Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Kitty Update

Now that Emmy's test results are in, it would seem Finn did not die of FIP, but of something else. To test for FIP in a live animal, the vet takes a blood sample and a stool sample. They look for antibodies in the blood and rank these on a scale of 0-1600. 0-25 means definitely no contact with FIP, 25-400 means unlikely contact with FIP, 400-1000 means possible contact with FIP and 1000-1600 means likely to definite contact with FIP. The main problem with the blood test is that a cat may test higher due to stress, and of course the whole experience of being at the vet and having blood taken is very stressful. The stool sample either contains virus or it doesn't.

Emmy's blood test came back with 100 and the stool was negative for virus. 100 is already very low on the unlikely contact part of the scale and when you account for stress and look at the stool sample basically means she does not have it.

This is great news - not only because it means Emmy is healthy, but also because we can get a new kitten companion for Emmy asap. Emmy is very lonely and depressed. She constantly calls for Finn and lies around more than usual. She's also not eating as much. It's so heartbreaking to see her this way. That's why it is very important that we find her a new pal soon. We have some options we are looking at, and may be able to bring a kitten home as early as the end of September.

As for Finn, his cause of death will remain a mystery. The breeder and the vet suspect it was a combination of an undetected heart problem, the brutal heat, and a normal virus (such as the flu) that got together to create a deadly cocktail. It is incomprehensible to me that a cat who was so young, healthy and active could just keel over like that with no warning. We keep asking each other if we could have done things differently - but there really were no signs at all. It's so scary.

In any case, I want to thank everyone for their massive outpouring of support and condolences during this difficult time. My tribute post for Finn had over 100 comments, my twitter was flooded, and I got a ton of Facebook messages and e-mails from cat lovers sharing their own kitty stories and happy memories of Finn.

I'll leave you with the last ever picture taken of Finn. Daniel took it with his phone on Friday afternoon, just about 18 hours before he took Finn into the vet.


42 comments:

Mardel said...

I feel for you about Finn. We've had two cases of cats just dying on us. Both seemed to be so healthy. One came in the house breathing hard and panting. He died within an hour. He was always a very healthy, playful cat.

Our other cat was fine and then stayed out all night (he never did this before) He came home and started breathing hard. We tried very hard to keep him alive, using a breathing treatment, room humidifier, medicine but in the end we had to have him put to sleep. That was tough also. In fact, for at least four months afterwards, we would see him sitting in his favorite places - the edge of the bathtub, the porch railing, up on the highest bookcase. Take a second look and he was gone.

Cats always seem to burrow themselves into our hearts, and no matter how many times we say, no more, and we're not going to get close to another pet - we always give in and get another one. Life wouldn't be the same without pets.

Don't be surprised if your other cat does not accept a new kitty at first. They don't always act as happy to get a new companion as you would expect - but they do seem to settle down after a while.

irisonbooks said...

I do not own a cat and have never particularly wanted one, but I feel for you. And this post brought tears to my eyes.

I am happy that you received good news about Emmy and that you will be able to find her a new buddy, even though it might be hard for you to think of instantly getting a new cat right now.

Lenore said...

Mardel - I am sure it won't be easy for Emmy to accept a new cat. It took her a couple of days to accept Finn, and even then, she never looked especially pleased that he was around. Of course, he was good for her, as Birman cats need other cats around for their (and their owners') mental health.

Irison - It is hard! But we know we have to be practical, even when our hearts are breaking.

amckiereads said...

He looks so sweet and happy in that last picture. I'm very happy it wasn't FIP so that you can get another companion for Emmy now, cats definitely need friends, I think.

Michelle @ The True Book Addict said...

I had a cat die of FIP and it is horrible. I'm so glad that Emmy is clear. Ethan, my beloved cat that died 4 years ago, also died of a mystery illness. It was also very sudden.

It will be great for Emmy to have another companion. Amimals grieve just as we do. Good luck in your search! I've been wanting to get another kitten, but I have to make sure that Alis is clear of diseases and fully immunized before I bring another kitten into our household. I'm not taking any chances that do not need to be taken. The death of a pet is just too hard.

Take care and may Finn rest in peace. He is happy, I'm sure, knowing he was so loved and is so well-remembered. <3

Jenny said...

I'm glad that Emmy is healthy. I hope y'all are able to find a kitten soon--it can make such a difference.

Alessandra @Out of the Blue said...

Oh poor Emmy, she feels lonely :(

My 5 Monkeys(Julie) said...

sending hugs, have been there with the loss of the cat. Its tough and sending hugs

Linda said...

I am so glad you got good news about Emmy and can move forward with a new companion for her. Though I know your hearts are breaking, Finn will always live in your memories!

Irish said...

Glad to hear that Emmy got the all clear and you can get a new companion for her. Though a new cat won't replace Finn...but hopefully Emmy will like him/her as much as she liked Finn.

Zibilee said...

It is so strange and heartbreaking when an animal passes and you have no reason why. This happened to my husband's cat a few years ago. One day she was perfectly healthy, and the next thing we knew, she was gone. She had been young, and from what we could tell, very healthy. I know how much you are missing Finn right now, and I know how much Emmy probably misses him. You guys have been in my prayers since I heard the news, and will continue to be. Tanks care, Lenore.

Library Cat said...

I am glad that you got good news with Emmy. I am sure she misses Finn as much as you and your husband do. The picture is so lovely. Take care.

Tara (The Bodacious Pen) said...

I'm so glad that Emmy is in the clear. :)

Jeane said...

I'm glad to hear the news is positive for Emmy. Hope that you find a good new companion for her. I think she will always miss Finn, though, it looked like they were so close!

