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Cat Health Ambassador Stories

Raven

Raven was a beautiful black kitten that I adopted at the Humane Society. She was my best friend and saw me through high school and college. She loved to play fetch with the plastic rings from a gallon of milk and preferred cardboard boxes over fancy beds-of course! We'd curl up in bed together every night, I as the big spoon and she as the little spoon. Raven was diagnosed with cancer at only nine years old and very quickly I had to make the decision to say goodbye. We spent one last night together as big spoon and little spoon, holding hands.

Pet Parent- Krystal

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Noodle

Noodle was originally the neighbors' cat but quickly decided that he liked the quality of service at my house better. As a kitten, he first
moved onto my patio furniture for a few months before moving into my
house, quickly securing his status as a full-time house cat. We spent 17 years together and during that time he lived in three different states and 14 different addresses and shared his abode with me, two rabbits, and his biggest crush, my cat Raven. At the age of 15, he started to have trouble getting in his cat tree and getting up from his long naps and it was determined that he had arthritis in his lower back. He demanded that I learn cat acupressure and massage, so I did, and he would only take his glucosamine powder if it was delivered in churu treats, so he got A LOT of churu treats. Soon after his arthritis diagnosis, he was diagnosed with stage 4 kidney disease. He held on for three months after his diagnosis, putting up with subcutaneous fluids and other medications with very little complaint (ok, maybe a grumble here and there). Even though he wasn't feeling well, he'd go in his yard with me to soak up the sun, take long naps next to me while I read a book, and conduct his "security detail" around the backyard perimeter, which is how we spent our last day together. In our yard, in our routine, and in love.

Pet Parent- Krystal

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Amelia

Amelia came to me as a tiny, one-pound kitten in 2009. She grew into a sleek, graceful, beautiful, funny, intelligent, curious, loving cat and my constant companion. In 2016, she was diagnosed with early onset kidney disease. I made sure she had the best care possible, and she fought for three years. I lost her in 2019 and my life has not been the same since. I knew nothing about early onset kidney disease before Amelia was diagnosed. I later found a possible correlation between kidney disease and the distemper vaccine. I'll never allow another one of my cats to have that vaccine.

Pet Parent- Amie

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Serendipity

Our cat Serendipity showed up on our porch as a one-eyed stray, with her ribs showing. We adopted her and have loved her ever since.
Unfortunately though, she almost always has a sinus infection. Her vet thinks she must have gotten a bad infection before she arrived on our doorstep that permanently damaged her sinuses, making her susceptible to constant infections. The vet dubbed her a "snuffler." She is a loving and energetic cat, but is constantly sneezing, the poor kitty. We love her with all our might.

Pet Parent- Meadow

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Caelen

During a routine check up in the fall of 2022, our cat, Caelen at the age of nine years and four months was found to have elevated kidney values. He had none of the usual symptoms of renal failure except for weight fluctuations. By December of 2022, they were dangerously high and he was hospitalized for ten days in a local emergency veterinary center. He received IV fluids, medication and around the clock care. He did well enough to go home. After discharge, we gave him subcutaneous fluids twice a day as well as medicine throughout the day. He had blood tests every two weeks to check his kidney values. By March of 2023, they were again extremely high. An abdominal ultrasound showed an obstruction of the left ureter which is the connection between the kidney and the bladder. Our veterinarian searched around the United States for a specialist to treat Caelen. She found an internist and a surgeon 485 miles away. We left immediately and drove him to a fantastic veterinary specialty center with wonderful doctors and nurses. They examined Caelen and determined that he needed a Subcutaneous Ureteral Bypass (SUB), a relatively new procedure, to provide an alternate route for urine to pass from his left kidney to his bladder. This was done on April 1, 2023. Since then, he has done very well and travels to see his internist for lab work and to have his SUB flushed on a regular basis to be sure that it is functioning properly. Caelen is a laid back kitty who has charmed his doctors and their staff and because of them , we are very lucky to still have him with us.

Pet Parent- Barbara

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Onyx

Onyx is a sweet, black domestic shorthair with a big personality. When he was a kitten, he would open every cabinet door and chewed up so many headphone cords because he was able to jump on the tables and get into whatever was left out. He has been a sweetheart and brat his whole life. He is a tripod (he only has one back leg after a horrible accident). We learned after his accident about his osteoarthritis and that he should not have been jumping up and down on the counters or into his top entry litter box. We had a dog so and had to keep the dog from getting into the litter box, so a top entry box was the answer until it wasn’t. His accident led to a surgery that failed that then led to amputation. He is a super trooper and Onyx went through a super rough couple of months. We have all adjusted to his new tripod life. He gets super soft, easily digestible food with miralax so he doesn’t have to struggle in the litter box and he gets cosequin for his bones. Because he is so fragile, we have super soft beds and super soft blankets to him and his bones warm. He is still super lovable and very vocal when he wants up or food. His big personality is still in there even if he only has one back leg. Update: Onyx passed away in the beginning of 2024, he was 23 years old.

