Thursday, July 29, 2010

For a smile...


Neala's half sister, our only naked baby left- waiting on her Mom to pick her up...

Neala's Necklace

ML from the Cat Blogosphere sent me something beautiful today...



Well , she sent it awhile ago, but it had to be rerouted *smile*



It is a necklace of Neala and on the flip side, it says, "I will whisper into her heart that I am always with her."


Thank you so much, ML. It made me cry, but in a good way.



This month was not what we expected going into the surgery... We had expected to be taking care of Neala, waiting for the birth of a beautiful baby kitten, and spending a lot of time at home celebrating with friends and family Neala's success.



Of course, we all know that's not how this month turned out... But we were still blessed- blessed by those who cared.



Thank you, ML!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

FIP


Life goes on here, but now I am finding myself even more invested in other people's stories and tragedies revolving around their kitties and their health issues.

This week, a Savannah cat breeder whom I adore and respect had a kitten (under a year old, I believe) diagnosed with dry FIP and she was put to sleep. It breaks my heart to hear of her pain and to know so many other people have experienced the horrors of FIP...

FIP should be any cat lover's nightmare. The reality of it is- we have NO DEFENSE against FIP.

The vaccine doesn't work- point blank! And FIP is simply a mutated form of the coronavirus, which in most cats- it simply causes a cold and their immune system rallies and they survive.

In FIP cats, however, the coronavirus mutates and turns into either wet (the more common form) or dry FIP.

FIP frightens me. As a cat owner, letalone someone who shows/breeds, it terrifies me. The thought that one of my own cats might one day develop FIP and be lost to this dreaded disease- one where there is no cure- frightens me. But the thought that I might send a baby home and it's new owner might lose their beloved little one makes me break out in cold sweat.

Please- if you have never taken the time to read up on FIP- do so now. Most people are ignorant about the reality of FIP and they blame the shelter systems or their breeders if they lose a baby due to FIP, but the reality is- until there is enough money put into research, there is no one to blame except ourselves. FIP is not like FeLV or FIV; it is insidious and sneaky.

That's where my thoughts lie this week... If we can't afford to put an end to FIP, which is a silent, and oftentimes aggressive, cat killer- how can we afford any other research to help our feline companions?
In Memory of Aziza... B's baby girl...

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Letter

This weekend has been a long blur...



The vet hospital contacted me last week while I was driving Galaxy to meet her new Momma. Needless to say, it wasn't pretty. They were polite- I was polite. But I was passionate and as much as I felt I was led in loops for a while, I wasn't letting go of my opinion- Neala shouldn't have been fed the food she received after surgery.

They did apologize for her loss- in as much as I know they are sorry that she died... And the good thing is- I know it's not JUST BECAUSE I'm causing a ruckus. But I do truly believe they were all saddened that our little trooper did not make it. I DO think they wanted her to come home, happy and healthy, because they love animals.

I think the main thing that angered me about the discussion was someone bringing up grief and using it as a scapegoat for my letter. I had to finally stop and point out that grief had nothing to do with my letter about Neala's aftercare. Of course, I am grieving her loss- we all are. Every single one of us who had her touch our hearts.

But loss is a part of our lives! We lose pets, we lose loved ones- we lose those we love and we have to deal with it each day of our lives. That's not why I wrote that letter, I must say!

The office manager finally came on and said she could tell the surgeon and I could go back and forth all day- and she's right.


This world kinda sucks sometimes. BECAUSE we live in a world where simply saying, "It was my mistake- I'm sorry" opens you up to lawsuits. BECAUSE admitting fault can get you in trouble... But no one is ever faultless- we all make mistakes in our jobs, in our lives, day to day...


So I knew as much as I didn't want to admit it- that the surgeon would never be allowed to admit a mistake even if he KNEW he made a BLATANT mistake!


The office manager offered a partial refund- and I told her I had to think about it.


And I did... I thought of everything... I thought, 'If I took it- does that mean I didn't fight hard enough for Neala?' And that is the thought that whirled around my head over and over and over while I tried to look at everything at every angle.


In the end, though- my goal with that letter wasn't a refund, partial or total, it was to ensure that Neala was not forgotten and that they watch their post operative care more carefully in the future. It was to ensure the next Neala has not only a kickass operation, BUT also superb aftercare.


