I will start off by saying that this is just a preliminary diagnosis for FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus) and we will have to wait to have another more accurate test. The vet took drew blood from her twice today and didn’t want to go for a third. Plus, he wants her to be on antibiotic and eating again before we do it.
Monkey is a very active cat. She loves her food, treats, running, chasing things, terrorizing her much bigger wimpy canine sister Violet, and going outside. She spends a lot of time in our back yard, or patrolling the top of the fence. However, she does tend to take off for parts unknown (within the complex we live in).
The last few days Monkey hasn’t eaten her food, has turned her nose up at treats, hides, sleeps, and hasn’t even put up a big fuss about not going outside. So, yesterday I called the vet’s office and mad an appointment for this morning.
My Hubby thought it was worms. I was hoping it was something very simple. Neither one of us was expecting an Immunodeficiency Virus!
I was instantly feeling guilty because I find it difficult sometimes to keep her back when I am letting Violet out into the back yard, or when someone comes to the front door. I was figuring she got it from one of the many ferrel cats that are around. But the vet assistant said no, there were a number of factors that probably had nothing to do with us.
Monkey has a pretty rough start. She was dropped off in a paper bag with her brother at the vet’s office when they were about six weeks old. They were in rough shape and weened too early. However, the vet and his staff cleaned them up, brought them back to health and put them up for adoption. They were in a crate in the waiting area. I was new to this vet as we had been going to one near where we used to live. We had heard good things about this guy and I was worried about Violet’s arthritis so I took her there. She went to the cage and there was this cute little black kitty. The brother had already been adopted.
We were still not quite over losing our other dog, Joie, to cancer 8 months before, but we also didn’t want Violet to be alone. The next day I went back and adopted her. There’s another story about that too, but I’ll save it for another time.
The second that tiny black ball of fluff entered our house, she was queen of the castle. Whatever hardships she had before didn’t show for a second. And, she lived up to her name by climbing, crawling into, jumping, everything in sight.
Okay, back to the main point. The assistant said that it can lay dormant for awhile so she could have gotten the FIV from her mother – they knew nothing about the family or the cat parents except that they had not treated the kittens very well. Secondly, we were wanting to keep Monkey as an indoor cat, however, she did sneak out a few times in those early days. Since she had only indoor shots, she could have caught it then, coming in contact with infected cats. So, it was nothing recent.
The one thing that came out of this whole experience today for me was that I handled it extremely well. I was visibly shaken, however, I did not break down in tears. I texted Hubby and Kay to get them praying as I waited for test results. I even left Monkey in her cage there while I went into the nearby grocery store to grab a couple of necessary items for us so that I wouldn’t have to leave her in the van and do it. This also gave me a chance to call hubby and to distract myself from the fact that I was waiting to see if my little Monkey had leukemia or FIV.
Some changed will have to be made. Monkey can not go outside anymore for fear she will get an infection of any kind. We have to keep an eye on her eating habits, breathing, weight, etc. for any significant changes. And we may have to take her to the vet regularly to have her white cell counts checked.
For now, she is curled up in Hubby’s office chair beside me, with Violet on a mat between the two chairs and life is good!