Marlee: in memorial

Marlee: in memorial

marleesmallIt’s always hard to lose a furry loved one.  But some losses are harder than others and tend to haunt one forever.  I think poor little Marlee may be one of those, even thought she was only with us for a week.

Marlee came to us as a four-month old kitten.  She was deemed unadoptable because she appeared to be deaf and had a heart murmur.marlee-756-7-20-2009-1-08-57-pm  Upon intake, we noted that she was somewhat dehydrated and unkempt.  She also seemed a little frantic, but we wrote that off to kittenhood.  She ate well for us and we hoped that her heart murmur would “disappear” (which often happens with kittens) and that she be adopted.   Deafness is not particularly debilitating to a cat.

Marlee received a thorough vet exam two days after she arrived.  Our vet noted the heart murmur and the deafness, but also determined that Marlee’s eyes “worked”  but that she  was blind.  This meant that there was a neurological problem.  In addition, blood work showed that Marlee’s kidneys were failing.

Kidney problems are rare in young cats and in combination with the neurological symptoms led our vet to worry that Marlee had FIP.  Feline Infectious Peritinotis  is a disease whose very name strikes fear into the hearts of vets.  FIP is a non-complex, frustrating disease about which too little is known.  It is 100% fatal , but very hard to diagnose and can mimic many other diseases.  I won’t go into detail here, but will post about it in a future blog.

We submitted some other blood tests that can be useful in diagnosing FIP (as well as some  rare diseases that coul dexplain her symptoms) and started Marlee on supportive care.  Our vet was not hopeful that Marlee would be with us for long.  Danielle, our Sanctuary Operations Manager, took Marlee home at night so that she wouldn’t have to spend her last days alone in a cage.

FIP-infected kidney showing inflammatory response

All of the blood wortk came back negative, but Marlee continued to decline over the next few days.  She stopped eating, her kidney values got worse and she became withdrawn.  We realized it was time to let her go.  She went gently, surrounded by the many people who had loved her.

I’m not really sure why his loss was so hard.  We’ve lost kittens before and we’ve lost cats without having a diagnosis.  But I keep seeing little Marlee’s face and I still have that feeling in my gut … that sharp longing to see her get through this and get to have a life.

Rest in peace, sweetheart.

8 thoughts on “Marlee: in memorial

  1. I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again…..God bless you all at Tabby’s Place and the work that you do. Special thanks and love to Danielle for taking sweet Marlee home at night so she wouldn’t be alone. All cats should be so lucky to have so many loving caregivers.

  2. P.S. Jonathan, you promised (in your memorial to Sinbad) to introduce us to your office buddy, Pepper, on your next blog. Please do tell about Pepper…….

  3. Jonathan wrote, “She went gently, surrounded by the many people who had loved her.”

    You guys provided her love and care that she wouldn’t have had otherwise. That doesn’t make the pain go away but nothing will. I send all of you guys a big hug as thanks for caring for and about Marlee.


  4. Jonathan, Danielle, and everyone else who is feeling the loss of this sweet baby — thank you for loving her and caring for her. None of us know how much time we have but to spend the time we DO have in the arms of love is an incredible blessing. Marlee was blessed, as were all of you to have loved her. Rest in peace, baby girl.

  5. Jonathan, I think Kathryn said it well; I, too, believe that Marlee knew how she was loved, and how much you wanted to bless her life. I continue to be inspired by your sharp longing to do that for each cat who enters Tabby’s Place and your world.

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