Happy third birthday to our sweet, darling kitty, Pinchita! You may recall that Pinchita is the cat we adopted from Aruba a couple of years ago. She had some medical issues shortly after arrival here, the most discouraging of which was a lymphoma diagnosis and a prognosis of one or two months to live.
Fortunately, she's still alive and doing well! The diagnosis at that time was not definitive bc that would have required a biopsy and Pinchita was in no condition to have an endoscopy to get the tissue. She still hasn't had a biopsy; we've avoided it bco her continuing good health. Since she's been thriving, we haven't wanted to subject her to the endoscopy. And, if I recall correctly, her abdominal ultrasounds have improved since that first one that suggested intestinal lymphoma. She's been on prednisone since that initial diagnosis, just in case she really has lymphoma, but her dose has been continually tapered downward as time goes on. I believe she's currently receiving 1/2 mg every third day. At some point and unless she has problems, she'll go off it entirely and we hope she'll do well without it.
We really don't know when Pinchi's birthday is...we though she was a kitten when we first met her: she was so tiny at 4.75 lb.! (We weigh her weekly and she's now at 9.7 lb., just over twice her arrival weight.) A more thorough examination told us that she was a full grown (albeit undrenourished) adult and pregnant! We lump most of our cats into two birthdays, March 15th (yes, the ides of March) and September 15th, based on what we think is closer to their actual birth date. If we have no clue, we lump them in on March 15th. So, since we think Pinchi might have been slightly older than 1 year old when we met her, we put her birthday as March 15, 2009.
She is, of course, still positive for the feline leukemia virus, so she continues to reside in separate quarters:
She's a social being so she shares the room with Leo the rabbit. In the above picture, she's standing in victorious posture on top of Leo's cardboard castle. There's a screen door on the room, for two reasons:
- Bco of her sociability. Her positive feluk status means she can't come in contact with uninfected cats or their things. But she still likes to see them and they watch her sometimes, too. The screen isn't a 100% effective barrier; we are considering making the bottom half plastic or glass.
- It allows for better heat and a/c circulation. She could stand the poor circulation, but it was uncomfortable for us. Plus, once the bun arrived, we wanted to make sure it didn't get too hot or cold in there for him; he's more sensitive to temperature than she is.
As an aside, we could give the resident cats the feline leukemia vaccine, but it's not nearly as effective as we'd need it to be to feel comfortable letting them mingle. Also, there's the risk of vaccine associated sarcomas, which are overwhelmingly fatal.
Here she is in one of her cheesecake poses:
Is she or is she a fiiiiine looking cat? You know she is.