Maya & Tabby

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ThorpeDave
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Re: Maya & Tabby

Post by ThorpeDave » Sun Dec 10, 2017 1:44 pm

From the initial shock and sadness, we have done a lot of reading and are beginning to understand the situation - although there are still many questions to be asked.

My first concern is that the vet did not expect us to take Stealth home with us and we still don't understand his position.

Stealth has now been to the vets on 3 occasions in the past 3 weeks and on the previous 2, he was deemed to be "healthy" and our general view is that remains the case. He is mostly bright, alert, clear eyes, healthy gums and beautiful coat with no signs of lumps. He has also gained a small amount of weight in the past week. Our concern has always been the amount of water he drinks and the occasional bout of not wanting to eat.

In respect of the latter, when he was Feral he often went missing for between 1-4 days and when he did come he was VERY hungry. Was this absence due to the fact that he did not want to eat and stayed away while he got rid of the toxins in a natural way?

I am ringing the Vets in the morning to ask a couple of questions. Primarily to clarify what is exactly meant by borderline stage 2 CKD? My interpretation is that he is stage 1 borderline 2 or does the vet mean he is stage 2 borderline stage 3?

We are also concern that the vet did not think that putting him on a renal diet would be beneficial and need to understand this. He WILL however go onto a renal diet as soon as we can lay our hands on some.

As far as Mia is concerned we have come to the conclusion that, if she is not immune she is probably already infected herself.

She was born to a Feral queen with Stealth possibly being her father. There has always been a close bond between the 2 and Stealth also hangs around with Mia's other siblings. Therefore the chances of the virus being passed on have been present for the past 3 years or so.

While Mia was a stray/feral herself, she shared food and water bowls with Stealth and several other cats including her other siblings. both cats were observed drinking "dirty water"

Since the 2 have been with us we won't let them share food bowls but we cannot watch then 24/7. Mia only rarely drinks water from the fountain getting most of her liquid from wet cat food. Mia and Stealth do not groom each other despite Mia literally throwing herself at him. This distresses her considerably although she has been rather odd in recent days sniffing around the house. Probably Stealth scent has now changed significantly since he was castrated and this is confusing for her.

Mia's behavior has always been odd - even as a kitten - She has always hid and been timid and has never been fussed or handled. Therefore we can see no obvious signs that she is physically unwell - indeed she looks a LOT healthier than when we first clapped eyes on her and she has put on a lot of weight.

Happily she is a lot ore visible, uses the cat door to get out and in - that is new. This morning when we woke up she was sitting on the bedside cabinet asking for food! Mia has now also observed us fussing and cuddling Stealth. Yes she appears jelous but hopefully this will encourage her to be more sociable in the future.

Lots of questions and some very challenging and emotional times ahead

Regards

Dave

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Re: Maya & Tabby

Post by booktigger » Sun Dec 10, 2017 2:13 pm

Unfortunately, most vets do recommend putting FeLV cats to sleep, it does shorten their lifespan and most cats die within 5 years of contracting It. It isn't leukaemia like humans and could be the reason his kidneys are failing, which could be why the vet didn't suggest renal food. I get mine from Zooplus. It would be interesting to know what his values are. Cats can develop an immunity from FeLV so hopefully that is the case with Mia but both really should be made indoor only as Stealth especially can infect other cats. Cats pick up on health issues before we do, so she could be reacting to his CKD

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Re: Maya & Tabby

Post by bobbys girl » Sun Dec 10, 2017 2:29 pm

When we went through CKD with Tommy, he was up one minute, down the next. At first he lost a lot of weight, but then stabilised and even put some on. He didn't much care for the special renal diet so he got his meds and ate pretty much the same as the others. He did love his meat! It's funny but we were talking about that only an hour ago.

Our local, village hotel has just reopened after being closed for a few years. We went there for lunch and are just back. I had beef and was saying that when we had Tommy he would be waiting for our return expecting a beef or chicken dinner. :D It was lovely to see him tucking in. I think they reach a point when whatever they enjoy eating is a good thing.

Expect highs and lows with CKD (can't advise on FeLV) but as long as he is happy and you are monitoring him, you may have a little more time to spoil him. As for cross-infection, you may be right, perhaps cats can build up immunity to disease if they are exposed as youngsters and have a good immune system.

Keep an eye on him, you will know when it's time. In the meantime, best wishes.