So I talked to the office manager and said yes, we'll take a partial refund... She was very nice and honest today and I felt more at ease talking to her now then before. She had went to Neala's sites, she had seen her Facebook page, her website... She knows what went into Neala- we all loved her very much.


I will be making a donation in Neala's name AND in honor of my own veterinarian to the Winn Foundation with this money.


Neala will never ever be forgotten...

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Weekend

First, the auction for Sphynx sweaters went off well- we managed to donate $52 to the Winn Foundation. Sure, it's not a huge amount, but every little bit helps! I found that out with Neala!

Second, I only have two of my Sphynx babies now... One will go home this weekend and the other girl will go home next weekend. I will miss my babies!

We had the Midpacific Regional TICA cat show this weekend in San Jose, California. We packed up and made the 8.5 hour drive out there. I took my Mom and Niece- along with my Mom's Sphynx (Neala's Daddy) and two of my own cats (Savannahs).

It was a long weekend, but a lot of fun, all in all. I made fliers that described PRAA and the symptoms and handed them out to everyone in the show hall. Although no one came up to talk to me about it- probably just as good because the ONE lady who said she had read about Neala online and wanted to know the rest of the story- I ended up in tears telling her what happened. BUT I did see quite a few breeders/show people reading the PRAA fliers- which means if they ever see it happen, they will now know. And maybe if they are never touched by it, a friend might be... It's a trickle down effect, really, informing people about conditions they've never heard of.

Made me laugh- I came up to ladies folding HCM fliers (cardiomyopathy) and I said, "Would you like a flier about a congenital defect?" and they said, "Only if you'll take one of ours!"

My cats did as well as I expected them- they were gorgeous and well behaved for the judges.

It was nice- it was relaxing. It was nice, also, to be around a lot of people who knew Neala's story- who didn't need to ask about it because they knew what had happened- every step of the way...

We benched next to a lady I had never met, but who had pushed for donations for Neala throughout the Sphynx world. Jacky is a great lady and her Sphynx are gorgeous!

But I just wanted to update all of you- life got busy out here!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Tears for Neala




You have been there with us, every step, and I wanted to share the last tear-filled step with all of you. Her ashes arrived today. This is her urn, this is her Surgery Crab, and this is the blanket the hospital sent her 'home' in before we returned to the hospital.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Felix Update

Update on the little black and white kitten- he was pulled by a rescue group and already had his surgery!

HOORAY for little Felix!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Neala's Legacy

Already, a week after Neala's loss, I received an email from a wonderful Bengal breeder who has a little boy who has the symptoms of PRAA. She has had him to the vet already, but no barium xrays were performed, so that is her next step.



Unlike Neala, Johnny has already had a close call or two with death. His Mom and Dad have lavished a lot of time and care on him to nurse him through those periods- and they will continue to fight the good fight, as long as Johnny has the strength to keep going.



Please keep Johnny in your thoughts and prayers! I'm going to ask his Mom for a photo of him...



The funny thing with PRAA is that it's preferrable to have PRAA with mega-e then just mega-e. There is NO fix for mega-esophagus; there are medications to help with it, but no 'fix' per se. PRAA corrective surgery is THE fix for kittens that have mega-e secondary to PRAA. The surgery may not completely fix the mega-e, depending upon the chance of nerve damage, but oftentimes, with surgery, the animal will eventually be able to eat normally after enough time has passed, the esophagus healed, and the kitten is weaned from slurry to wet food to even possibly kibble.



We are going to a cat show next weekend- a big one. We had paid for it about a month before Neala was diagnosed and then decided we couldn't go because Neala would need hands-on care and one of our Queens was pregnant and due the week of the cat show as well. Neala went to the Bridge and my Queen miscarried while we were in Utah, tending to Neala- so I have no reason NOT to go.



We will be passing out very basic flyers to the cat show participants about PRAA- what to watch out for, how to diagnose it, how to treat it. It might not sound important, but it is- the sooner PRAA is recognized, the sooner it can be treated. And more valuable data can be collected on it if more people realize it for what it is.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

I want him...


Since I was expecting to have a special needs baby, my heart is just wishing and wanting right now...


I would love to bring this little boy home...


He is currently called Felix and is featured on the Cat Blogosphere. He was caught in the belt of a car and his little leg is broke so he needs (I'd assume) either orthopedic surgery to save the leg or amputation...
I'd wholeheartedly take him if I could afford the orthopedic surgery (I have to assume that is between $2000-$3000). If he needed an amputation, I'd take him in a heartbeat- I could even AFFORD that surgery...
Sigh. I'm in love. Anyone else?

