A blog about the restoration, remodel and renovation of a 1929 Chicago-style brick bungalow

The Post I Want to Get Over With

I’ve been putting off this post for a while, because it still upsets me so much: I’m very saddened to write about the deaths of our 2 young cats, Henry and Ella.


I never wrote about it, but back in December I took them in for a wellness check. Ella had some gunk in her eye that didn’t seem to go away so the vet gave me some drops which cleared it up. But as the weeks progressed they both also seemed to become finicky with their food and didn’t seem to be playing as much as young cats should. I could also tell that Ella had lost some weight and she had chronic diarrhea.

So in early January I took her back to the vet. A blood test showed that she tested positive for Feline Leukemia (FeLV), which was negative when I first brought them home from the farm. I had to then bring Henry in to be tested, but I already knew the answer: he was positive too. Needless to say I was quite devastated.

Long story short, I spent the next several months worrying about them: what they were eating or not eating, if there were any signs of illness, etc. Unfortunately, once a cat shows signs of FeLV, which can be anything from eye issues (Ella), gingivitis (Henry), digestive problems and more, their life expectancy is greatly diminished. And if they were infected as kittens like mine were, the odds are even worse.

I was sure that Ella would be the one to go first, as she continued to lose weight. Henry seemed pretty healthy, or so I thought.

In early April I sensed that something was not right with Henry β€” he really didn’t seem to be feeling well. Reluctantly I took him in and X-rays showed he had a mass in his abdomen which was likely lymphoma. We had no other choice but to put him to sleep that day.

At the rate Ella was losing weight I knew in my heart that she would not last past Memorial Day weekend, and in mid-May I thought I could feel a mass on her side. She also continued to have severe diarrhea which would not clear up no matter what I tried to do. We finally decided we had to say good-bye to her six weeks after we put Henry to sleep.

I thought for sure these were the kitties who would live long, healthy lives with us, but it was not to be. I won’t say there won’t be other cats in our future, but I must admit that I’m somewhat relieved not to have to worry about them anymore. I sure do miss them though.


  1. Laura on June 9, 2013 at 5:28 pm

    I’m so sorry. Losing a pet isn’t easy, but to lose two and so young? My heart goes out to you.

    Our two cats are 16 years old and are growing feeble. One can barely hop onto his spot on the bed anymore. I know well have to say goodbye to them in the not-to-distant future, but I just can’t face it yet. πŸ™

    • denise on June 10, 2013 at 9:18 am

      Thanks Laura. I still can’t really believe it. The 2 kittens my aunt took just a few weeks before I took mine were re-tested after I found out about mine and are still negative. I never took them outside so I know they didn’t contract it here.

      I know I gave them a much better life than they ever would have had, but it still hurts that it was so short. πŸ™

  2. Chris on June 10, 2013 at 2:05 pm

    It is a blow to lose a cat two FeLV. It has happened to us twice. When you lose them at a young age, they were often infected in-uterio and there is nothing that could have changed the outcome.

    Focus on the good memories and not there last days. They will live on in your memories.

    • denise on June 10, 2013 at 7:31 pm

      Thanks Chris. I’m sorry you had to go through it twice too. I thought they probably got it in-utero too, but it doesn’t explain why my aunt’s two, who I’m pretty sure are their litter mates, are still negative (unless it lays dormant in some cats for whatever reason). Either way it’s a horrible disease!

  3. Sharon on June 11, 2013 at 1:21 am

    It’s always devastating to lose furry children. I’m sorry.

  4. Christa C on June 13, 2013 at 7:49 pm

    So very, very sorry. It is always hard to lose a beloved pet, and harder when so very young. *hugs*

  5. denise on June 13, 2013 at 9:58 pm

    Thank you, Sharon and Christa. πŸ™

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