Pet Stories

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Our Pet Story - Hearn Family

Our family has always had pets. We only used to visit our vet annually for each animal for their vaccinations. Before experiencing FIP our pet family consisted of 3 moggy cats, Mixi, Indiana and Tapi, a Shetland Sheepdog, Rimo and Ollie a cross Pomeranian/ Sheltie (although we think he is more Cavalier King Charles than Sheltie).

Our unique story began in August 2008 when Mixi had a stroke at 15 years of age and we had no alternative other than euthanasia. When Ollie’s next vac was due our vet noticed cataracts in his eyes at 18 months of age. He had always been an anxious and easy to rev up dog and we had put this down to coming from a puppy farm. We had tried various training methods and had even resorted to tablets to try and calm him without major success. As he was such a young dog we decided to spend the $5000 for the cataract operation. It was a success and although he still gets revved up he is a much happier dog.

Indiana then developed hyperthyroidism and we needed to treat him twice per day with methimazole paste on his inner ear. He was six months old when we got him as a rescue cat and although affectionate and trusting to our immediate family was very, very skittish of other people and would hide. This made travel as a family together impossible as one of us needed to apply the paste.

I had always loved Birman cats so a few months after Mixi’s death we contacted a breeder and bought a blue point Birman, Misty. The breeder had many cats and about 5 litters to choose from and we were able to see the parents. Although located in a suburban villa she had cat runs/ pens similar to what you would find in a cattery. At this time we were also offered a blue tortie kitten as the breeder was not having any enquiries about that colour of birmans. We decided to take one of her blue torties as well and named her Tilly.

In April 2009 Rimo didn’t want to get up one morning... he had quite bad arthritis which we had been treating with Glucosamine tablets. We had tried acupuncture without success. His quality of life had deteriorated and we made another heartbreaking decision to put him to sleep.

In May 2009 one of Misty’s eyes changed from blue to brown and our vet referred us to the Ophthalmologist where it was confirmed that she had Uveitis. He took several blood tests to try and source the cause and unfortunately the results showed a very high titre reading of the corona virus and therefore almost certainly FIP. We had never heard of this disease before in all our years of owning cats. . Untreatable, incurable, fatal and contagious... our worst fears. We decided then and there to euthanize Misty in the hope that it may save our other cats. We then had all the others tested for the corona virus. Results were that Tilly had very high levels, Indiana medium levels and Tapi only very low levels. We were devastated. We rang the breeder and let her know what had happened and that it had almost positively come from one of the kittens we had obtained from her. She was in denial and doubted that it was her kittens that had caused the issue and offered us another kitten. We were not prepared to take the chance and recommended that she have all her cats tested. We don’t know whether she ever did. Our vet explained that the corona virus may or may not mutate into FIP and there were no tests that could be done to find out whether this would happen. We spoke to other Birman breeders, one of which was also a vet and he said that it was not common for FIP to develop in other cats but recommended that we wait a few months until we replaced Misty. We thought this wise to do.

Wow 3 animals within several months..... 2 of which had been with us many years.

To hear more of the Hearn Family's story read on

 


Bella the schnauzer

Our dog Bella (aka Hairy Mc Clairy) loves to sit in our daughters car booster seat. Whenever we go out

together there is a race between them as to who gets in the chair first. Even if our daughter is not in the

Car, Bella will still sit in the booster chair. When they are both in the car they like to share the seat together.

- Brendon, Michelle, Georgia and Bella Rose.

Bayswater.

 

 


Alby the runaway Jack Russell

I have always heard these stories, but this time it happened to someone I knew. My nana lived in a little country town about 1.5 hours drive from the New Zealand city of Christchurch. She was down visiting family in Christchurch and Alby, (a little short haired Jack Russell) went for a walk and didn't come back. My nana waited for days and Alby didn't return - unusual for her. She drove back to Waiau in despair of ever seeing her dog again.I still remember the excited phone call we received about six weeks later. Alby had turned up in Waiau, pads on her paws basically gone, a former shadow of herself, but alive. She had managed to cover an area that takes a car 1 and a half hours, and get back to my nana. Alby was abused as a younger dog and one day just moved in with my nana, so she had an extraordinary loyalty to her. She was this fat little friendly dog and I never thought she would be able to do something like that. It still makes me smile today.

- Renee

 


 

My Deaf Cat

Visiting a cat hospital with a friend, I saw an advertisement for a beautiful pedigree lilac point Burmese cat that needed a home. She wasn't young, which was one strike against her. More importantly, however, she was congenitally deaf. Her pedigree name was Aurora Tequila Sunrise, but she was called 'Miss Tequila'.

My friend and I visited the woman who was minding her at home, because she was too stressed by the other cats at the cat refuge. She was overweight and dopey -- she appeared to do nothing but sleep.

Her minder told us 

* she only drank filtered water;

* she had a hot water bottle at bedtime; and

* she could not tolerate other cats, so must be an 'only' cat.

I agreed to all those conditions with my fingers crossed, and took her home, along with a boot full of her affairs. Once home, 'Miss Tequila' immediately became 'Defne' -- because she's deaf, and anyway she can't hear you so it doesn't matter what you call her!

Defne never tasted filtered water again -- in fact, she happily drinks out of a fishtank, and would probably drink out of the sink if she were athletic enough to get up there. She hasn't had a hot water bottle since she came here, though when bedtime is we don't know, since she seems to sleep 15-20 hours a day. And after we had her for two years, we adopted Indy, an inordinately clever and curious tortie Burmese kitten, whom she treated just like a kitten (she had had two litters before being desexed). They now behave together just like any two normal cats, grooming each other, fighting regularly and sleeping curled up together, as you can see in the photo.

Defne is not a normal cat. She is a lot more nervous than hearing cats, because she doesn't know what's coming at her. She was a show kitten, so she's used to being groomed, cosseted and treated like a queen. Being deaf, she has no idea what noises she's making -- especially when she runs around yelling in the middle of the night. She's not easy to train. She doesn't hear commands, and you have to get her attention before you can gesture. We don't think she's all that bright, even for a cat. But she has learned to jump up on the couch next to me when I pat it.

It's taken a while, but she has turned into a gentle, affectionate companion -- and we don't mind her very loud purrs.