Friday, July 9, 2010

TBIF


I decided instead of a lengthy post today, I'd just share a picture with you and try to keep an ongoing Friday theme of photos- so today is 'Thank Bast It's Friday' in honor of the kitties...


This is Neala's sister, Galaxy...
Her siblings are going to their new homes in the next 2-3 weeks. I am very sad since I retired her Momma and my other Momma and we will have no more naked babies in our house :( The way things panned out- we were supposed to have Neala as our naked baby who would need a lot of extra TLC, but life didn't work out that way...
But appreciate Galaxy- I love all of my babies and tell them every single day.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Story of Pagan

The letter is sent- certified, signature required, and should arrive on Friday. How long it will take to get a response is another story...
I have been working on Neala's website... If you get the chance, go over and look at the other kitties who were diagnosed with PRAA and their stories... There are two Sphynx, a domestic shorthair named Timmy, a Florida Panther, and a Savannah baby... That's five domestic cats, not including the Panther, diagnosed with PRAA that I knew of personally. Chantal, the breeder with the two PRAA Sphynx, actually found out about it due to another cat being diagnosed with it- so it spirals outward. I wonder how many cats truly have this congenital defect and how many die before it's diagnosed and how many are put to sleep as soon as it was diagnosed. Mind you- just the barium xrays at my vet, to DIAGNOSE the problem, were $350. That's a lot of money for a kitten- and for a lot of families, that would be the most they could spend on vet care for a small kitten... Not because they don't want to, but because money is hard these days...

Anyways, I promised Pagan's story, so here it is...

***



When Pagan was born, she was an apparently healthy solid blue Sphynx kitten. She grew rapidly- one of the larger kittens out of the litter and quickly stole my heart. I was planning on retiring her Mother and I felt that Pagan would be an exceptional baby to keep... Plus, she was blue! And adorable! It is very easy to fall in love with kittens- each baby, no matter what their color, fur type or not, that has been in this household has quickly charmed me...


At around 6 weeks, I noticed that Pagan had a rattle in her breathing. My vet quickly prescribed antibiotics and we continued on... She was still growing and eating and playing with her siblings and I was still totally in love.

The antibiotics did not seem to affect the rattle. So I took her back to my vet and we took xrays- assuming that perhaps she had aquired inhalation pnuemonia. The xrays showed clear lungs, however, and therefore we decided our best course of action was prednisone, hoping it was just an odd case of a kitten developing asthma at a very early age.

The prednisone did not help and Pagan's breathing began to grow worse... Sometimes, you could physically see her struggle to pull in air.

She was still eating and playing at this point in time though- she was a very happy little girl. She was an imp- her little eyes and face could easily steal your heart.

Puzzled, my vet and I decided to try an exploratory at our vet hospital. Pagan was knocked out, intubated, more xrays were snapped, and then she was woke up. She was such a trooper- so trusting and always purring. Just like Neala, who she wasn't related to, she charmed everyone she met. I call that a Sphynx Trick. They can charm anyone they meet!

These xrays still didn't show us the problem... There was a slight grey area upwards of her trachea, or windpipe, but we weren't sure if it was just the xray or something that needed to be fixed.

Our next option was to visit the Veterinarian Referral Center. I was forewarned- it would be expensive- simply to walk in the door costs almost a $200 exam fee.

But Pagan was slipping away from us quickly, now... I don't know if it was the exploratory irritating her trachea, I don't know if it was just as she aged, whatever the problem became worse, but she was fading and we had to make a decision.

Looking into Pagan's little face, I knew she had not quit- and that is my mantra. I will not quit if they have not quit.

We took her into the Referral Center and the staff was so kind and caring. They ensured us that all hands would be on deck as they knocked out Pagan, inserted a tiny camera down her trachea, and tried to find whatever was causing her respiratory distress.
Just as with Neala, we waited by our phone, barely baring to breathe... Just waiting...

The news, this time, however, was crushing. The vet could find no reason for Pagan's respiratory distress. The only thing the specialists could come up with was that perhaps she was suffering from laryngeal paralysis, which is another condition that is found in large breed dogs- they had never heard of it happening in cats before.

