My darling boy

Fig as a baby

I’ve been putting off writing this post. I know getting my thoughts down will help me let go, but it’s something I’ve been dreading all the same. So, this is my way of starting to let go of my sweet little man, Fig. He was the most darling little tiger cat. He was an unapologetic flirt. He had the most beautiful singing voice. He kept his big brother young. He stole everyone’s hearts. He didn’t give up without a fight. He will be sorely missed.

On Sunday afternoon, I found Fig severely dehydrated and in a bad way. I knew he was very sick, but I was sure it was something that a little doctoring would fix. I’ve been through so much bad stuff with my other cat, Ollie, and always gotten him on the mend that failing has stopped being a consideration.

Fig and Ollie, the most beautiful boys

Unfortunately, I’m now painfully reminded that I am not in control of everything. Our visit to the clinic on Monday morning revealed a terrible outcome. Fig was in severe renal failure caused by Feline Leukemia, an untreatable virus. The only option was to put him down.

It was a terrible decision to make. Especially since I’m completely wracked with guilt. FL is preventable. All it takes is a vaccine- a vaccine that I didn’t get the boys because they were always inside cats. When I made the decision to let them have the run of the farm, I forgot that they needed to be vaccinated against FL first. Fig’s death is down to a mistake on my part and that’s a hard thing to accept.

everyone’s favorite nap spot, the compost pile

The very worst bit is that the drama isn’t over. The rest of the cats could be infected also. Hemy and the kittens are the most likely victims, as FL is spread through bodily fluids, such as saliva, semen, and milk. Since Fig was the kittens’ father, there is a good chance that Hemy contracted the virus when they mated and the kittens were either born with it or will get it while nursing. We won’t have any answers until next week when Patrick, our farm vet, comes out to test them all.

So, the most mixed blessing is that the kittens were born the day before their father died and two of them look just like him- beautiful little orange and white tabbies. If they aren’t infected, this will be a good way to help mend my broken heart. If they are infected… well, I don’t want to think about that right now. The fact that I could end up loosing Ollie, Tommy, Hemy, AND the kittens after loosing Fig is just more than I’m prepared to deal with at the moment.

big, bad tiger kitty

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