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Domino effect…

Posted Oct 27 2012 5:01am

Early Wednesday morning, I was lying in bed, more than half asleep, with my arms wrapped around a loudly purring Priscilla (our 7-year-old tiger cat), when suddenly she sneezed. Violently. A spray of cat sneeze-snot hit me right in the face. I think there might still be a dent where my head hit the ceiling…


Needless to say, I put Priscilla on an oral antibiotic. Two daily doses in her food. Actually, for preventive purposes, I decided to do the same for our two eldest cats, too. 

So here is the current situation:

1. two cats, Prezzemolo and Peekaboo, are still quite ill and have to be taken (by yours truly) to the vet every day for shots of antibiotics and an anti-inflammatory somethingorother to keep down their fevers. Yes, they both have a fever…especially Peekaboo. They are both quite languid but eating, which is always a good sign. Peekaboo, our chattiest kitty, has completely lost her voice due to her tracheitis (inflammation of the windpipe) and is still coughing and sneezing;

2. one sneezing cat, Priscilla, also has a bit of a sore throat (we can tell by the way she gulps when swallowing) and is on an oral antibiotic, as I mentioned. Like Peekaboo, Priscilla has also lost her voice;

3. our two eldest cats, Piccolo and Puzzola, are being monitored carefully and are also taking an oral antibiotic…Thus far, fingers crossed!, they seem to be okay. Uhm, Piccolo did sneeze ONCE in the kitchen this morning, but I hope it was merely in reference to my recent lackadaisical housekeeping ;)

4. Pinga was on an oral antibiotic palatable paste BEFORE any of this happened, so I’m keeping her on it just to be cautious. Together with 12-year-old Puzzola, she’s the most active of our cats. 

–The good news: they all have an appetite. This means that I will soon be able to administer the antibiotic orally to ALL of them, without having to go through the stress (for the cats AND me) of taking two of them to the vet every day…Since winter is supposed to hit Italy tomorrow (temperatures are going to drop considerably, etc.), my current goal is to keep the cats at home and warm…

–The bad news: this situation isn’t going to end overnight, I fear. The infection isn’t just bacterial but also has a viral component. And, as we know, viruses can be stubborn beasties…

Now, the obvious question is: since we’d kept the new kitten completely separate from the adult cats from the very beginning, how did the latter get infected?

Well, here’s what happened: a few days after we brought the kitten home, before he’d shown any signs of illness (apart from the gastrointestinal infection), Peekaboo managed to open my parents’ tightly-shut (but ) bedroom door. You know, we really should have named her “Charlize,” not Peekaboo…Have you seen the movie titled “Italian Job” where Charlize Theron plays the role of an expert safe-cracker? Well, that’s our Peekaboo…She can get into ANY room, unless it’s locked, of course (and even then, hmmm, I wonder…). Well, anyway, at the time of the break-in, I was working at my computer in my study, next door. All of a sudden, I heard some loud hissing and growling…I was so engrossed in what I was doing that it took a few seconds (a minute?) for me to get moving…

By the time I reached the bedroom, I found our three youngest girls–Priscilla, Peekaboo and Pinga–glaring and hissing, from a distance, at Prezzemolo, who was in a Sphinx position underneath the bed…absolutely terrified. I don’t know if the cats had had enough time to have any actual  contact before I arrived…but they must have had sort of contact, since two out of three are now sick (in addition to Prezzemolo, of course). Oh well. We should have known better and kept the door locked at all times. As we do now. Too late, of course!

So that’s the story…thus far…

Written by Margaret

October 27th, 2012 at 11:01 am

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