2023, February 24th
Here we would like to tell you about our brave male Rossato, who came from Greece to Germany in August 2022 and already found his new home in November and is now called Rossi. He first overcame his anaemia (caused by mycoplasma) and a few other problems at our foster home, had his teeth cleaned and was eagerly awaited by his adopter.
He found a buddy there in tomcat Meo. And Meo, also FeLVie, no longer had to be alone after his previous companion Sam unfortunately left him.
Adopter Sandra was in close, cordial contact with us from the very beginning and pulled out all the stops to overcome the initial mutual German-Greek scepticism of the two heads of character. And she achieved what Brussels politicians still cannot manage today: Harmony and unity between Europeans who are so different from each other!
Until fate struck again.
Recently, Rossi’s anaemia returned with terrible force. Rossi became apathetic, his blood values plummeted.
But Sandra did not give up. A blood transfusion and rapid treatment with antibiotics, interferon and erythropoietin (EPO) saved Rossi’s life. We stayed in contact with Sandra the whole time, the further roadmap was set up with the doctors and Rossi showed courage to live again.
However, the regular check-up revealed worse blood values again shortly afterwards. A second blood transfusion became necessary, the medical timetable is tightened, and after intensive consultations in the relevant groups, Sandra starts treatment with RetroMAD1. This drug is a new approach and one of the last hopes for FeLVies – similar to GS for FIP.
For us it is clear: we will continue to stand by Sandra’s side to help our former foster cat! We want to leave no stone unturned as long as there is even a glimmer of hope and Rossi does not have to torture himself in the process.
We make contacts and gather information – many eyes see more than two, existing networks can be used more quickly.
But to put it bluntly: Rossi’s treatment will take longer and cost a lot.
Fortunately, Sandra has already received donations from some friends and acquaintances. We now want to help her get more publicity and use donations more efficiently.
We have already organised the latter. In this emergency and because it is one of our fosterlings, we were able to agree with the treating clinic that an animal welfare discount will be taken into account in the bills.
We also set up a PayPal donation pool, which is completely free of charge thanks to our non-profit status.
We will coordinate the donations for Sandra, can make advance payments on invoices and take the burden off her to take care of this as well.
Of course Sandra and we will keep you up to date!
Let’s help the lovely Rossi together to use all the chances that are offered to him!
2023, February 25th
Rossi had his second blood transfusion yesterday, which he tolerated very well, and is now back home.
But before we report news about Rossi, our attention goes to his buddy Meo. Sandra wrote about him:
„With all the worry and struggle about Rossi, I am also very concerned about Meo not losing another friend. I’m sure I’ve already mentioned how unbelievably great, sweet and social Meo is, who is happy as a lark when he’s allowed to roughhouse, but immediately withdraws in a friendly manner when his buddy isn’t doing so well. No exclusion, no insecurity, no attack, just being there in a loving way.“
For Rossi, we now hope that yesterday’s blood transfusion will have a better or longer effect than the last one 10 days ago. What is different this time is that he is already receiving EPO, interferon and cortisone, which will hopefully increase the effect; last time he only received this three days later. In addition, the antibiotic has now had more time to do its job (he is still getting it, of course). Next Wednesday we will have another check-up at the vet clinic. Ideally, the haematocrit should have risen again by then.
He is taking his medication quite well with snacks, he seems to know what is good for him.
For the first time in many, many days, Rossi showed interest in the balcony again. He hopped onto the scratching post in the sun. Meo, of course, doesn’t let his buddy out of his sight!
Rossi is also not averse to little feline cheats, and he is looking much more alert again!
2023, February 26th
The planned treatment with RetroMAD1 can start, the first delivery came surprisingly fast!
The medicine has to be given three times a day. Sandra is now considering which rhythm works best for Rossi and also for herself, taking into account her working hours. She also first has to see how willingly or with what tricks Rossi accepts the medication, which has to be administered orally, because it tastes quite bitter. Since the treatment lasts 90 days, a ritual would be helpful.
Rossi has already found his ritual. „If I have to swallow medicine, then please do it here in this square.“
Meo prefers to watch the whole thing from an unreachable height.
Fortunately, Rossi is not at all resentful. Especially not when Sandra is working in the kitchen and this place is so close that you can quickly get something tasty there – loosely based on Wilhelm Busch’s Frommer Helene: „… every young man has a penchant for the kitchen staff.
Sunday lives up to its name. Rossi is very relaxed – at 3 degrees, but sunny.
2023, March 2nd
Administering the various medications and also taking care to maintain certain intervals before and after feeding presents Sandra with some challenges, which do not diminish with the strict observation by the cats.
After the second blood transfusion, Rossi was still much more alert than before. There were already play approaches with Meo again – still nowhere near as active as before, but still! You can even smack Meo behind the ears if he dares to join you on the table. But that’s Rossi’s place!
On March 1st, I had another check-up. Unfortunately, the most important value at the moment, the haematocrit, had dropped again. We had hoped that it would at least have stabilised. However, the overall value was higher than after the first transfusion. The medication must have had a little effect after all. And unfortunately it takes a lot of time to fight anaemia.
But you can imagine that Sandra’s mood was not the best yesterday, and of course we had hoped for a better result. But Rossi is not suffering, so the treatment will be continued and checked again at the beginning of next week.