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Re: Maya & Tabby

Post by ThorpeDave » Sun Dec 10, 2017 2:40 pm

Since Stealth was Neutered 3 weeks ago, he has only gone outdoors to his toilet bed and Mia has stayed indoors for the past 10 days. Apart from Mia rubbing and headbutting Stealth at feeding time, there is little contact between the 2.

We know that Mia's mum has "health problems" but not sure what these are. As she was a Feral queen I am guessing that she would be at high risk at that time and her kittens would have had the virus passed on if she was infected and possibly become immune. But that is just guesswork.

As previously stated, Stealth was described as being in "good health" on 2 of his 3 visits to the vets in the past 3 weeks hence our decision to bring him home and do whatever we can for him.

If he is at stage 1 borderline stage 2 CKD he should have a reasonable quality of life for some time to come and knowing that he has tested positive for FeLV will also allow us to keep a close eye on his general health.

The test was only the vet's in-house test and again he did not see the point of further testing. I feel that, perhaps, the vet has given up on him too quickly and we are certainly not going to do that.

Do I also need to consider urinary health food/medication/treats?

Regards

Dave

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Re: Maya & Tabby

Post by Lilith » Sun Dec 10, 2017 2:44 pm

Dave, I'm so very sorry to hear!

I think you're right in thinking that if Mia was in danger of contracting the FeLV she would be infected by now.

When I once took a feral boy in for neutering a vet nurse harangued me about getting him tested for FeLV. I refused (rightly or wrongly) on the grounds that he might be negative today, positive tomorrow, and that, as he'd clearly mated two of my other feral rescues and fathered another one, if he was positive, the damage was already done ... no way was I going to have the lot of them pts! As it happened I was lucky - he lived to a ripe old age and his daughter and one of his concubines are now in their middle teens; the other I lost to a RTA.

I too would want to do what you're doing, give this boy care and love for as long as possible, especially when he's only just learned to trust and enjoy a good home.

And CKD as well ... poor Stealth.

Although I can give no advice, just want to say, fusses to them both and I wish all of you the very very best.

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Re: Maya & Tabby

Post by booktigger » Sun Dec 10, 2017 2:48 pm

There is a chance of an in house test being false, but with his background, it would be unlikely. Unfortunately most FeLV positive and early stage CKD cats do look healthy, my cat is early stage and was only picked up because I do annual blood tests, although I had a suspicion she had it.

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Re: Maya & Tabby

Post by ThorpeDave » Sun Dec 10, 2017 3:05 pm

booktigger wrote:There is a chance of an in house test being false, but with his background, it would be unlikely. Unfortunately most FeLV positive and early stage CKD cats do look healthy, my cat is early stage and was only picked up because I do annual blood tests, although I had a suspicion she had it.
When Stealth was Neutered, he was also given an FeLV vaccine and did wonder if that caused a false positive. However we are assuming that he has FeLV and all we can do is protect him, other cats and treat the CKD the best we can for as long as we can.

We will have to see how his heath changes in the coming days/weeks/months and give him as much love as we can - he sure gives plenty back!

Regards

Dave

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Re: Maya & Tabby

Post by booktigger » Sun Dec 10, 2017 3:13 pm

Just done a quick google search, and sadly it won't cause a false positive, but with his background, he should have been tested when he was neutered and before vaccinating

http://www.vet.cornell.edu/fhc/health_i ... e_felv.cfm

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Re: Maya & Tabby

Post by Red wine lady » Sat Mar 17, 2018 2:53 pm

This was a lovely cat tale to read...however no news since December, anyone have an update please?

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Re: Maya & Tabby

Post by ThorpeDave » Sat Mar 17, 2018 4:35 pm

Very sorry for the lack of update. This past 3 months has been hectic with looking after elderly relatives and, of course, being slaves to the cats

We continue with our difficult journey with stealth. I finally had a big row with the vets and told them what I thought. Neither cats, in my opinion, had been given a chance and opportunities had been missed to get stealth treated earlier.

I now have a vet who is working with us to try and get him in the best health as possible.

We started Stealth on a renal diet and then added a daily dose of Semintra for his CKD. After a month his general condition did not improve, and he was vomiting daily and slept most of the time with his ears down.

When Mia was poorly last year, we changed her diet to a 100% natural one which did her the world of good. We decided to do the same for Stealth and he has picked up considerably as a result.

