Tig came to us a very hungry cat, with several teeth missing - including a canine - and a very swollen face. She just suddenly turned up at the shelter. She had a bad cold and diarrhea - and was famished but had difficulty eating. We guessed she was 8 months or so, but are still not sure.
We fed her soft food and vetted her. She tested positive for FIV. Her general blood-analysis came up with the screen flashing red. Anaemia, plus a lot of other readings that were either crazy high or crazy low. Her kidneys were a very odd shape on the ultrasound.
Her mouth was clearly painful, but those sorts of things can be treated. At least some of her problems looked like they could be fixed with a course of antibiotics and some good food. And she was an affectionate little thing...
In these situations we always ask ourselves whether it might be kinder to euthanise, but we felt she still had some living to do.
We moved her into my study, where I can keep a close eye on her. After a month of ups and downs, it became clear that her mouth was not going to heal. First she started to eat only sporadically, then she stopped eating altogether. Not eating for 3 or 4 days starts to be dangerous for cats. They try to live off body-fat, but their livers can't cope and they develop jaundice. Then their appetite goes completely, and they vomit up anything you do get into them. At that stage you are either force-feeding special high-energy food, or the cat goes on a glucose drip.
[See here for more info: Wikipedia: Feline_hepatic_lipidosis
So - she had a spell of a few days with the vet and we were back and forth with her for regular blood tests to see if she was improving. In the end, it became clear that it was best to risk surgery. And spay her at the same time, if possible.
In the end, it wasn't possible to the spaying - although she was chipped - but all her teeth were removed.
She is on a special K/D diet for her kidneys - which she hates and won't eat. [We have tried her on 4 different types. Not eating/ Feline Hepatic Lipidosis having been an issue with her, we are cautious about letting her get too hungry.]
She is a happy cat now though - no longer in pain in her mouth. We are trying to fatten her up a bit before we can risk another op. to have her spayed. She recently came into season - and - dear me - she clearly had "needs" that were not being satisfied. Very, very noisy and demonstrative. Our male cats are all neutered, but there is only so much sexual harassment they can take before they run and hide. She sprays everywhere - and the males come and overspray. [This does not amuse my wife. Not completely coincidentally, I have recently spent some time in the doghouse.]
So: as soon as it is safe for her, she will be spayed, if the vet thinks it is safe to try. Long term, we are not sure - her kidneys are not in great condition, so we shall see what her blood analysis is in a few months. Possibly we are in a hospice situation with her. [A shelter can't have too many cats like that of course...]
So far she has cost 90,000 yen in vet fees alone, and our vet is generous with his time.
We didn't want to run an "appeal" for her, as it really wasn't clear what the outcome was going to be.
But she is a NICE little thing. She has a good quality of life - and clearly has some living still to do. If her blood analysis results improve then possibly we can put her out to "Long term Fostering". We shall wait and see.
Tig spent a few days at the vet on a drip to get her blood-test numbers down so she could be spayed. She came through the spaying fine - but bloodtests since show her basic condition is not changed. But she is a happy little thing, who reminds us of a small Shiba-inu dog. We probably can't rehome her, but she has excellent quality of life, so we shall keep her with us until she doesn't...
This cat is also available for 'long term fostering' and 'supported rehoming'. [