It is with EXTREME happiness that I can report that out of the deeply painful and scarring experience of having our beloved kitten Kai die of Feline Leukemia…he did not pass it on to our other babies. After getting them tested (and waiting for the results…gah, what a terrible time that was!) Roane, Emily Dickinson, Solstice and Orca are ALL Feline Leukemia free!!!!! Natalie and I have cried many, many happy tears in the past few days.
But we’ve learned something VERY important out of all of this, something I’m going to pass on to you guys, because as someone who has volunteered SO MANY TIMES at shelters and done cat adoption awareness things, even *I* did not know this:
When you adopt a kitten, EVEN IF THE KITTEN HAS TESTED NEGATIVE for Feline Leukemia, if the kitten was given FL in utero from its mother, the FL virus will be UNDETECTABLE in that first test. You MUST test the kitten three months after adopting him, because he could be silently carrying the disease. This is what happened with Kai. He tested negative from the shelter we adopted him from, and he was riddled with lymphoma by the time he showed ANY symptoms of the illness.
Kai would have been unsaveable no matter what we did, or when we caught the disease…kittens who have such raging symptoms are one hundred percent incurable. No matter what, we would ALWAYS have adopted Kai–we loved him with our whole hearts–but if we’d known he was carrying the disease, we never would have let him be with our other cats, saving us so much heartache and fear that they were infected.
The tests we just got on our babies are not one hundred percent–we must test them in three months after Kai’s death, because the virus could be incubating and undetectable to the test right now. But, for the moment, we are so deeply grateful.
This has been a nightmare ordeal, full of so much pain and sadness. But, right now, our babies are safe. And that makes my heart full. ❤