The first kitten, late in the evening was stillborn the second was a male and was fine. The morning arrived and we rushed down to our vet’s office with the mother cat trying to deliver kitten number three. The third kitten was much larger and was stuck. Shortly after arriving at the vet’s office he came out but was also stillborn.
Within minutes of popped kitten number four, she was much smaller than the others. They immediately grabbed her and took off into the back. They were gone for a long time. We didn’t know if this was a good sign or a bad sign. Holly (left) after 4-month operation
When they finally did emerge from the back with the kitten, they had good news and bad news. She was alive but had a burst hernia. They had sewed her up and administered antibiotics. We were also sent home with antibiotics and told to call back in ten days for an appointment.
We told them we would make an appointment now. They insisted on us calling back in ten days. They would work around our schedule.
Of course, they didn’t tell us at the time the real reason. They actually did not expect us to be returning in ten days. They were shocked in fact when we did show up with her. As the years went by it was finally revealed to us; it was not a 50-50 chance for her to survive, they had thought maybe a 10% at best.
We had named the kitten Holly a perfect name for a miracle baby and she turned out to be such a joy to have around.
At 4 months of age, we took Holly in for the hernia repair. The vet told us her heart skipped a beat when she opened her up. The intestines were messed up, can’t remember how she put it, but it was not good. When she only weighed 2 ounces at birth, pretty hard to construct everything the way it was supposed to be and stitch her up. Actually, considering the size of her at birth with such a big problem, it was pretty miraculous.
Even though someone wanted her, we would not sell her, as with the problems she had it was not fair to saddle anyone else with the possible medical bills and heartache later, if that were to happen.
Everything went fine with Holly until she passed her second birthday. Why do pets have major problems on holidays, weekends or after office hours? Don’t they know it is more expensive or they have to suffer longer until you can help!
It was the 4th of July and she started throwing up really bright yellow. This was like no other episode. The next morning I called the vet’s office and said I needed to bring her in right away. The gal at the front desk said she probably had a hairball (Siamese cats don’t usually have a big problem with this). I insisted this was not normal and I wanted her in to see the vet. My suspicions were correct, there was something wrong. I think they gave her some antibiotics and sent us home with some medicine.
It was now Sunday evening and struggling with her for a few doses of medicine twice a day, it took two of us to hold her down. (I tasted it; I think if I was her I would have fought like crazy to keep from taking it too!) After giving her a dose, she took off and ran into the kitchen and was coming back out of the kitchen and she collapsed on the floor. Limp as a rag, scared us really bad. I guess she had just passed out. The vet had given us the name of a weekend emergency clinic if we needed it. Well we took off down there and they set her up with a barium test and also administered fluids. She was a very sick cat.
They kept her all night and Monday morning we called our vet’s office as soon as they opened up. Although our vet actually had the day scheduled off they did call her and she came in. She operated on Holly and it was a touch and go situation. She had to take out part of her intestines as they had grown together and that is what was making her vomit. She had her on oxygen and had an IV for fluids and medications. It was really serious and a great possibility she might not pull through.
After she was out of the woods, she was still in a long-term situation for the rest of her life. She ended up with asthma due to this illness. To find the least amount of medication to keep her from becoming ill again was a difficult task. We were going to the vet’s about every three days for the month of July and the worst part of this was that our daughter was getting married in July but luckily Holly didn’t get sick and need emergency the crucial days of the wedding plans. (Good kitty!)
We finally found a dosage that worked pretty well for keeping her out of the vet’s office. But eventually, it no longer worked and her lungs started filling up with fluid. They tried many medications and next we were sent to a specialist. Holly was now on stronger medications. We had to take her into the bathroom when we took a shower so she could have a chance to breathe better. Then we tented her with a humidifier. At first she didn’t like it, as she was getting wet. But she was breathing better and actually didn’t mind being put in there a couple of times a day for an hour at a time.
Her lungs would start showing some clearing and then they would be filling up again. The next step was to get her used to breathing in a plastic bag; I know sounds a little strange. But the purpose was to eventually treat her like they do people with bad asthma, but she needed to get used to the bag over her face. The treatment was supposed to start within about a week.
The day before her seventh birthday, I got up in the morning and found her collapsed on the floor. She had died sometime during the night as she was cold. The sad part I was not there when she died and I know it was not easy for her.
Holly, what a fighter, she had a strong will to live and beat the odds from day one.