There’s no way to tell the sad truth more gently – our handsome, sweet, docile and loving little kitty boy Orin is no longer with us. He’d been seriously unwell for more than two weeks, but we never posted anything regarding his health issues, naively believing we’d better keep quiet about his ups and downs out of the fear that we would inadvertently jinx him. When science had no answers and the future seemed to be grimly uncertain, perhaps a little superstition might’ve turned out to be useful. Unfortunately, it wasn’t and now everything is over. Orin’s hard fought battle has sadly been lost and maybe there’s no point in sharing a memory of a lovely kitten that had been brightening our days for just a few short months, but he is somehow still here and up to this time remains a very important part of our thoughts, our hearts and our lives. This is not a commemoration; this is a tribute to your steadfast bravery, my sweet Prince…
Orin’s problems started with a high fever and thrombocytopenia, but the X-rays revealed he also had splenomegaly. A myriad of different conditions can cause an enlarged spleen in cats, so we were not overly worried; however our little fighter was being given Longaceph from the very beginning and was spending hours receiving IV fluids every day. His appetite was good, he was high spirited, adventurous and enthusiastic as usual, he enjoyed soaking up the winter sun in the yard and we would’ve thought he was on the mend if the vet hadn’t observed that his furry patient had a significant pleural effusion on one side of his lungs.
No one knew exactly what was wrong with him. Symptoms of AIHA are totally different, so it was ruled out, FIP isn’t supposed to be unilateral and we were refusing to accept this was his problem after all, but be as it may, Orin’s chest was filled with fluid causing him breathing difficulties. We’ve come to terms with bacterial infection, viral infection or even trauma, but we couldn’t fathom that he would be yet another victim of the deadliest cat disease. Whatever problem he had, we were capable of doing something, but with FIP, our hands were tied and we knew that no one in the world would’ve been able to defeat the most dreaded virus. Orin certainly didn’t have FIP, not him, not again… But what else could it be if not even the most powerful drugs were helping and every single attempt to boost his immune system inexplicably failed? Our boy was a fierce fighter, but even the fiercest fighters can lose their strength and determination when they encounter something unbeatable.
Two days ago, after many ups and downs, he closed his eyes for the last time and the necropsy finally answered all of the questions we might have had. Yes, it was FIP and Orin’s vets told us it was a miracle he was able to fight so stoutheartedly for as long as he did. Exhausted, sleep deprived, broken, emotionally drained and puzzled why this year had to start out so painfully, we hadn’t even begun to properly grieve over Orin’s death yet when we found the tiny but already stunningly pretty son of Raena lying motionless inside one of the cats’ rooms. This sparkling ginger kitty baby who didn’t even have a name yet (and that’s why I choose to call him Golden Ray) had been the weakest kitten in the litter since all of them arrived at the shelter. Although breathtakingly beautiful, he was too skinny, lethargic and not really interested in food, his coat was often straggly and unkempt and every now and then he had eye discharge and stuffed up nose. We knew he was sick with Rhinotracheitis despite being vaccinated against contagious diseases, so he was taken to the vet countless times and has been receiving drugs on and off for months, but his frail little body just gave out on him at the worst possible moment. As if one loss wasn’t enough, as if our sadness couldn’t have been deeper, as if our hearts couldn’t have been more shattered… Checkmate.
Life is tough and unfair, but the show must go on, and I guess we will heal eventually, like we always do, for the sake of almost 150 shelter kitties which count on us – and on all of you. Orin and Golden Ray will be waiting at some secret place behind the clouds, watching over all of those they knew and loved and the only thing I can hope for is that they will forever be proud to point out their home here, full of their friends and their weepy humans.
Godspeed and farewell for now, my angels. Now it’s time to dream and to remember.
Categories: One Of Those Days