His coughing, vomiting, gulping and constipation have all but gone and he is smelling a lot less than he was. His tummy rumblings and gurgling have completely gone, and he now has a beautiful coat. He seems in better health but continues to sleep a lot more than Mia and he has been acting a little strange this past few days but, this may be down to an influx of deliveries and people as we prepare to undertake a lot of work outside this next week.

Stealth continues to be very loving and he really enjoys his cuddles and still spends most of the night on the bed. However, he really does not like us going out and is always animated and quite dog like when we return.
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We continue to see very positive improvements with Mia who is a total fruitcake.

Everyone keeps telling me we will never be able to stroke her or cuddle her. Possibly not but we continue to try daily and play with her when she is receptive.

At breakfast time she is now rubbing my wife legs and the past 2 days she has deliberately rubbed against my knee when I hand feed her treats. We regularly rub our hand down her back and tail when the opportunity arises. She does not like this but is getting used to it which I see as a positive step.

Mia has now also joined us in the bedroom at night and sleeps in a box or in the doorway and we can now walk past her without her taking fright and running off. Mia is now a self-exiled house cat only spending very short periods outside to stretch her legs. She now also is very visible in the evenings lying on a rug but still spends most of the day upstairs where it is warm and quiet

Mia continues to be totally besotted by Stealth and she take every opportunity to rub herself against him. Unfortunately, it is one-way traffic and if she gets over excited it normally results in a slap around the face with Mia often retaliating. Stealth can also be rather vindictive. When Mia gets out of her box in the morning, Stealth often jumps in it and tries to tear it apart. He also has peed in a couple of times. Thankfully we seem to have an endless supply of free cat beds from Amazon!

Touch wood, Mia remains in good health and we keep feeding her hairball treats and Panacure once every 3 months. She leaves a trail of hair everywhere and really could do with a regular grooming – but I think we are a long way from being able to do that! The Dyson vacuum cleaner is getting plenty of use and am so glad I bought one!

although now know as Mia she was originally named Maya and is 3 and half years old. We still no nothing of stealth history bu we think he was previously owned and was abandoned. He has an unhealthy interest in takeaways - particularly Chinese curry and noodles! Possibly, he used to live with students and was abandoned when they returned home?

We think that this long winter is not helping matters as they are both cooped up in the house all day we hope that once warmer weather arrives, that they will be happier. This next week we are installing some outdoor storage units and a shed and have made provision for the cats to sun themselves high up and hope that these will be used. Having said that we are concerned that Stealth may wonder off and get into trouble.

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Re: Maya & Tabby

Post by Lilith » Sat Mar 17, 2018 5:05 pm

Aww, the minute I saw your photo of Stealth I was reminded of my Emily, who has just been diagnosed with ckd. No mention of what stage or even prescribed meds, but with a little research it seems 4 ... she's nearly 17 and I'm just nursing her along, no fussing her with shock of the new, no stress. Time left is precious. They are tough though and strive to stay with us. If I see her failing I'll call the vet out; after her visit she was a depressed little bag of bones who clung to me but now she's quite cheerful and active and bossy.

Mia - well, that reminds me of my Molly, who hates her face being touched but will bash herself against my legs and has recently 'come to love' by presenting me with her backside for a 'scruffle'. This has taken 6 years - so don't give up hope!

Thanks for the update and fusses to Stealth and Mia x

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Re: Maya & Tabby

Post by ThorpeDave » Sat Mar 17, 2018 5:49 pm

Just grabbed this image from the "CatCam" - quite surprised how big Mia seems in comparison to Stealth. He weighs 4kgs and is quite thin. Mia certainly has put some weight on since she came to live with us! there was nothing to here when we first found her under a bush in our garden!
1521308249507.jpg
stealth is at stage 2/3 CKD and we still think he is quite young to be suffering from it. Cats under 6 should be ok so quite surprised that he could be quite older than that.

There has to be a balance between quality of life and excessive medication. My mum who is 85 suffered renal failure over 20 years ago and dialysis rules her life and she gets quite miserable at times.

We were hoping that Stealth actually had another problem that had temporally reduced kidney function - but, sadly, it appears not.

Take care

Dave

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Re: Maya & Tabby

Post by Lilith » Sun Mar 18, 2018 2:06 pm

Goodness, what a difference! I'm so glad they found you, especially in view of poor Stealth's ckd.

