Sunday, January 5, 2014

The Year of Marlowe

by Leann

A year ago next week I brought a new baby into my life--Marlowe the ragdoll. He was three months old but as the runt of the litter, very small. It only took a few days to realize he wasn't small because he was the runt. He was small because he was sick. Very sick.

The first of many vet visits followed and some of you may be thinking I could have taken him back to where I got him. But I believe, and always have, that everything happens for a reason. Keeping Marlowe had a purpose, even if I didn't quite understand the purpose yet.

The diagnosis was epilepsy, but the cause of the epilepsy was far more serious. It is a disease called Feline Infectious Peritonitis or FIP. It is only contagious very early in the disease--the first two weeks--and since Marlowe had obviously been ill long enough to develop epilepsy, my other fur baby, Wexford, was safe.

Our journey began last January and it has been a roller coaster. As he fought  to survive with our help, he did grow. Each little spurt made adjusting his medication (Phenobarbital for the seizures) a challenge. One antibiotic he was on wasn't bringing down his enormous white blood cell count so we switched to another--a new one developed just for cats. He improved, his white count went down to normal and we celebrated. He began playing, running and doing "kitten things."
Until, that is, he was taken off the antibiotics and went down hill so fast it made my head spin and my heart break. He was the sickest he'd ever been for a month, but that little guy, with the help my wonderful, loving boy
Wexford, fought back once again.

As of now, still on phenobarb and that antibiotic that costs a fortune, his weight has stabilized and so has his medication dose. We won't be taking him off the the antibiotics yet. I'm not ready because I believe he's not ready. His high dose of seizure med keeps him sleepy, he's developed a yeast type infection on his spine, but he is better. Doesn't walk too well, but better. And so loving, so special.

I have learned something new from our recent visit out of town during Christmas. He started to improve after a few days out of this old, dirty rent house. He was actually running around during the last couple days there. My hope is that once we move into our new home soon, it will change his life forever. I know he's changed mine. Here is below now--having grown from 2.2 pounds to 7.5 pounds. He is a beauty and I do not regret my year with Marlowe. Not for a minute.