Since they were unsure if this was the condition Pagan was suffering from and they could not give us a success rate on the surgery, since they had never performed one on a 2 pound kitten, and since they had never seen this surgery performed on a cat at all- we made the hard decision of putting Pagan to sleep. While she had the will to live, she was truly suffering...

I drove down there, this time in the hush of the evening, and held our gorgeous Pagan as we let her slip from this world into no more suffering... I cried bitter tears because we could not save her, I cried tears at her loss and ours, but I knew we had done everything possible to save our little girl and it was just not meant to be.

Pagan's loss, maybe moreso then even Neala's, illustrates how much more we need to know in regard to feline health issues. Perhaps cat owners do not have the finances dog owners have to invest in their cats' healths. Perhaps it is a paradox- because cat owners, as a whole, own more cats- perhaps we don't have that extra padding to push the envelope, to explore further into a murky diagnosis... But we, as a whole, can help.

In less then two weeks, enough money was donated to save Neala's life- we need to use that same passion and that same goodness of heart to push for further research into feline health matters. Our cats- they are the world to us. We need to ensure the veterinarian field feels the same...

***


Epilogue...

Just to leave you with a smile...

Pagan's story does not end with her loss either... The day we were at the vet, waiting to have the initial exploratory, I overheard the receptionists talking to a lady about two dogs she had found- two Pomeranian mixes. She commented that she found the puppies running down the street and since she found them, she was going to keep them. I do not believe they were microchipped, but I did momentarily wonder about the possible owners of these puppies and how they would feel at their loss...

A week later, while still dealing with Pagan's lost, I saw a post online about two missing Pom puppies and figured it would only take a moment of my time to email them about what I saw at my vet hospital 'just in case'...

As luck would have it, after the distraught owners talked to the vet staff that was on hand that night I was at the vet hospital, and faxing them photos of their puppies, the staff verified that these were, indeed, the two pups the lady had come in with! The puppies were soon returned to their original owners!

This is what the owner emailed to me after the puppies returned home, "I am so sorry for your loss (of Pagan). May her life have meant something as it saved my puppies... You were a God send and her life really mattered. Had you not been there, I am sure I never would have seen my puppies again..."

The Letter

The letter is printed and I will be mailing it certified today.

I am nervous- it's easier just to pretend it never happened then to ask for someone to take responsibility. I hope whoever decides to look into the situation takes the time to read Neala's blog- to see the hope and faith we rested squarely into their hands and to understand that we full well know it was a mistake and that they did not mean for her to die. I believe, if the person responsible for what happened could turn back time and fix the mistake- they would. But since I don't know who that person is and since none of us have that ability, then the next best step is to admit that it happened, look into the events leading up to her death, and creating a plan to ensure it never happens again at that vet hospital.

I know a lot of Neala's fans harbor anger and resentment towards the hospital and its staff, but I don't. I just have intense sorrow and grief- for them, for me, for us, and for Neala. Until such time as they respond to this letter, I will continue to hope that they will readily admit a mistake happened and that they will offer to rectify the situation, as limitedly as they can because who among us can bring back the dead?

Soon, Neala's ashes will be home. I'm not ready to deal with that, but deal- I must.

Until then, though- the letter will be sent today and I shall keep you updated.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Tuesday Memories

I meant to discuss Pagan today, but I find I simply don't want to discuss anything...

While Thursday is the day we lost Neala- Tuesday was the day we brought her to the surgeon, so hopeful, so full of expectations and hope. We held our breath for what seemed like hours- waiting for the call from the surgeon. And when we finally received it- boy, did we celebrate! Not only us, but the people all over the world who were supporting Neala!

I think of the rollercoaster ride of last week and my stomach just clenches painfully. Today was the last day Neala was 'normal'. I think the results of the misfeeding could be seen when we visited the night of the surgery... Remember how I pointed out that we stayed only a few minutes, because she felt so cold? I think her body was already diverting energy towards her breathing versus keeping her warm.

Monday, July 5, 2010

The Truth About Cats & Dogs

This is an interesting, short, statistics article about cat and dog ownership in the United States...

http://vetmedicine.about.com/cs/diseasesall/a/aa051303a.htm

The most interesting thing to note, I think, is that there are more cat owners in the US AND that more cat owners own multiple cats- while only 24% of dog owners own more then one dog, about 51% of cat owners own more then one cat.

