Friday, April 4, 2014

A Shadow of Darkness Falls

Kmeca has sadly passed away. After weeks of fighting a losing battle and trying to get better, with all of the therapies, drugs and long hours spent at the vet’s, after many ups and downs, too little hope and too much despair, she is finally free from her
exhausted broken body. We tried everything that could be done to help her, she gave it all she had, but our joint efforts simply weren’t enough and the miracle we so strongly hoped for didn't happen. She died peacefully, at her home, surrounded by those who loved her and were by her side until the end, but the once happy place we all lived in is now shrouded in sadness and a deafening silence.

It’s hard to explain how this essentially shy and unobtrusive
kitty girl could have left such a powerful mark on her home and all of her mates, literally on anyone she had ever met. Her loud, distinctive, funny “meow” was unmistakable, her lovely little face with unusually long fangs was absolutely enchanting. Her
character was strong, she was sweet and loving but at the same time somewhat disdainful, decisive and stubborn, easily offended and too touchy sometimes, but forgiving... She was able to charm everyone she met with no effort at all, in spite of not showing
much affection and being so nonchalant and unimpressed. She was unique and very much a one of a kind cat.

Like many black kitties, she didn’t have an easy start to life, as she was thrown down into a manhole together with her two
little sisters when she was just a few hours old. I took them out, soaking wet and dried them with a towel, but I couldn’t find the mother cat, so I kept wandering around the neighborhood for hours looking for her until she finally appeared and took her kittens away one
by one. I hadn’t seen any of them for about six weeks when one evening, all four of them came out of nowhere – a mother cat followed by her kittens, all of them with their little tails held up high.

But where had they been? What had been
happening to them? All three kittens were skinny, full of fleas and had ear mange, so they needed immediate veterinary treatment. They fully recovered and Kmeca’s sisters got adopted soon afterwards but Kmeca was somehow different, it was as if
she had decided at one point that she had already found her forever home. She was following me all through the apartment day and night and didn’t even want to consider separating from me; although I tried to find her a new home, she obviously
disagreed on the matter. She was adopted and returned twice as she behaved so badly each time that she was unbearable – she kept meowing and crying from her hiding places for hours on end until I would arrive (once in the middle of the night) to pick her up.

She had always been delicate, with some skin problems and swollen mammary glands later on but without any serious health issues. Incredibly cuddly and affectionate towards me, she used to shun unfamiliar people and appeared aloof
whenever someone would drop by for a visit, but she would quickly turn into a real love bug when there was no one around. Years were passing by but she hadn’t changed, except for the fact that she had become slightly more inclined to accept new people since we
moved to the shelter.

A few months ago she began to decline slowly, almost unnoticeably and it wasn’t easy to tell what was wrong with her. She was losing weight but her behavior was the same, so her diagnosis of renal
papillary necrosis dropped like a bomb. Medical treatment started immediately and we knew her kidney function was severely compromised but the vet tried everything he could think of to try and reverse the damage. Still in shock and totally horrified,
I could not believe that perhaps the time was coming to say goodbye to my stalwart companion of twelve years…

The rest is known; she had been receiving aggressive IV fluid therapy daily for weeks but her kidneys were failing and the
buildup of toxic waste resulted in symptoms of uremic poisoning, such as loss of appetite and general apathy. She was not in pain, she was constantly seeking my presence, she cuddled and purred, and snuggled with the youngsters which were showering her
with affection and her life seemed to have some quality. Nevertheless, she was getting weaker by the day, her legs were wobbly, she was spending most of her time sleeping and I’m guessing that she was actually getting ready to leave. If love could only have healed her,
she would’ve lived eternally…

When the time came, we both knew. She passed away calmly, dignified, quiet and unafraid and the world grew hollow and darker right after her last breath. I’d been blessed with her love for more than a
decade and I simply can't accept that her larger than life personality could just vanish, or would even need to be reality bound – one way or the other she is still beside me. Whether she runs in the fields of heaven or flies freely exploring new spaces, I’ll be finding
her presence forever, everywhere I look.

There won’t be another kitty like her, ever. Unable to believe that I’ll never see her again, at least not in this lifetime, I’m writing about her in a faint attempt to let all of those who had never met her, but
tried to help her, have a small glimpse of the furry black wonder that was Kmeca. It’s not much easier to describe the indescribable than to bear the unbearable but memories are now all we have to cling to. And yes, I know life must go on and we can cherish
her and love her and never forget her, but at the end of day, she is up there somewhere and we are here and there’s too little comfort in between.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Calling All Angels

The desperate struggle to save or at least prolong the lives of five seriously sick Felix kitties has been carrying on for weeks now, but it already seems this agony has been lasting forever. And yes, I know we can’t save them all and I’m completely aware that when the
vet’s prognosis for the sick kitties is bad, their chances of recovery are slim to none, but watching them getting worse day by day and doing nothing is not and cannot ever be an option.

Out of those five sick kitties, Kus Kus and Marka, which are the
eldest, and Njanja with his mysterious problems, seem to have all managed to pull through and they are doing almost fine now – or more precisely, all three of them are in their regular state of ill health but their conditions aren't worsening. Sadly,
Kmeca and Frca are literally fighting for their lives and judging by their looks and behavior, the end is rapidly approaching.

