Our tiny man Bruce left us last Thursday (Thanksgiving, I think) and we're just devastated, I just wanted to tell his little story
In July Bruce Springsteen played a gig in our little city in Ireland and most of the city went. My husband was in his way home from work on the bus about an hour before the gig was due to start and traffic was horrendous, he was stopped right outside the stadium for a couple of minutes and caught night of a tiny kitten, he was half hiding under a car and half meowing up at the masses of people who passed him but no one really looked. My husband jumped from the bus and ran to the kitten, he picked him up and wrapped him in his hoodie, he thought his left eye was beyond saving, it was completely shut and scabbed over and his other eye wasn't great. He called me and I panicked, I called the friend in the local feral cats rescue group who, at the time, we were fostering 4 kittens for and she arranged for a vet to look at the kitten. Alan walked about 3 miles with he kitten in his hoodie, poor guy me owed loudly all the way
The situation with his eye wasn't as bad as he thought and the kitten was given antibiotics for cat flu and eye drops. He didn't think twice and Brit the kitten to stay with us. We called him Bruce
It took a while and he really hated being medicated and having his eyes cleaned but he kicked the cat flu. We'd been fostering for about a year and a half solid but had never considered keeping a kitten until we had Bruce, he was just the greatest kitten, full of love and life and such a character. We all toddled along for the next few months, the rescue group took him on as one of their my kittens so he was neutered and they put him on their website as an adoptable kitten, they even did a homecheck at one point for someone who was interested in adopting him but it didn't work out (which we were a bit happy about as we were really thinking of keeping him)
We went on our late honeymoon in October and we had crowds of people coming to look after the cats while we were away (we have 4 of our own plus the 5 fosters at the time). When we got back the cat sitter sad that Bruce had cat flu again, he'd been sneezing and his eyes were weepy again, he didn't get better from them. We noticed one of his eyes looked darker than the other and the antibiotics didn't clear his symptoms, nor did a second course. The vet said he thought it was FIP which he said was incurabke and that we should consider having him put to sleep. We were devastated but weren't ready to give up on him by any means. We took him to another vet who started him on a steroids and more antibiotics. He did improve but got worse and better again a few times. He was tested for the coronoavirus (which is the virus that mutates into FIP) and he tested positive, so it wasn't for certain that he had FIP but it didn't look good so blood was taken and sent to a specialist lab for testing. He said that if it was FIP he could try to treat it but it would mean a year on Interferon after which he would be unadoptable so we had to decide if we were willing to keep him. Of course we were, he was our baby.
it came back that he tested negative for the normal indicators for FIP so it looked like good news but at the same time we didn't know why he was so sick. The vet took him off steroids to get more tests without the steroids in his blood. After this he got rapidly worse, in a matter of 2 days his co ordination had gone, he could hardly walk. We put him back on steroids and he did improve, the vet said to bring him back in a few weeks to check on him.
At this point we were starting to realise that he possibly wouldn't be getting better, even though he tested negative for FIP he had every symptom of it. We put off going back to the vet to give him more time to improve and he did improve but we noticed he was drinking a lot and not eating a lot. We brought him to be checked, the vet said his kidneys were massively enraged, he thinks this may have caused his wobbly episodes, possibly due to pain. He said that they're was something very wrong with Bruce and he wouldn't live to see a year most likely, he said that he once he stopped eating and showing interest in life it would be time to end his suffering. He gave us enough medication for a month, Bruce went downhill very quickly 2 weeks later, we knew it was his time. In the last hours before we brought him to the vet he'd hardly moved, had meowed a lot and it sounded pained and his breathing was laboured. He was helped over the bridge at 7.45 on Thanksgiving night with us holding him.
I can't express in words how this felt and still feels, his absence from the house is palpable, I feel him gone and it's horrible. He was our cat and although his life was too short he's changed us, he's left paw prints on our hearts. Bye beautiful special boy xxx