quietly on the Vets table and meows quietly if the thermometer is used, or a needle is stuck into him, or his mouth is opened and looked at; when R says ‘let’s go home’, he gets into the cat box; and then they chat all the way back home.  After the blood test, R waited for the results – Feline Leukaemia Virus.

Something new for us to deal with.  The letter addressed to Smudge was a confirmation of his blood test results.  We were impressed – the blood test was done at the Vets the day before and here we are 24-hours later receiving the final results from the laboratory. 

Feline Leukaemia Virus is a virus that affects the immune system.  Smudge will carry this virus for the rest of his life and will be susceptible to anything and everything else. 

One eye missing, broken back leg, under nourished, under fed, abandoned, infested with (non-jumping) fleas, gingivitis, cat flu, and now this.  What else does this little one have to face? 

R took the results letter to the Vet.  We had seen that some of the numbers explained that elements of his blood were low and others were high; but what did this actually mean?  Our Vet is fabulous – not only doesn’t he charge us for his time, but he stops to explain each element of what we are finding out.

We have to sort out the gingivitis!  Because the gingivitis is so serious and his immune system is challenged; we have to work towards getting rid of the gingivitis.  The initial thought was to give him injections every three to four weeks.  The first time he had these injections, it was two weeks before we had to take him back.  More serious that anyone thought … It was this that led to the blood test and some other tests.  The next injection included penicillin and a steroid injection.  (Well he was eating well enough already, but now with the steroid he just didn’t stop eating.  :)).

Inferon!  That’ll do it.  Personally I think it must be made of gold – €200 for three months treatment.  R didn’t hesitate – let’s do it!  What it means is that we have to give him 50ml of this liquid once a day between meals.

:) … giving Smudge anything is a HUGE challenge!  He has had so many tablets and liquid squirted down his throat that we thought ‘how’.  Between meals … has anyone seen this cat with the biscuit bowl?  Continuous snack-attacks (well, just like R really :)).

I quietly asked the universe for help.  R came back from the Vet with a really small bottle of liquid and two syringes.  Wow!  This treatment means that we have to go back to the Vet every 7 – 10 days to get this little bottle refilled.  It’s a liquid that is mixed with plasma.  We have to keep it in the fridge.  The first time R got the syringe out, I got Smudge out of his bed, laid him on the towel and out came the CLAWS!  He scratched R.  Warning!  R persevered and squirted the liquid into his mouth.  I picked him up for a cuddle.  Little heart thudding!  He cuddled up and calmed down.  Two weeks later, R can go to Smudge in his bed, open his mouth, squirt the liquid in, and he goes straight back to sleep.  The quantity is obviously not too much and the taste is ok!

That is great news … three months of fighting would be a huge challenge; but …

Four weeks after the last injections the gingivitis is just beginning to rear up again … so this liquid concoction is working!  Onwards and upwards.

R and Smudge have their next appointment on Monday at 9am :)!