Fighting FPV… a deadly cat disease

Before a new litter of tiny kittens comes wriggling into the world, you can only try to predict what you’re going to get. Will they be male or female? Black-haired or tortoiseshell? Adventurous or laid-back?

It doesn’t really matter to us. At MEOW Foundation, we embrace each and every kitten that pitter-patters into our lives. Of course, the one thing that we do wish for prior to a birth is that the little ones will be healthy. Sadly, this isn’t always the reality.

Born in late March, Conan, Ciarra, Finlie, Fionna and Orlla came into this world squirming and meowing, just like any other. Unfortunately, it turned out that they were a little bit different. Four of these kittens were later diagnosed with Panleukopenia – a severe feline virus that causes gastrointestinal, immune system, and nervous system disease.

For two of them, the fight was too much. We said goodbye to them shortly after diagnosis. Indeed, their time on this earth was extremely short. Yet, thanks to the care of both their mother Cadie and their devoted foster Mom, their lives were brimming with as much love and kindness as any long life could ever hold.

Remaining kittens Conan, Ciarra and Orlla had a very tough battle ahead after losing their siblings. Despite this, Team MEOW, loving Foster Mom Cathy and feline Mom Cadie were ready to fight it with them. They say it takes a village to raise a child and we believe the same goes for ill kittens!

This tiny trio returned to the Adoption Centre, where we kept a very close eye on them for a few weeks. While Conan and Orlla had tested positive for Panleukopenia, they were not showing any symptoms, but we needed to monitor them to ensure they did not arise. As Panleukopenia is extremely contagious, they were put under strict quarantine at the Adoption Centre during this monitoring period. They were isolated from all cats and humans, with the exception of one caregiver wearing PPE.

Those early days were wobbly – literally! However, while these tiny siblings were unsteady on their feet in the beginning, they soon found their strength and began to look and act like kittens for the first time. Their days were no longer consumed by vet visits, and wrestling and playing became part of their daily activities. Of course, even when things were looking up, we continued to monitor them for quite some time. Thankfully, these kittens did manage to prove that one can be small as well as mighty by pulling through! The moment that they tested negative for Panleukopenia was a huge victory for all.

Conan, Ciarra and Orlla then returned to their foster home, where they gained strength and curiosity by the day!

“Orlla is an adventurer. I had a baby gate in the door when I would go in. It took her about five minutes to figure out how to climb it and escape!” says Cathy.

Conan, Ciarra and Orlla soon learned how to do many more grown-up things, such as using the stairs, as Foster Mom Cathy, cat Mom Cadie and resident cat Aunt Sam cheered them on. Once they were old and strong enough, the kittens were put up for adoption and unsurprisingly, they attracted plenty of attention. We are delighted to say that they are now settling into their forever homes. Who knows what adventures they’ll go on next?!