Monday, February 11, 2013


On the Feline Front

Little Joseph started sneezing at the end of last week and by the blizzard weekend, it was clear he had some kind of respiratory infection.

I made a vet appointment this morning and took him in.  As a precaution the vet took blood for a feline leukemia test.  For those of you who may not now, FLeuk is a fatal, incurable disease of cats. Before I allowed Joseph, his mom, and sister into the house, I had his mom, Calliope, tested when she was spayed.  She was negative, so odds are, her kittens would be fine too.

To my utter horror, Joseph tested positive.  There was no other choice but to have him humanely euthanized.

But worse, since he'd been living in the house with all my other cats, they now were at risk for the disease. My older boys had had feleuk vaccines in the past, but they were all due for new ones.

I rushed back home, managed to wrangle all seven cats into cat carriers--my hands the worse for wear when Callie took exception to being crated--and drove back to the vet to get everyone tested.

Shockingly, Calliope, my lovely calico mommycat now tested positive too.  Thankfully, all the other cats, including her daughter, Cocopuff, were negative.

Once again, I had no choice but to put Callie to sleep as well.

Neither the vets nor I can figure out what happened.  Was Joseph the carrier who infected his mother, or had she contracted Feleuk prior to her first test?  The disease can take up to six weeks to show up on a test, unfortunately.  So, actually a negative test just indicates no infection at that time.

It was absolutely heartbreaking to have to put two lovely cats to sleep

Rest in Peace, sweet Calliope and her sweet son, Joseph.  You will be missed. I love you both.


  1. I am so sorry - that is just awful. Glad the others are OK, but such a sorrow to lose such beautiful cats.

  2. Oh Jean, I'm so sorry to hear about your kitties. What a heartbreak to lose two of your beautiful cats in one day. I don't know what to say.

  3. Oh, I am so so sorry to read this. Hugs to you.

  4. I am sorry Jean. Hugs to you. Hoping that your other cats will remain free of the disease.

  5. It's hard to know what to say. This is devastating and so unfair. I'm so sad for you.

  6. that's very sad! or they could, of course, have caught it from another cat in the meantime...

  7. Anonymous1:10 PM

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  8. I'm so sorry. You made the best choice. They're happy and pain-free now.