Saturday, September 11, 2010


We got some bad news yesterday that distracted us from the stress of the early semester. Evan took Remy to the vet last week because (we thought) she had some cuts resulting from (what we assumed) was a fight with Blue. These were incurred in May, had healed and then opened up again, possibly as a result of Remy licking them after the heat and humidity had irritated her skin. This hypothesis had always seemed problematic, not least because Blue is a sweetheart, even if he has his feisty moments. He may look like he wants a tussle, but he's never hurt Peeps and generally just enjoys a chase and tumble, like most young tomcats.

It turned out that poor Blue was indeed wrongfully accused. The results from tests came back yesterday. Remy's cuts are not cuts but a bacterial infection--possibly (best case) feline leprosy, which is (fortunately) not contagious and doesn't cross over to humans. It's also possible she has feline TB, a far worse diagnosis (prognosis is always guarded even if treatment is successful). It can also be contagious although many cats have a natural immunity (I hope my dear Peeps and Blue are OK). Obviously, it's very stressful for us, particularly poor Evan. She's an indoor cat who only eats Wellness soft food and has never been exposed to cattle or unpasteurised milk so it's somewhat of a mystery how she contracted this very rare condition. It is possible that the mouse she caught (and ate) two years ago is the culprit. Whatever the case is, she's off to the feline dermatologist at the feline hospital on the Upper East Side where, exactly two years ago, she was admitted for treatment of hepatic lipidosis--the illness that Evan's dutiful care helped cure (along with the $6,000+ in vet bills). She may need surgery and certainly she's going to have some heavy duty medical treatments. I am hoping for the best and trying to keep Evan's morale high. It's strange when you hope it's leprosy that's afflicted your cat--it is also slightly less rare than feline TB.

So here's to our chubby green-eyed girl. She's a fighting 19 lb-er and as sweet and feisty as they come. I so hope she is able to recover and that the next few weeks aren't too tough on her or her family of humans and fellow cats.


jennifer said...

Oh no! That is awful news. I really hope that Remy has feline leprosy and not feline TB. I also hope that she gets better soon. Does Evan have pet insurance for her? Those vet bills add up so quickly.

Moya said...

Thanks for your kind wishes, Jennifer. We're pretty shell shocked.

We have no pet insurance. I honestly don't even know if Remy's insurable given her record of running up specialist bills. I doubt any company would offer reasonable premiums at the moment. Even the tests to confirm which kind of bacteria we're looking at cost over $400.

erica said...

pet health care is so expensive! i remember paying over $600 for Turtle's physical when i adopted her. i still don't understand how it became that expensive for a healthy cat!

i hope Remy's prognosis is good. we'll be thinking of you.

joyce said...

i'm so sorry, moya. my fingers are crossed for all of you.

p.s. remy is a stunning beauty of a cat.

Marti said...

Moya that is so sad. I know how hard it is to deal with a pet's illness, especially one that you have no control over... my thoughts are with remy and you and evan.

christina said...

So sorry to hear about Remy. I hope she recovers quickly. She has great parents that love her which will help her heal quicker.