Rupert went to the vet’s office on Friday. This was the first time since his disastrous first visit almost a year ago. He was already in the carrier that morning, so I just closed the door. He was not happy and it will not be happening again. He won’t even go near the crate now.
Rupert does not do well with car rides, and he hadn’t gone to the bathroom over night so I was missing a stool sample to take with me. That, however, was rectified during the drive. He pooped himself good and there was a little blood in it, which the doctor said was probably from nerves and she was not concerned.
The visit went well. He didn’t squirm too much, even during the blood draw. She said he sounded and felt good, and he was a nice 14 pounds, give or take a squirm ounce or so. His teeth, on the other hand, are a disaster, so we made his dental appointment for the end of the month.
I was very impressed with their handling of him and it showed because he was much more relaxed than he was at the last vet’s office. I was afraid that he would have a setback with me when we got home, but that night, after we let him decompress a while, he came right up to me and gave me a nose boop for the first time ever. He did it again Saturday and Sunday nights.
I was feeling very good about the whole experience until we got the bloodwork call on Monday afternoon. My heart broke open. Rupert is FIV positive. This explains the state of his teeth, and so we moved his dental visit up to next week because with FIV, a dental infection can be deadly for him, so it’s urgent we get him in and have the bad teeth extracted as soon as possible. I’m also really pissed at the old vet. If they had given him the level of care I paid for a year ago, I would have known he was FIV positive and I’d have dealt with his teeth immediately.
Now FIV is a weird acting slow virus. He may or may not be affected by it beyond his teeth. His white cell count was good and normal, so if we can stave off any infection, he should be OK. We will still have to be diligent to keep him infection free, including monitoring him during flu season.
As for Moon, Rupert cannot pass this on to Moon in any way other than a via a deep bite wound, and since neither of them are aggressive like that, I am not worried. They’ve been cohabitating for a year, and Moon’s bloodwork in September was negative.
It’s very sad news. But with rescue there comes risk. You do it anyway because you do it for love. Rupert has been with us for a long time. If we hadn’t brought him in, he would succumb to his disease sooner than later because winters are harsh here and there is unlimited opportunity for accident and injury that could cause an infection serious enough to kill him. And he can’t hunt with those teeth, so without supplemental feeding, he would starve probably before the FIV could even take him.
I cried all day yesterday thinking about all the what-ifs: what if we’d gotten to him sooner, etc. etc. etc. obsessive type thinking, but today, we are just going to focus on loving him and making sure he’s comfortable.
Though I will have to change my approach for getting him to the dental visit since he’s crate wary now. I’ve got an Acme Company plan though. He’s a smart cat, but I’m Wile E. Coyote genius when it comes to dealing with his smart. I’ll let you know how it all goes next week.
Note: I often mention the costs of rescue ventures so people know what to expect. The high end estimate for his dental surgery is $1,400.00. Moon cost us over $3,000.00 the first year, so we are still ahead of where I thought we would be.