Kmeca is just a shadow of her old self and I fear she is giving up. She doesn’t eat anything and I’ve been force-feeding
her for days now, but she is fading away right before my eyes and the drugs she is receiving are not doing her any good. Seeing her in such horrible shape, with brittle, dull fur and so painfully thin, from the outside she doesn’t even resemble a strong willed,
determined, sometimes grumpy but essentially sweet-natured and loving kitty girl she once was, but her heart of gold is the same. And no matter how heartbreaking the sight of her may be or how weak she has gotten, for as long as she is not in pain,
seeks my presence and purrs while cuddling with me, I refuse to believe her time has come this soon. It has not... not yet.

Her kidneys are failing and the buildup of toxic wastes produces the signs and symptoms of uremic
poisoning, which include loss of appetite and consequently loss of weight, general apathy and ulcers on the gums and tongue. Thankfully she is not struggling while I’m syringe feeding her, she is even trying to eat on her own and although she spits out
everything she takes into her mouth, she does swallow a certain amount of semi liquid food every day. At this point, it’s impossible to say how much time she has left…

Frca looks only slightly better, she eats willingly but is not gaining any weight –
the good news, I guess, is that she is not losing any either. She behaves normally, she is still a great cuddler and enjoys sitting at the window when the weather is nice, just looking into the yard, bathed in the radiant sunlight. Her cancer must be killing her slowly but
she is not suffering and she is obviously not yet ready to leave. Even if she has only a few days or a few weeks more, struggling to provide her with everything she needs and enabling her to live out her life the best she can is absolutely justified. Despite the
lack of funds, I simply can't leave these lovely kitties in the lurch; debts are piling up, and they both require veterinary care and are being given special, palatable soft food, vitamins and everything else the vet recommends.
What we really need is a miracle, two little miracles for two fragile kitty girls. And if miracles don’t happen, we badly need the help of all of our friends and supporters, all of those wonderful people out there who laugh and cry together with us, who
share our joys and our sorrows and who think that our two skinny sweeties are worth every try. Kmeca and Frca are not young and it’s extremely unlikely that they will bounce back, but if we can’t give them health and many more happy years they both so
much deserve, at least we can make the rest of their lives, however short they may be, as fulfilled, nice and happy as possible. Surrounded by all of the youngsters who are snuggling with them, showering them with affection no matter what and who will obviously
love and comfort them until the end, the burden they both carry must seem lighter. They are still happy when their little friends are around, they still love the sun, they still rub their faces against mine and they both know they are very much loved. That’s how
they lived and that’s how they should leave.

If you could by any chance help these two loving, frail and fragile kitty girls, please do so! Anything you might be able to give really means a lot and even the smallest amount can make a
big difference in the lives of our delicate but brave fighters. Please, get involved today if you possibly can, as tomorrow might be too late :( The debts for Kmeca’s and Frca’s treatments will still be here, but will they?

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Update on the Sick Kitties

Dear friends,

I don’t even know how to start yet another appeal for help for these five seriously ill Felix kitties. Many of you, to whom I remain immeasurably grateful, readily responded to my desperate plea for
financial support but despite our joint efforts, for at least some of these little fighters things have been going from bad to worse and time's running out. To my deep regret, Kmeca and Frca are not getting better, although they have both been under
treatment since their first symptoms showed. For one of them, the vet’s prognosis is guarded; for the other, it’s poor :(

Kmeca’s kidneys are in very bad shape and she might already be on the verge of uremia. She is being
given Epakitin, an intestinal phosphate binder which is recommended for cats with impaired kidney function and even though it can't cure her, it may increase the quality of her life as well as her life expectancy. She is also being given special medicinal food
but unfortunately, she hardly eats anything. She is as light as a feather and seems almost transparent, her energy level is severely decreased and she spends most of her time sleeping. She's looking like the epitome of misery, hopelessness and pure despair. All of
these years we've spent together have passed entirely too quickly, almost unnoticeably and I can still remember her as a tiny, minuscule kitten, just a few hours old and soaking wet as someone had thrown her, together with her two little sisters, into a manhole
right after their birth… I simply can’t imagine my life without her, a small cat with such a huge personality, long vampire fangs and a loud, distinctive voice that once heard can never be forgotten. I won’t give up on her for as long as she is not suffering, even if all of these drugs, special food and supportive therapy can't do anything else than buy her just some more time.

Frca is bone skinny and at the last visit to the vet, when a UV scan was made, it revealed that
she has an all-consuming cancer that has spread all through her abdomen and metastasized on her internal organs. She is not in pain, she eats nicely and enjoys sleeping on my bed, so putting her down is not an option, at least for now. Even as sick as she is, she is able
to find joy in her life for the time being and I don’t think I have the moral right to forcibly deprive her of whatever time she has left. She has been a true fighter since day one, a real survivor even when she was little. Although she was horribly injured when some low life
scum tried to pull her eye out, not only did she manage to recover, but she was also able to overcome her fear of humans and to live all of her life as a loving, cuddly and incredibly sweet kitty girl. The old saying “Leave no cat behind” must apply to her too and I keep
hoping that some sort of miracle will occur...

Kus Kus, Marka and Njanja are holding in there, but they are not out of the woods yet. They are still being given medicine, vitamins and special food and even though it can’t reasonably be expected that Kus Kus
and Marka, both very old, could live many more years, their time obviously has not come yet.

In such a horrible crisis, I'm well aware that I can’t help these amazingly brave furry beauties all on my own, I’m reaching out to all of you! Please,
help them if you possibly can, in any way you can and share their story far and wide! Even the smallest donations all add up and give the sick Felix kitties a chance to live! No one can do everything but everyone can do something and we can at least try and help
those little cuties, who can't win the most important fight they have ever fought, a fight for their lives, without you! Give them hope and be their strength!