He IS young if the estimate of his age is correct; Emily's nearly 17. But I once had a cat of two who died due to ckd (I'd had him from a kitten so knew his age.) That's very rare though, and over 30 years ago when there wasn't as much info.

Fusses to them both (if Mia will accept them) and all the best :)

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Re: Maya & Tabby

Post by Mayday21 » Tue Mar 20, 2018 11:10 pm

Hi Dave it was great news to read your update on Stealth & Maya. They certainly are lucky pair to find you both. Hope you post more updates. Fusses to them both. Vivian

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Re: Maya & Tabby

Post by ThorpeDave » Sun Mar 25, 2018 7:38 pm

A small update

Stealth has had an off week in many respects. He has not been playful and is not eating particularly well. He also seems stressed and is scratching a lot but no signs of fleas or ticks.

There has been quite a lot of coming and going and winter has been long this year so we are hoping that could be the problem.

He particularly gets stressed when we go out and is very dog like on our return, meowing and demanding cuddles and fusses. He even peed on my knee with excitement when we got home today after being out for 6 hours! dirty boy

Mia has continued to amaze us this week. She has been lying on the settee, not running away when we approach her, rubbing our legs and even getting inter her box at bedtime before we settle down.

We are taking every opportunity to touch and stroke her in the hope she gets used to it so that we can giver her a proper fuss sometime in the future. It does seem to be working! although she does not particularly like being touched (and you have to do it when her back is turned away from you) she has stopped hissing and running away.

We have yet to give her any treatment for fleas although there is no obvious signs of any. stealth is clear and he has such a shine on his coat.

Here are a few recent pics
IMG_20180130_225722.jpg
Mia looking cute
IMG_20180318_213833.jpg
Stealth was not impressed to see Mia in his seat!
IMG_20180323_190101.jpg
Relaxing together without Mia being hysterical
IMG_20180325_190445.jpg
Stealth looking Majestic and showing his character
They both give us such great pleasure

Regards

Dave

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Re: Maya & Tabby

Post by Lilith » Mon Mar 26, 2018 12:55 pm

Love the photos, thanks for posting; they are a beautiful pair.

Yes, Stealth will have good days and bad days, poor chap. He looks such a darling.

Fusses to the both of them - well virtual ones to Mia if she doesn't permit :)

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Re: Maya & Tabby

Post by ThorpeDave » Mon Jul 09, 2018 7:38 pm

It is with a very heavy heart that I have to report the tale of Mia and Stealth has come to an end today.

Stealth kidney disease was severe and he declined rapidly finally loosing the fight today.

Naturally we are all heartbroken as Stealth was such a loving cat who wanted to sit on you lap and be fussed. Many headbutts daily and his purring butt was always easy to find.

Mia realises that something is wrong - and has done for sometime - and she knows we took him away this afternoon.

the next few days are going to be difficult for us all.

Heartbroken

Many thanks to everyone for the message of support and your interest in this story.

Regards

Dave

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Re: Maya & Tabby

Post by booktigger » Mon Jul 09, 2018 8:22 pm

I'm so very sorry he lost his fight, but they are both such lucky cats, their life could have been so much worse, so please take some comfort in the fact that you gave him what was probably the best 11 months of his life and by ignoring your vets advice, you gave him another 7 months and then allowed him to go peacefully and loved. RIP Stealth

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Re: Maya & Tabby

Post by Lilith » Mon Jul 09, 2018 8:50 pm

Dave, so very sorry to hear. Even when you know it's inevitable - one day - it's dreadful when that day comes. Fusses to Mia and good on you for taking them in and giving Stealth so much love and care at the close of his life.

Sleep tight, Stealth x

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Re: Maya & Tabby

Post by Mayday21 » Wed Jul 11, 2018 11:12 pm

Hi Dave haven’t been on the forum as often lately as stuff going on here and then this morning saw your post. Condolences to you & your wife on the loss of Stealth. As Lilith & Booktigger posted he was cared & loved for 11 mths. No matter how they come to you or what occurs, losing a treasured fur family member is heartbreaking and Maya will be out of sorts. Do you have him with you? RIP Stealth...Vivian

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Re: Maya & Tabby

Post by ThorpeDave » Thu Jul 12, 2018 2:58 pm

Hi Vivian

Thank you, and everyone else for your very kind messages.