Now, I know the numbers can be skewed- because what do we consider ownership? TO ME- it is an indoor animal that is either spayed/neutered or in a planned breeding program; to others, it may be the outdoor moggies that they feed and care for.... So there is disparity in what ownership means to different people... I am sure if I fed an outdoor cat every day, I would consider him mine too- except he wouldn't stay outdoors for long and he'd lost his nuts awful quick ;) (Sorry about that!)

But my point is- THERE are MORE cat owners then dog owners. MORE of us OWN or claim to own more then one cat! So why oh why are we behind the curve when it comes to medical research?

Wake up, America! Our precious Domestic Shorthairs, Longhairs, Sphynxes, Bombays, Persians, Savannahs, Bengals, and everything in between DESERVE better! They deserve more research into areas that affect their lives and we deserve the best care for them!

Tomorrow, I will tell you about Pagan.. She was an adorable blue Sphynx kitten born to me... If I don't have you screaming for more medical research for our cats yet- perhaps tomorrow, it will be a different story.

***

PS- if ANYONE wants to write an article for this blog about any area of feline health- including breeding- I will gladly post it with full credit to the author! Just email me at PRAAkitty@gmail.com!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Neala's Last Video

Ah, so I haven't ran out of tears...

I forgot about this... I had videotaped this in the exam room, waiting on the surgeon to arrive. I wanted you guys to hear Neala purring... If you turn up your volume, you will hear it...

Now I remember where that phrase 'drowing in sorrow' comes from.. The tears just won't stop. I know- eventually, I'll remember the happy highlights like this video more then the tears and the anger... But until then, they just don't stop...

video

Gorgeous Sweaters on Ebay! Proceeds go to Winn Foundation

Before Neala passed away, a darling Sphynx owner offered me two hand made sweaters to auction off to help with her aftercare...

Since my sweet girl is at the Bridge, we decided to auction the sweaters off and have all proceeds go to the Winn Foundation to further FELINE RESEARCH (Yup, you'll hear that term a lot).

If you don't have a Sphynx, but have a small pup- this sweater migh fit. If you don't have a Sphynx or small pup, please feel free to share this link with others who might...

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=320557332194

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=320557337677&ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Support for Feline Health Research




I asked ML from the Blogosphere if she knew anyone who could make a button for me to share with all of you... She asked Anne at Zoolatry and she made these gorgeous little buttons.




Please- use them! Link them to whatever captures your heart! HCM Research, FIP Research, the Winn Foundation, WHATEVER touches your life right now!
Seeing these buttons on others' sites will put a smile in my heart, knowing Neala will always be remembered.




The Winn Foundation

I just decided to sit down and email the Winn Foundation... I wanted to ask if they had any research looking into Persistent Right Aortic Arch. As much as online, it says it's rare in cats- in my research, I found a Domestic Shorthair, Timmy, as well as two Sphynxes located in Holland, who were diagnosed with this disease. I wonder how many kittens have it and are lost before the diagnosis can be made- and I wonder how many kittens have it and are euthanized due to the high cost of surgery.

I also asked about running a donation drive for them... I am thinking, in my head, that maybe next June, I will run a month-long donation drive with all proceeds going to the Winn Foundation. The honest truth is- we NEED more research done into our cats' health care. We NEED to know MORE. Our VETS need to know more. And the only way to do this is to fund MORE research.

Look at FIP! It's a horrible silent type killer. Even the best catteries and rescues have had to deal with FIP. I am so thankful I have not seen it yet, but I am not naive- I know it can hit when you are least expecting it. Why don't we know MORE about this disease?

Or HCM! At least in a few breeds of cats, there is a relatively easy test to diagnose the possiblity of HCM in their lines- not within the Sphynx breed! We are losing beloved cats day after day to the horrors of HCM- we need to know MORE!

Anyways, so that is where my thoughts are today... I feel as though I found all of this fire in the last two weeks, to fight for Neala and her life, and it would be a shame to let it fade and be wasted.... Perhaps, together, we cat lovers can bring more knowledge to the forefront of veterinarian care.

Friday, July 2, 2010

To Err is Human

A comment below mentioned that even vets make mistakes... And that's completely right. None of us can say we've never made a mistake in our lives- heck, even with our pet care. How many times have we made a decision that looking back, we can see we screwed up? I know I've done it. My learning curve with kitten care was on stray babies with no one to care for them, but me. I had to try- even if that meant losing them- because to not try sentenced them to certain death. I am glad to say, I saved more then I lost, but my time handling those tiny babies was on a harsh learning curve.

