Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Curious Case of Pippa Button

Those of you who are friends with me on Facebook know that on my birthday I got a really great gift: the news that Pippa is not in fact dying!  At least not imminently.

I'll back up a bit: the day before my birthday (which also happened to be our anniversary) I came home from work and realized that Pippa was not at home.  Normally she comes right out to greet me (technically to ask for food but I take it as a greeting).  She was not anywhere I could find, nor did she come when I shook her food bag or said "Pippa, what's this?" (her cue that she and the dogs are about to get a treat).  Normally, she comes running for either of those things, even out of a dead sleep.  We also happened to have our friend Peter over working on the downstairs bathroom.  I automatically assumed that Peter had inadvertently let her out - she loves to be outside and will sometimes make a break for it.  I have no doubt that if someone left a door open, she would make her way out.  I also think she'd come back when she got hungry, as long as she wasn't thwarted by a car.  So I was in borderline freakout mode.  I called animal control (they told me to call back the next day at 11), I told all our neighbors, I left a message for Kevin, I called my mom pretty close to tears, I walked all the streets in our neighborhood looking for her.

Turns out Kevin had come home for lunch and taken her back to the clinic to run some tests.  No note or message.  He didn't get my message until after he was done work and by then I had been freaking out for a few hours.   We had some words about this.

Kevin took her into the clinic to run tests because she seemed to be doing so well.  He thought she would have gotten worse or even passed by now.  The results of her tests were unusual in the best possible way.  Her red and white blood cells are all back in the normal range (high even) and the Feline Leukemia Virus test showed up negative!  This is really unusual and Kevin has no idea what is going on.  It was pretty rare that she would have tested negative in the shelter as a kitten and then turned positive later on.  It is even more strange that she flipped back to negative.  It could have been a false positive, but her red and white blood cell counts were dangerously low - which was evidence of the leukemia.  Kevin's going to run some more tests in a few months and do a bit more research to see if he can figure out what is going on, but for now I am content with the knowledge that our cat is not dying!  She is a fantastic cat and we both are really fond of her, so we are really happy.

Unfortunately for her that means she is now back to third class status (we left her alone during our trip with someone checking on her every few days and she was not happy about that at all) and now officially on a diet.  When we thought she only had a few months to live we gave her all that she wanted.  She put on 25% more weight, going from 6 pounds to 7.5.  My sister says the photo I posted here was misleading and she is really not that fat.  So I did a photo shoot with her (forgive the blurry action shots, I'm trying to learn the semi-automatic settings on my camera):

 (I really wish this one had been in focus)

Since she hates the diet food Kevin got her and will leave a lot of it uneaten, I have a feeling she'll be back to her fighting weight in no time at all.  She won't go back to eating salmon and tuna several times a week but at least she'll get better dry food.

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