Friday, March 05, 2010

Ray Charles was diagnosed with a fatal disease

It's not a happy time here, as Ray Charles has been diagnosed with the incurable disease of feline infectious peritonitis. Feline infectious peritonitis is caused by a mutation of the ubiquitous coronavirus, causing a cat's abdomen to swell and the liver and kidneys to fail. "I thought he was too old to get that," I said to the vet. "I've had kittens come through who had that, but I thought he wasn't at risk."

The vet explained that the mutant, deadly form of coronavirus can lie dormant in a cat and then be released under great stress. Ray Charles, a shy cat who is greatly attached to me, underwent huge stress when I was hospitalized and Anton stayed with me, leaving my mother-in-law, a person Ray had never interacted with, in charge and Iris, another favorite of Ray's, hiding out in the master bedroom, endlessly video-Skyping to her mother's hospital room. When I returned, I was not acting normally, lying about calling for drinks and pain pills and not getting dressed, and I would have carried the harsh smells of the hospital. All of this stress probably triggered Ray's dormant coronavirus.

So basically it's my fault. Ugh. Ray is the most satisfactory of our pets, the sweetest and friendliest to family members. He's also not even two yet and had a very rough start to life, being found in a dump as a little feral kitten.

The children are devasted. "Why is God mad at RayRay?" sobbed Lola endlessly. Iris has renewed her faith in atheism. "If Ray dies, that proves there is no God."

12 comments:

hughman said...

it is not your fault. you had no way of knowing this would happen and you needed to go into the hospital to have surgery. i'm terribly sorry about ray and feel for all of you and the children but you should in no way blame this on yourself. things happen and often things happen that are out of our control but that excludes the concept of blame. you loved ray and the life he's had has been a good one.

Silliyak said...

I'm so sorry. You did nothing but give him a much better life than could have been expected given his initial circumstances. If you somehow blame yourself, then you would have to blame whatever caused you to become sick, eight years of Bush presidency, Sarah Palin, etc.
You are blameless and a hero to many.

K said...

Oh hon. Not your fault at all. The most tragic thing about kitties is our inability to communicate with them, so you could not reassure him. I'm so very sorry to hear this sad news.

Iriszilla said...

I did not "renew my faith in Aitheism," I never was not an Aitheist.

(click the Iriszilla link it takes you to a really awesome website,)

hughman said...

iriszilla, i think she meant renew like when you renew a gym membership. you're a member and you renew it , meaning you continue being one without a break.

also, i give your mom some credit during this tough time.

Amy said...

Oh Carole, I am so sorry! And I'm going to join the "it is NOT your fault!" chorus. It is not your fault you got sick, and it is not your fault there was stress in the house because stress is part of life and inevitable. It's only a question of when. Ray's fate was sealed a long time ago. The only thing that is your "fault" is that he had a loving home.

Alison said...

I'll chime in with the Not Your Fault chorus. Also, it's a tribute to the lovely home you gave Ray Charles that he lived this long - it sounds like any major stress could have set his illness off much sooner.

Marketeer said...

I'm so sorry about poor little Ray Charles, but it wasn't your fault. It could have been anything that caused him stress. Big hugs.

Dread Pirate Davi said...

I'm sorry, but everyone's right, it's not your fault. You took the poor guy in and gave him a good home. It's a short life he's had, but a good one with a loving family.

Anonymous said...

What a great resource!

Jenn said...

You have my deepest sympathies. I must echo previous comments - this is not your fault!

Dread Pirate Davi said...

How is Ray doing? I kinda dislike my previous comment. We lost our 17-year-old male Blue Persian, Figaro, yesterday, and my previous words to you now seem hollow and superficial. I sincerely hope you're allowed as much time with him as possible. You never realize the impact a beloved pet has on your life until they aren't around anymore.