Sandra writes: „… the fight goes on, even if it feels really tough for the first time. But since there is no other option, giving up is not one either – as long as Rossi wants it, I want it too. If I gain the lasting impression that he doesn’t want to anymore, he won’t suffer. But we’re not there yet.“
We are keeping our fingers crossed for our red heart cat and continue to stand by Sandra’s, Rossi’s and Meo’s side!
2023, March 10th
At the next check-up on 7 March, it turned out that the haematocrit had unfortunately decreased even more, contrary to all our wishes. After really intensive deliberations with both the doctors and us, Sandra did not want to give up the very last shred of hope; another blood transfusion was arranged for 8 March.
Sandra has Rossi around her all day and can judge whether Rossi herself has no more strength and will. Rossi was getting weaker again due to the anaemia, but he has not given up on himself yet.
The third transfusion raised the crucial value again, even a little stronger than the transfusion before. At the same time, the antibiotic that is supposed to help against his mycoplasma was stopped. He is now on a different one, the one that had worked well for him before he was placed in his foster home.
Of course we still wish with all our hearts that Rossi will get back on his paws!
But after the experiences of the last few weeks, we have to be honest and say that our optimism has been very much dampened. For Sandra it is a tightrope walk between „what can be done“ and „is this causing Rossi stress and suffering“, and for all of us it is connected with the anxious waiting for the next check-up in the middle of next week.
A small consolation in all this is that Rossi is not at all resentful, but after every treatment or every visit to the doctor he picks up his attention again very quickly and very cuddly!
With the support Sandra receives through donations, there are also delicious gifts for Rossi himself, with which he is of course pampered (and Meo gets some of it too):
2023, March 24th
Rossi is finally enjoying the sunshine thanks to Sandra’s loving care, and he discovered a little heating mat for himself on cooler days.
However, Rossi has become quieter and quieter in the last few weeks, he hasn’t been on the catwalk for a long time. His buddy Meo is very considerate towards him, he doesn’t push Rossi but is just with him.
So the days passed after the third blood transfusion until the check-up on March 15th.
Our tiny little hope that the new antibiotic, which had helped him at his foster home, had worked, was unfortunately cruelly dashed. His blood count had dropped even more than the transfusions before. In addition to the mycoplasma, which also lead to anaemia and against which the antibiotic was supposed to work, the FeLV infection had now probably finally broken out.
With this shattering realisation, Sandra could now do nothing but spare Rossi further exhausting visits to the doctor and give Rossi as long as possible a happy time and then accompany him on his final journey:
„I am not surprised or horrified, just very sad, but I have been prepared for this for a while now. It’s unfair that this young magnificent cat doesn’t have a chance, but we’re going to have some nice days now, as long as Rossi is doing reasonably well. The stress for him with constant visits to the clinic will stop now. When the time comes, I’ll have a vet come to the house.“
On Sunday March 19th, however, he began to suffer audibly from breathing problems, so Sandra could only take him to the clinic to save him from worse.
„Rossi… a cat like no other, a daredevil, a cuddler, a climber, a gourmet, a gourmand, an outgoing, fearless cat, who only wanted to play, eat, cuddle and scuffle. So sweet, so guileless, always forgiving everything, never holding a grudge, one treat and all was well with his world.
Rossi… a cat who never had a chance, who was dealt a very bad hand by fate. I could scream with rage that he was beyond help. I’ll yell. Later.
But now I weep for him, for all anger does not help – not him, not me. All I could do was hold his paw and press the last of thousands of kisses on his forehead as he took his last breath. The anaesthetic took effect within a few moments, he died even before the heart injection came, he was so weak.
I couldn’t even let him die at home, he started breathing heavier, more audibly today and I never wanted to risk him suffocating, gasping for breath, while I was asleep or in the office.
Rossi, give my love to Sam and tell him he is still missing too. Love you both!
On Wednesday he will be buried in a garden at someone’s house who loved him no less than I did. Thank you!“
Lieber Rossi, auch wir sind untröstlich, dass Dir nur so wenig Zeit in einem liebevollen Zuhause vergönnt war. Du solltest doch Deine Chance, nicht als kranker Streuner irgendwo auf Andros enden zu müssen, nutzen können!
Wir sind der Pflegestelle sehr, sehr dankbar, die sich nach seiner Ankunft in Deutschland voller Zuwendung um ihn kümmerte, so dass er dort seine Anämie besiegen und vermittelt werden konnte.
Wir finden keine Worte für das, was Sandra auf sich nahm, um Rossi dieses Glück zu geben, endlich angekommen zu sein und ein behütetes Leben zu schenken, bis irgendwann die tückische FeLV-Infektion ausbrechen würde. Dass dies nun schon vier Monate nach seinem Einzug bei Sandra geschah, entsetzt uns zutiefst.
Sandra, wir trauern mit Dir und sagen aus tiefstem Herzen „Danke!“, dass Du Deinem Rossi, unserem Rossato, so lange es ging, ein geborgenes Zuhause voller Liebe gabst und auch seinen letzten Weg mit ihm gemeinsam gingst.
Wir trösten uns mit dem Gedanken, dass Rossi immerhin ein kleines Glück gefunden hat. Auf Andros hätte er in seinem anämischen Zustand, infiziert mit Mykoplasmen und FeLV, wohl nur wenige Wochen überlebt. So aber konnte er immerhin noch fast 8 Monate geborgen und umsorgt erleben, was es bedeutet, ein liebevolles Zuhause zu haben – sowohl auf der Pflegestelle als auch bei Sandra.
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