(British Columbia, Canada)
Gypsy a few days before giving birth
Gypsy was a stray, pregnant female who was literally delivered to our door by friends who knew my husband and I 'did cats', 5 days as it turned out, before she gave birth to 8 kittens.
We struggled with Gypsy's health throughout her time with us. She suffered from constant diarrhea despite the FortiFlora being constantly added to her food. In desperation, at the vet's suggestion, we started her on a course of antidiarrheal drugs, despite the possible detrimental side effects to her nursing kittens. Nothing seem to help and she continued to lose weight at an alarming weight.
After three more trips to the vet blood tests discovered her white blood cell count was through the roof. An untra-sound was performed to discover whether she had an unborn kitten or unpassed afterbirth trapped in her womb, to no avail. It was finally decided that her kittens would have to be weaned at 5 weeks so an aggressive course of drugs could be administered if we were to stop Gypsy's drastic decline.
By this time the vet had tentatively diagnosed inflammatory bowel disease. After a change of diet and a massive course of antidiarrheal, anti-inflammatory and anibiotic drugs, Gyspsy's condition finally started to turn around.
When her white blood cell count started to return to something resembling normal and she had gained some weight, it was decided it was safe for her to be spayed and the opportunity was taken to take biopsies of her intenstine. Sure enough, the diagnosis proved to be bang on; inflammatory bowel disease.
With the appropriate diet and medication, Gypsy is now the picture of health. She has been adopted by a wonderful elderly couple with the promise that if they reach the point when they can no longer care for her, she will be returned to us.
As for Gypsy's kittens, I had the time of my life playing surrogate Mom. I was swarmed each morning when I entered their room to deliver the wet food. My legs constantly looked as if I had been wading through brambles as they took their turn climbing my legs as if they were trees (I now have a new fashion in jean wear, white threads pulled through dark jean material).
I laughed continously as they tentatively explored their new found abilities and ever expanding horizons. Those exploits, however, cannot be contained within this site, but needs one of its own.
The kittens have all been adopted now, and the house is emptier for it. Still, our lives are richer for the experience, and the memories will be with us for a lifetime.
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