That being said, however, I always tell people- the sign of a good breeder, cat or dog, isn't how they act when everything goes great- it's how they act when things go wrong. How they respond, the actions they take... Because in life- things do go wrong!

And I think that is a sign of a great vet too...

I think they need to acknowledge the mistake that was made and ensure it does not happen to the next PRAA baby that comes in their door- cat or dog. And I think, from the staff I met, that they are completely capable of ensuring this never happens again. This hospital does not seem to be sloppy, but mistakes DO happen. Mistakes that cost lives.

So we shall see what they say... I am hoping that I can report that they responded in a responsible manner and that will allow me to release the anger that I am harboring inside. Oh, it conflicts with the feelings of warmth I had towards the staff- I do think they are good people. Which is why it's so hard to push this issue, but if I don't, who will? Do we really need to wait for a 'next time', for another person to have the same thing happen to them? And would the next person even realize a mistake has been made?

Out of all of the people following Neala's story- only one person slammed me for questioning the fact that Neala was released Wednesday morning. Yet, even the veterinarian agreed, after he saw her xrays, that I was right in returning to the vet hospital and for checking her back in. I think something we, as regular Joe Schmoes do,- we discount our own feelings and instincts in regard to our babies.

Over the short course of Neala's life, I thought she would teach people only about Persistent Right Aortic Arch, but she has taught us so much more. She teaches to be valiant, to be brave, to keep purring even when life seems grim; she teaches us to trust our instincts and to keep asking questions- even if the professionals do not see what we are seeing. She teaches to love with all of our hearts, no matter what the cost.

It seems as though weeks must have passed by since Neala left us, yet it was only yesterday. The emotions are still very raw, though, but I feel as though time is passing too quickly.

Anyways, but to err is human, to forgive is divine. I'm not feeling too godly at this moment. I think for forgiveness, I need someone to take responsiblity and to admit their mistake. Otherwise, I will always harbor this knot of anger in my chest over this situation.

Tears for Neala

I wanted to leave Neala's original blog up in its original format and not sully it with discussions of her loss or the issues about her care...

People keep asking me how I'm doing... To be honest, I'm lost. I cannot wrap my mind around Neala dying yesterday. I cannot manage to convince myself that she is truly gone. We fought so hard- all of us, alongside Neala- and to lose her over something besides her surgery is just too boggling for my mind to comprehend.

I am not interested in suing the vet hospital. I'm not interested in filing a report with the veterinarian board AS LONG as they respond to my letter I have wrote to them, detailing her journey to their hospital and the mistake made in her care with compassion and the willingness to make amends. The horrible thing is- there can be no true amends made when the result is the loss of a beautiful soul. If they offer a refund, we will donate the monies that we, in turn, were donated to the Winn Foundation to help provide more research in cat health. As we found during our research into PRAA, our beloved cats have been given the short end of the stick when it comes to medical research... Dogs- there is a plethora of information about them. Cats- if you ever have a rare condition diagnosed in a cat, good luck finding anything that will help you make the right decisions along the way.

As of today, I am sad. And mad. I am comforted, however, by the fact that Neala was loved- oh, she was so cherished by so many different people. So many people cried with me yesterday- for every tear that fell, during my long lonely drive home with an empty cat carrier at my side, believe me- I cried alongside you.

I know that she is not suffering is a comfort, but I can't help but ask- if she had been fed the correct diet, would she have been suffering if she was home with me? We could have beat the Persistent Right Aortic Arch- in fact, as far as I'm concerned, Neala DID beat it. Her spirit and punkiness came through. The night after her surgery, she was talking to the vet techs from her cage, telling them how happy she was to have made it! If only she wasn't being fed Science Diet Kitten Food during this critical time, which eventually formed a bulge in her esophagus and crushed the very air out of her lungs! Basically, her esophagus was so distended from the kitten food (that would not pass) that it was pushing into her lungs- making her unable to breathe.

I'm sad because she suffered too... Although I knew her surgery would cause her pain, I also knew that a week of pain for a lifetime of happiness was worth the cost. However, the whole idea of her starving to eat and then eating, only to have pressure applied to her lungs and cause her not to be able to breathe PAINS me in my heart so badly. It just hurts to know she suffered so.

But this is my blog to say how I feel... I will keep it updated with any response from the vet hospital... Thank you, all of you, for enveloping Neala into your hearts.