Tuesday, April 22, 2014

When Spring Rains it Pours

Spring has finally begun, and after a pretty weird and nerve wracking winter full of worries, we all thought that things would start to improve. However, there is always something to spoil the joy; at this very moment, several shelter kitties are
struggling with various health issues, ranging from rather harmless to potentially dangerous. The incidents of illnesses the shelter kitties are having every now and then could be easily explained by their age and overall health – many cats are well
into their golden years, consequently fragile and therefore are reasonably expected to be prone to age related and other problems, while most of the youngsters have been having various health issues on and off literally since they arrived at the shelter.
It’s always a problem with strays that are picked up from the street or rescued from their miserable living conditions wherever those might be – we usually know almost nothing of their background, genetics or prior problems so we’re not really surprised when yet
another unforeseen issue emerges.

The kitties’ seasonal allergies can already be considered a habitual problem at the shelter, the affliction we’ve been facing every spring literally since we came here. Still to this day we can't figure out
which plants are to blame, but as soon as the pollen gets airborne, the cats' rituals of sneezing and sniffing begin. Maybe there is more to it, maybe it’s not just the pollen, but be as it may, the oldest, the youngest and the most delicate cats have been showing
signs of allergies for weeks now. To make things even worse, those symptoms are almost identical to the signs of cat flu but not all of the cats have exactly the same problems; some of them are just sniffing and sneezing, the others have eye discharge as well and
we are actually not sure if we’re dealing with allergies, cat flu or who knows what. None of the cats have a fever, they all eat and behave quite normally but something is obviously wrong with them.

Last summer’s
kittens, Marka, Kus Kus and Shalimar were the first to come down ill and for some of them it was just a temporary crisis, but Paloma, Josh, Kus Kus, Marka and Shalimar are still under treatment, and it’s not only that, they are also receiving antibiotics and
vitamins to help boost their immune systems. They are being fed raw ground meat and the best quality canned food I am able to find - which, of course, costs a fortune.

Keith, Maggie’s brother, started to limp on one front and
one rear leg suddenly, out of the blue, just when we thought that he finally managed to overcome all of the health problems he had in his early age. The vet suspects he has Osteochondritis dissecans, commonly known as OCD and the diagnosis was made based on
physical examination and radiographs. Osteochondrosis is in fact a pathological condition in which normal endochondral ossification, the metamorphoses of cartilage to bone, is disturbed and the final result is abnormally thick regions of cartilage that are less
resistant to mechanical stress than the stronger and denser bones. It’s not yet clear what is the cause, but it seems that the condition can be genetically acquired or to say it more simply, hereditary factors contribute to the development of this
disorder. The most common symptom is lameness, which involves one or more limbs and the onset may be sudden or gradual. Keith is being treated conservatively, with an anti-inflammatory drug called Meloxidil (Metacam).
But that’s not all yet. Njanja has been straining to urinate for days and a visit to the vet, where a UV scan was done, revealed that he has FUS. Now he needs to eat medical urinary food and is currently under treatment, but when it comes to medicating him it’s not that easy
as one might think – this affectionate, cuddly and loving boy quickly turns into a furious, wild beast when even a slightest attempt is made to give him any drug treatments. Cats…

Frca is still holding on, cuddly and sweet as usual, she is not in
pain and seems to be quite content while snuggling with other kitties, looking out into the yard (she has always had so much fun looking through that window), resting on my bed or even going outside for a walk. I can understand, kind of, why many cat owners
would put down a kitty with cancer whose prognosis is poor and which can’t be expected to live much longer, but in my opinion euthanasia is justified only when the cat in question is suffering. So please, before judging my decision, take a look at this lovely kitty girl
and then tell me she is ready to leave, that she should not be allowed to live and that our struggle to provide her with everything she needs so she could have a few more weeks or months here in this world is pointless and worthless.
If you can help us with even the smallest amount, please do so! We’re well aware we’ve already reached out to all of you out there so many times asking for help for the sick kitties but what other choice do we have? It’s not their fault they are sick. And it’s not our fault that the state and the city officials have never even offered us any kind of assistance and couldn’t care less about some “ordinary” cats living in some private cat shelter in a small village in the province. We have no other option and we’re forced to rely on the vital
support of genuine cat lovers all across the globe with hearts big enough to recognize the emergency, who are touched by the plight of those ordinary for some, but loved by many, furry little creatures from far away. “Leave no cat behind” might be a dream under the
circumstances, but honestly, that’s what it’s all about.

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