Mia is exhausted looking for him and is naturally traumatized She does, however, seem closer to us and has slept in the house all day. She knew his was poorly but does not yet seem to understand that he will not be coming home this time.

We are hoping that Stealth will be going to a vet school where they can examine him and, hopefully, learn why his decline was so rapid. His death has been recorded on a central drugs database as it was felt by the vet that the FelV vaccine and the prescribed flea treatment (even though he did not have fleas) somehow accelerated the decline of his underlying condition.

I have made a short video which can be found https://www.facebook.com/M6RUG/videos/289483798457862/ - once I can see through the tears I will re-make the video

Stealth was everything I wanted in a cat. Adorable, funny, loved his cuddles and had a purring button that was allays easy to find - even in the last moments of his life.

Mia is so cute, sweet, highly intelligent, playful and very funny but we have yet to give her a cuddle. We touch her (but not stroke), she rolls over for us and will now even stand on my lap if I have chicken in my hand! THAT is major progress with her.

Unsurprisingly, offers of kittens and strays have poured in. The temptation is high but we have decided to wait until Mia has settled down and try and understand what she wants going forward.

On the face of it, she stays well clear of all cats with the exception of Stealth who she had an incredible bond with. We simply do not know if she will take to another cat or not. We will wait to at least the autumn when it will be easier to settle another cat in - if that is what we decide to do.

Thanks to everyone for your interest in this tory

Take Care

Dave

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Re: Maya & Tabby

Post by booktigger » Thu Jul 12, 2018 7:32 pm

Please keep us posted on what they find. I think to have made the right decision not to get another cat yet, you may find Mia prefers to be an only cat

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Re: Maya & Tabby

Post by ThorpeDave » Thu Jul 12, 2018 7:46 pm

Not sure that we will find out to be honest. Just hope that the Vet will be more vigilant in future.

I do know that they have a meeting with the local Rescue Charity and will raise the issue of testing cats for FeLV BEFORE they vaccinate. It is apparently their procedure which I and the vet disagree with.

Stealth was neutered with a voucher - something I really regret doing

Regards

Dave

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Re: Maya & Tabby

Post by booktigger » Thu Jul 12, 2018 8:02 pm

They should test before vaccinating. Please don't feel too guilty, neutering him would have helped him become a nicer cat, without all the hormones racing

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Re: Maya & Tabby

Post by ThorpeDave » Thu Jul 12, 2018 8:47 pm

Within 4 hours of coming back he was a purring fusspot

I feel guilty that I did not ensure that the charity were able to override my instructions. As the legal "keeper" of the cat he was my responsibility and the vet ignored my wishes and followed someone else's procedure.

Somehow I lost control and I cannot forgive myself for that.

I knew he was at risk from contracting FeLV as he had been a stray for some considerable time and we have quite a few un-neutered males in the area and fights break out on a regular basis.

I wanted him to be tested when he went back a couple of weeks later for a check - but, of course it was too late then

Regards

Dave

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Re: Maya & Tabby

Post by Kay » Thu Jul 12, 2018 10:44 pm

it's rare to lose a much loved cat without some feelings of guilt and 'what ifs', Dave - it's very hard to be totally rational when you're grieving

but what if Stealth hadn't found you, or what if you hadn't made him welcome? he would have suffered terribly living as a feral cat, and died a lot sooner, probably

you did nothing wrong, and an awful lot right - ask Mia

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Re: Maya & Tabby

Post by booktigger » Fri Jul 13, 2018 6:32 am

It wasn't you who lost control though, I've been in that situation and it's hard but sadly as Kay says guilt is part of the grieving process and if you hadn't helped, his fate would have been worse

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Re: Maya & Tabby

Post by Lilith » Fri Jul 13, 2018 9:04 am

Agree with the others - why do we feel so guilty? As if we should have 'done something'? But we do.

That video is beautiful. It made me cry. A wonderful tribute to Stealth.

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Re: Maya & Tabby

Post by Mayday21 » Fri Jul 20, 2018 10:01 pm

Hi Dave just watched your loving tribute to Stealth ... he certainly was loved & definitely had a happy life. Fusses to Maya...Vivian

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Re: Maya & Tabby

Post by ThorpeDave » Sat Aug 25, 2018 8:13 pm

A new chapter begins - see separate post

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