My boyfriend Tom and I are the extremely proud owners of our sweet little Grace. My whole life I wanted a black and white cat with extra digits and different colored eyes. 11 years ago, my twin sister and her now husband were driving through New Brittan CT when they saw a tiny little thin kitten freezing to death in a drain pipe. When they ran over to check on her, they discovered this absolutely beautiful perfect little kitty that I had wanted all my life. They rescued her and brought her home to me and I was in love instantly. I nursed her back to health even though the vet didn't give her much of a shot. I knew she was a fighter.
Grace became a part of the family along with a new older sister "Vera". (You may notice in some pics that Grace now wears Vera's collar). Not long after she was back on her feet she became a mom to 5 absolutely beautiful kittens which amazingly were all very healthy. Two of her kittens, Ashe and Daphne, became a part of my sisters and her husbands home. Another, Charlie, made a home with a co-workers family and 2 still live with us, Dozer and Vegas. Vegas is still a moma's boy, he waits by the door whenever she goes outside and checks her when she comes in :).
Over the past month Grace started to not act like herself. We had treated her with Frontline before we moved into our new place and she got lethargic, developed diarrhea, lost her appetite and began to drop in weight. We assumed that she had a reaction as she is so small and was possibly experiencing some stress from the move. We cleaned her coat to help remove any Frontline and started her on chicken and rice to get her appetite stimulated and monitored her closely. After a few days she began to come out of the woods. Her energy was improving and appetite was back. Her diarrhea hadn't fully resolved but my resilient little "junior mint" fighter seemed to be pulling through!
Now that she seemed out of the woods, I was not treating her (or any cat) with Frontline again. She is primarily an indoor cat but does come out in the garden with me time time to time so I opted to put a break-away flea collar on her. Within 2 days she regressed back to being sick. I've never experienced anything like this with any pet, between my own animals and all of my former clients when I had a pet-sitting company but I was not taking any chances. Once again she became more lethargic, developed chronic diarrhea but this time even worse and her appetite increased..alot. Suddenly my little "junior mint mini kitty" was eating like a football player, twice as much at mealtime with treats and chicken in between! (She even tried to take Toms dinner and steal some sun-dried tomato Wheat Thins!) Within just a few days she got a lot worse, it happened so fast and now for the 2nd time so we got her into the vet Sunday. They did some bloodwork, took a stool and urine sample and said if we sent it out with a 2-day wait then it would be almost $200 less than same-day. I was concerned because her gums were even showing abnormalities (paler and some inflammation) but who am I, she's the vet and she said Grace seemed pretty healthy other than the issues she was having and the tests would tell us more. She was thinking a thyroid issue. We came home feeling relieved that our mini kitty wasn't seriously ill and waited for the results.
By Wednesday the vet didn't have the results, Grace was getting alot worse, and the 2-day results were now going to take 5 to 7 days. Grace's gums were so pale and although she was still eating and drinking her health was quickly deteriorating. At this point I had a different vet see her and expedite her bloodwork. He looked at her and said she was in a critical state and we needed to rush her to the emergency room in Fairfield. We admitted her right away and they got her cath'd, started on an IV and began giving her a blood transfusion because her red blood count was so low (apparently it was already down to 11 on Sat and by Wednesday down to 9. Her count should normally be in the 29-48 range). Just to keep her there we needed to put down a minimum deposit of $1300. As of this morning she has now had xrays which showed accumulating fluid in her abdominal cavity. The sample is showing blood and proteins but there is no sign of infection and she is not septic. The vet has brought up euthenasia twice now but we could never justify that without knowing what is wrong with Grace. We are now into the thousands as the next step was to get an ultrasound to try to pinpoint what the cause is. If Grace has cancer then we would consider letting her go to sleep, we dont want her to suffer ever in any way and as hard as even the thought of that is, it's not about us, its about her. But if this is something that can be fixed and she can be our healthy happy mini kitty again then we need to do everything we can to give that to her. The thought of coming home to a place without her because we just didnt have the money is too much to bare and far too unfair to her. I am so frustrated and angry at the thought that if we brought her to a different vet originally that things would be different. I wouldnt have wasted any needed money there and maybe she wouldn't be in as critical of a state. So far the ER vet thinks its probably coincidental that Grace got so sick right when we gave her the Frontline but I know my cat..I believe she ingested some of the ingredients which either made her sick or exacerbated what had been an asymptomatic conditon. I can't bare the thought that I might have given her something that lead to her being in this conditon and then not do everything I possibly can for her. Half the reason we moved to this new house was because its a safe place for her to go out and be able to enjoy the sun and play. Coming home to a house empty of Grace just wouldnt be the same home.
What We Need
Because we just moved we couldnt afford any of it. We had to start an emergency credit card where the limit on the card is just barely covering the cost so far. We will be finding out the results very soon and our biggest fear is that she has something treatable and we wont have the money to cover it. Neither one of us will be able to take that. As or right now we have paid around $2,700 and they are saying the estimated cost for everything could be $5,000 not including any surgery or treatment after the diagnosis.
Anything you can do to help our mini kitty that brings so much joy into our lives is beyond appreciated.
Anyone that has met Grace knows that she is the sweetest little cat you will ever meet, and probably the most unique. The impact of saving her life cannot be quantified for me in words, if you love your pets you understand.
Other Ways You Can Help
I know that all of you that read this may not be able to give monitarily, so we ask if you could please at least say a prayer for our little Grace and pass this along! Thank you for anything you can do.
We will post any changes and updates on Grace's condition here and Facebook.