Pet Parent- Michelle

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Mooshi & Kuku

Marshmallow (mooshi) and Cornelius (kuku) were rescued when they were a few months old. When we adopted them, we went through the usual health issues most rescue cats faced, eye and upper respiratory infections and worms to Kuku’s ringworm infection, Mooshi’s dental problems that led to the need of extraction of all her teeth by now. When Kuku started coughing, we first thought it's "just" another upper respiratory infection, but as his coughs got more frequent and rougher. That's when we learned about feline asthma. To our surprise, it turns out to be quite a common condition, especially for cats in cities. It affects 1-5% of the cat population. Shortly after, Mooshi had her first episode, and after an emergency vet visit she received the same diagnosis. They were both started on regular inhaler treatment which kept their symptoms in check and prevented further damage to the lungs. Now, a few years later, both of them are happy and luckily likely due to changes in environmental factors, no regular treatment is required for them. But we keep an eye out for every cough, and always have an inhaler ready.

Pet Parents- Elizabeth & Tamas

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Tesla

Tesla was 5 when I noticed he was peeing blood. We took him to the vet and they did a catheterized urine sample and found that he has Feline Idiopathic Cystitis which causes them to need to eat bladder friendly food, makes them more prone to stones and infections, and stress makes it worse. He sometimes has to go on anti-inflammatory medicine to help with symptoms. There is no cure and he will have it for life. He is 7 years old now as of 2023. I've got the human version of his disease.

Pet Parent- Crystal

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Nefi

We adopted Nefi when he was a kitten from a local farm, he was the smallest of the litter and grew up to be an energetic yet very chill kitty and loved to snuggle up when I watched the tv, we essentially grew up together and he used to follow me everywhere when I played outside as a kid, and even into my late teens and early twenties he loved to keep me company, he was the best buddy one could ever ask for. As he grew up into his senior years he started to off and on have kidney issues with crystal build up in urine and UTI's. One night he suddenly without any prior warnings started to have seizures and we rushed him to the emergency vet hospital. They ran all kinds of tests and found out his kidneys were shutting down and was just too far gone to save him unfortunately.

Pet Parent- Eniko, Tabby Cat Coffee Co. Owner

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Carlos

I adopted Carlos after finding him in the middle of a busy road. I quickly
discovered he wasn't able to hear my horn because he was deaf. Shortly after, he rapidly started to lose weight and was diagnosed with diabetes. For eight years, I kept up with daily insulin treatment. At the age of 16, he was diagnosed with Kidney Disease. We began daily sub-q fluids at home. Unfortunately, this complicated his blood sugar. For the last two years of his life, we were monitoring his glucose at home every few hours, administering daily fluids, and twice daily insulin. He was a trooper until the end. He finally crossed rainbow bridge at the age of 18, ten years after his original Diabetes diagnosis. Three years later, there still isn't a day that I don't miss him.

Pet Parent- Jonathan

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Nick Fury

Nick is a “designer” breed called a Minskin, meaning he’s a mix of Munchkin, Sphynx, Burmese, and Devon Rex. He came to us with Corneal Ulcerations and is essentially blind in his left eye (like nick fury of “the avengers”!) All was
well until late last fall (2022) when he seemed “off” but what we were hoping was an upper respiratory infection or something mild, turned out to be severe Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM). His little heart is working too hard which causes thickening of his heart walls. There is no cure, only treatment. He’s on daily medication and doing well, for now. A repeat echocardiogram will tell us more.

Pet Parent- Stephanie


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Thuthan

This is the story of Thuthan, or Thuthan Von Nubbinth, or Susan with a lisp. Thuthan was an owner surrender to a Kansas City shelter in 2019. She had a cleft lip, was declawed on all four paws, a nub tail, and two collapsed ears. She was transferred over to Denver and adopted out through a Petco in short order. Not long after, her old shelter found her on craigslist beaten, dejected, and abused. She was taken back in and that’s when we met. Thuthan was six pounds, couldn’t meow, and had been through hell. We adopted her thinking she had a rough life but was otherwise healthy. Unfortunately, within 24 hours she was peeing blood and having explosive diarrhea. Over the course of three years our little bean has been diagnosed with Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Chronic Kidney Disease, Sterile Cystitis, chronic UTI’s, and Arthritis. She’s had multiple intensive care stays for Pyelonephritis (kidney infections) and intense IBD flare ups. Her veterinary staff adore her and follow her closely on social media despite her being a well-known “fractious” patient. Today, Thuthan is a 12 pound girl with a sizable snack pouch, a sparkling personality, and more love than I could ever imagine. She’s gone viral on TikTok for slapping a salad out of my hand, has stickers that have found their way around the world, a respectable social media following, been painted by a famous cat painter on Instagram, and most of all, is the absolute love of my life. She inspires me every day with her fight and grit, and I couldn’t be more honored to have her in my life. She’s my little soulmate. Thuthan thtrong!