Amanda said...

While it's still sad about Finn, at least you have good news about your other cat. Thanks for keeping us updated.

JKB said...

I'm sending you lots of hugs from Berlin - I know how it is to lose a darling and I feel your pain.

Big love to all of you.
Jen, Yoda, Bluesey & the other two hoomans

Sandy Nawrot said...

Animals grieve just like humans, and I am sure Emmy would benefit from a kitten (well, she might be annoyed but usually kittens will not be denied). Losing a pet is like losing a member of the family, and my heart is still heavy from your loss.

bermudaonion said...

Thanks for sharing the great news about Emmy. I know you'll continue to miss Finn for a long time.

Kathryn said...

Beautiful Finn ... I know he is playing in the Happy Hunting Ground with my Violet and all the good cats that have gone on before. You and Daniel have been in my thoughts and prayers since I heard. I am elated to hear that Emmy is alright, and I’m glad you’re going to move forward with a new kitten. Sometimes the best balm for loss is another critter to love.

Mel said...

That is good news for Emmy, and I hope everything goes well as you find her a companion. I love that picture of Finn, he looks so content. Best wishes.

Melissa said...

So glad to hear that Emmy's in the clear :) I'm sure she'll love a new roommate once she gets used to having a new "baby" rather than a "tweener".

Best of luck! Hugs for you and Daniel (Chaucer and Dante send a snuggle to Emmy)

avisannschild said...

I'm glad to hear the good news about Emmy too. Thanks for updating us, Lenore.

Nymeth said...

That's great news about Emmy, and I'm so glad you'll be able to find her a new friend soon. One of the hardest things when my puppy died earlier this year was seeing my two other dogs grieve for him. It took them months to stop trying to find him. Fortunately there are two of them, so they could comfort each other. I can't imagine watching a pet go through that alone :(

Alyce said...

Still so sad about Finn, but glad to hear that Emmy is safe. I hope that you are able to find her a kitty companion soon.

Melody said...

I'm glad to hear Emmy is healthy, and I hope she will have a new kitty companion soon.

Ladytink_534 said...

Again, I'm so sorry about Finn. I hope Emmy loves her new little brother/sister just as much. :(

GreenBeanTeenQueen said...

I am so sorry for your loss. I know how hard it is to lose a pet unexpectedly. The same thing happened to my cat-one day active, the next day gone. It's hard not knowing what it was that happened. Your family is in my thoughts-I think of my pets as my children, so I know how hard it can be. I hope you can find a new brother/sister for Emmy.

Shelley said...

Emmy will revive.

Stephanie said...

I'm so, so very glad Emmy is well and that you can bring home another kitteh for her soon. I know the sound of one kitty calling out to another (each of mine have their own particular calls, it's so funny!), and that has to be just heartbreaking to hear. You've been on my mind quite often this week, and your tribute post to Finn brought tears to my eyes, both when I read it and later on that night.

Kitties can go bad so very fast, and again, I'm so very sorry for your loss. I hope that your search for a new companion for you and Emmy helps you to heal. <3

Michelle said...

Good news about Emmy! I'm glad that you can breath more easily on her behalf and hope that the new kitty pal can arrive soon. I know he/she won't be a replace for Finn but will bring some relief to Emmy and will hopefully brighten a very ad circumstance.

J.T. Oldfield said...

Not only can you get a new kitten, it's kitten season! kittens abound!

Not that pets are that replaceable, but hey, at least it isn't January where there are hardly any kittens, is what I'm trying to say.

Beth Kephart said...

This continues to break my heart, Lenore.

I miss Finn with you. I will hope for Emmy's soonest possible companion.

Serena said...

Those unexpected heart conditions are terrible. I've had a few cats with those.

I hope you find Emmy a companion soon, though they probably won't replace Finn in her heart!

trish said...

It seems ironic to say it's good that Finn didn't die of FIP! I know how hard this must be, especially seeing Emmy moping around. But yay for possibly getting a new kitty in September. At least thinking about that can distract you for a few seconds (but not much longer, I'm sure).

Love you!

Anonymous said...

I am so glad that the tests on Emmy came out so good and that you can move on and get her another companion. I believe that it is always nice to have two cats so that they can be there together when you have to be gone. That picture of Finn you can not tell anything was wrong with him or that he would be taken from you so soon. But maybe he did not have to suffer very long and that is a good thing. I know you will always miss Finn but he will always be in your heart.

Rhonda

Wendy said...

So difficult not knowing, isn't it? I don't see how you could have possibly known there was a problem...all those photos of Finn have him looking happy, healthy and active. I'm glad you are thinking of getting another kitty...it is always so hard on the surviving animal (Argus was so devastated when Caribou died that it broke my heart).

Anna said...

So sorry about Finn, but glad to hear the good news about Emmy.

Lily Child said...

Again, I am so sorry about Finn. He seemed like a wonderful cat, full of life.

I am glad that Emmy is healthy. Hopefully she can accept a new play mate in time!

Jess (The Cozy Reader) said...

Hugs.

Stephanie said...

I am sorry Emmy is lonely but very glad that her health is cleared and that she can get a new brother or sister!

Nayuleska said...

*hugs* Losing a cat is hard. I was beside myself when I had to say goodbye to my cat this year. Emmy will be spoilt - as will her new companion. I'm glad Emmy is safe from the virus. I hadn't heard of it before.

I need a tissue :)

Esme said...

Lenore and Daniel-I am so sad to be reading about Finn-I was concerned this was the case when I only saw Emmy in the post about your new kitties. Please accept my hugs and kisses from P. and M. Having lost a young cat it is devastating.