This past Thurday was Thanksgiving. For the first time ever we left our cats home alone over night. When we returned Friday morning, I knew immediately that something was not right.
Our older kitten, Ebi was breathing very quickly, almost hyperventilating, but other than that she was acting normal. We thought about taking her to the emergency vet, but after seeing her eat, jump on the counter to get turkey leftovers, and wrestle with our other kitten, Ami, we figured she was ok. I thought maybe she hurt herself while we were gone, or was perhaps having some sort of anxiety attack.
On Saturday not much had changed, she was still acting fairly normal, and just seemed a little tired. We decided though that we would take her to the vet, we called and they were about to close, so we opted to make an appointment for Monday.
By Sunday we knew she wasn’t feeling too good, she was restless, she would lay down and then get up and lay down again. She did it over and over again out of discomfort. Her breathing was still fast, but she still was eating, playing and climbing on things she shouldn’t have been climbing on.
Monday it was back to work. She seemed ok in the morning, and I came home at lunch and she still seemed the same. I told her she was going to the vet later, and that she would feel better soon. I told her I loved her. I took a picture of her face with my phone, because her pupils were very uneven. She seemed very tired. I went back to work.
My boyfriend took her to the vet at 3:30 PM. They said it was an emergency situation, she had fluid in her chest cavity and it was constricting her lungs. She was so exhausted that they didn’t want to sedate her to drain it. They were afraid she was too weak to handle it.
I got a phone call at 5:05 PM, my boyfriend told me what was going on, and that the vet said she might not make it. I was planning on working late. This is why I couldn’t take her in the first place.
I got there at 5:30 PM. He was waiting to hear about what was going on. The doctor came into the room, and told us that it wasn’t good. Ebi was no longer breathing on her own, they were basically keeping her alive on a ventilator. She was on the ventilator for about ten minutes, unconscious.
She had Feline Leukemia and what they suspect was FIP. Both of which have no cure. Cats can live with Leukemia, but if their immune system isn’t strong enough, it will eventually kill them. FIP is fatal, and quick. FIP is a mutated form of FECV, which is very common and not fatal.
I have had Ebi since she was a baby. She was born to a stray cat that came to my parent’s house, already pregnant. She has NEVER been outside. She had all of her vaccinations, including Leukemia. Ami is her younger half sister, born to the same mother cat. Ami has NEVER been outside either. Feline Leukemia and FECV are passed from cat to cat very easily. Most likely Ebi contracted both from her mother, before she got her vaccinations. A sign of Feline Leukemia is uneven pupils. I noticed her pupils were slightly different when she was a baby. I wrote it off as nothing to worry about. The vet had never noticed or said anything about it before. I thought she was safe because I got her vaccinated.
There is nothing we could have done, even if we had taken her to the vet on Friday. They said that the only thing they could have done would have been to postpone her disease from killing her, and only by a few weeks, maybe a few months. She was in pain. If they could have stabilized her, the vet was going to suggest putting her to sleep.
Her illnesses were a time-bomb. They would have manifested eventually, and taken her just as swiftly. I am truly blessed to have had such a funny and silly kitten, for as briefly as I did. She was my kitten, and I will love her forever, and miss her immeasuraby. We donated her body to Texas A&M University, for testing and research. Hopefully we will know what the cause was, and hopefully her life will bring us that much more close to having a cure to FIP. We are taking Ami to be tested on Friday. Pray for us please.
Rest in Peace Ebs
Feb. 01, 2010 – Nov. 29, 2010