Pet Parent- Olivia

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Annie

I took in Annie as a foster kitten when she was just 4 weeks old. Her mother kept pushing her away so she needed to be bottle-fed. I bottle-fed her for about a week and then she refused the bottle and wanted to eat cat food. A very tenacious and independent little girl. She was growing and gaining weight and becoming a handful. About that time the rescuer that was caring for Annie’s mother and siblings called to say that they had come down with Panleukopenia (a deadly viral disease caused by the Feline Parvo Virus akin to Distemper in Dogs) and had all died. I told her that Annie seemed fine and she said for me to keep an eye on her. A few days later when she was about 5 weeks old, she suddenly became very ill. I rushed her to the vet and she was diagnosed with the dreaded Panleukopenia. As a foster I had to depend on the rescuer to allow her to be treated. I went home and mourned the loss of another kitten. I had already decided I would adopt her. This virus is so deadly I never thought she would survive. But as I said before, she is one tenacious little girl and she fought hard. Within a week she was recovered and I went to pick her up. She had to be isolated for a few weeks as I had other foster kittens here. The next morning, I went in to feed her and her back legs were paralyzed. I called the rescuer and got her back to the vet. She was then diagnosed with Cerebellar Hypoplasia (CH). Not all but most kittens who contract Panleukopenia are left with some damage to the cerebellum
that causes them some difficulty controlling their movement. There is no cure for this condition. Annie has gotten much better with exercise. She now has the nickname: sidewinder. I have gone on the adopt 4 more CH cats and kittens. They have all stolen my heart. They are very loving cats.

Pet Parent- Mary 


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Phantom

Phantom was very high strung. He was passed around from foster home to foster home until we saw him and brought him home to live with us. He was the happiest cat I ever knew. More like a dog than a cat he loved humans and other cats. He was never diagnosed with a heart murmur at the time. One day we came home and he was paralyzed. We took him to the emergency vet where he was diagnosed with Saddle Thrombosis and also with a heart murmur. They were unable to save him. Phantom passed at age 6.

Pet Parent- Deana


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Deuce

6-month-old Deuce was being treated for inner ear infections because her head was tilted to the side. I then took her to Harmony Hill Animal Hospital in Sterling, VA. I consulted with Dr. Kathi Werden, who specializes in Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP). Deuce was immediately diagnosed with the Dry Form of FIP, meaning she was affected neurologically. She started her program of 84 shots, once a day. Like a trooper she tolerated each shot even though the mixture burns. After her 84th shot she had checkups and observation for 60 days. She is now a healthy, playful and quirky cat with a tilted head.

Pet Parent- Dottie

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Ollie

Ollie is a big boy. He’s 16.4 lbs. Right after Mother’s Day this year (2022), he started with fluids building up in his abdomen area. We took him to
the ER to find out that he either had cancer or Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP). The ER doctor pointed us to FIP Warriors and we began an 84+ day journey with drugs that we received in a parking lot. It was an emotional trip for all of us. One large injection every day with lots of blood work. The medication is rough as it creates skin sores and stings. We are currently in the observation period. He’s not out of the woods yet. The Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) makes him more susceptible to a re-occurrence. In the past FIP was a death sentence. Now there is a way to fight it. Ollie still loves us even after all he has been through.

Pet Parent- Kelly

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Domino

I first witnessed Domino have a seizure in may 2018 and immediately took him to the vet. He had a high fever, and the vet said that may have caused the seizure, and not to be too concerned. I did not see another one for around 18 months, but then they started becoming more and more frequent. I was working from home in 2020 and 2021, and there is nothing more heartbreaking than witnessing your pet have a seizure that you can do nothing about. He would come out of it confused, disoriented, but always purring. Domino's vet decided to put him on phenobarbital in December 2021, and I have not seen any seizures since. He will be on the medication twice per day for the rest of his life, but I am so grateful that this treatment exists. His vet says that Epilepsy is common
in dogs, but very rare in cats.

Pet Parent- Lisa

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Mason

Mason was just a kitten that survived outside during a derecho, a friend asked me to take him and the sucker I am (we) said yes. Mason was diagnosed in November 2014 at the age of 2 with Congenital Cataracts. He had limited vision that got worse as he got older. He also had Asthma and had his own special inhaler, and was given treatments 2x a day to keep it under control. He also had a rescue inhaler for emergencies. He was dealing with upper respiratory issues frequently, and at one point it seemed to not go away with meds, so the vet investigated a little further. They sedated and scoped him and that's when they found the growth that the vet thought was more than that. Barley a month later after the biopsy, Mason passed at just age 9 from Nasal Lymphoma.

Pet Parent- Charity

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Khannie

Khannie was diagnosed 6 months ago (spring 2022), a few days after starting insulin she became super sick from an unbreakable very high fever and nearly died. Being Diabetic and on Insulin makes you immunocompromised, the doctor couldn't figure out what made her sick and treatment was hardly helping. Extreme home care and monitoring for a week helped get her better, but I was terrified to leave her alone because so many times I thought I would leave the room or fall asleep and wake up to a dead cat. She had complications in the beginning and her recovery was slow in the first month, but she turned around when we got her BG stabilized and she gained weight back to normal, her energy and demeanor improved greatly. She takes HR Insulin like nothing, and while she may never go into remission, being regimentary with the lifestyle change and treatment, she will be able to live a long and happy life.

Pet Parent- Jen

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