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Thursday, April 05, 2007

She Makes Me Feel So Old...

Its so hard to believe that Belle will be 10 years old in just a couple of weeks. I remember Sam and I talking about which kitten we wanted while I was still in England, and deciding to take the tortoiseshell tabby, because spots and stripes just sounded so cool. I also remember going to Regina’s house to look at the kittens with Jeff, and laughing at Belle’s poor brother, Earl Grey, who kept running into the closed storm door. I was sooooo tempted to take him, too. I also tossed around the idea of naming Belle Minerva, and calling her Minnie. I’m glad I went with Mirabelle.

As part of the joy that comes with old age – because yes, Belle is technically old – she had blood work done back in January, just to establish a baseline for the vet to refer to if she gets sick later and he needs to check her blood. That sounded like a great idea, up until the vet called to tell me that her white cell count was extremely low, and that that usually meant some type of nasty disease (think FIV or Feline Leukemia). So he did another round of tests, which came back negative. I took her back a month later for a follow-up test, to see if the first test had been a fluke. It wasn’t. Her white cell count wasn’t quite as low as the first time, but it was still well below the low end of the acceptable range. At that point, the options were pretty much do nothing but wait, or do a bone aspiration and run tests on her bone marrow. Because things like leukemia and bone cancer may hide from the blood tests, but can’t from the marrow tests. Of course, there was also the chance that the bone marrow test wouldn’t show anything, and then we’d be back where we started, except I’d be poorer. And Belle would be madder. The vet passed her paperwork on to a specialist to get another opinion, which was nice of him. The specialist recommended holding off on the bone aspiration, since Belle wasn’t acting sick, but to keep a close eye on her, and if she started feeling bad, to get her back to the vet. That sounded like a good plan, up until about a week ago….

About a month ago, Khar’pern caught a cold, and had sneezing fits and runny eyes for a bit over a week. Then Per’la started sneezing, and a few days later, Khar was fine. So Per’la had sneezing fits and runny eyes for several days. I didn’t even bother considering a trip to the vet, since there’s really nothing he could have done but tell me she had a cold, and I already knew that. But then Belle started sneezing. And a few days later, Per’la was fine. Belle’s been sneezing for a couple of weeks now, and isn’t showing signs of getting better. Parm started sneezing last week, but he got over it in a couple of days, but Belle defied the pattern and stayed sick. I talked to the vet about it Monday (when we were discussing Reyna’s current conditions), and told him I was only mentioning it because of the low white cell count. Unfortunately, he agreed that it could be a problem. Most of these colds are supposed to run 7-10 days, and then be gone. But there’s the possibility that Belle’s low white count means she can’t fight it off like the others can. So, I’ll keep an eye on her for a few more days, and then call the vet back next Monday if she isn’t better. The poor girl, she’ll sneeze 10 times in a row, and her eyes look like she’s crying almost constantly. And she’s permanently pissed right now. If one of the other cats even looks at her funny, much less dares to walk near her, she starts hissing and growling. I hate it when my baby doesn’t feel good and there’s nothing I can do about it.

1 comment:

Sam said...

I remember Belle's birthday party, complete with tiny little party hat, and the fact that she and Merlin usually got along pretty well. The girl sure can chase a laser pointer. I hope she's feeling better soon.