This is Layla, our 14-year-old, half Persian cat. We rescued her, when she was still very tiny, as the runt of an unplanned and unwanted litter (her mother was not meant to fraternize with the local feral tomcat, Layla and her two siblings were the result) and she is my first “baby”. That sounds silly, but when we got her, she was very frail and vulnerable. She was taken away from her mother before she was really properly weaned, and I hand fed her milk, for two weeks, until she was able to eat proper cat food, and cope. She also carries the Corona-virus which leads to Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FiP) virus and nearly died of FiP when she was almost a year old. Our vet calls her his 1 in 100 cat, because only 1% of cats with FiP survive and then don’t often live long. She was sent home, with us, basically to die, but surprised us all, and although she may carry a potentially life-threatening virus (her titers are very low, she is in remission, has been since she recovered from the initial illness) she is as tough as old boots. When we take her to the vets for her annual check-up, he always brings the student or new vets in to meet her, much to her disgust (she does not like people, the vet is her worst enemy) to teach them about FiP and what happens to cats who get it. She is our little furry miracle. Her blood samples have been sent to the USA, Sweden, and France, as part of research into Corona-virus in cats and FiP and she is part of an ongoing medical trial and program to find a cure.
She is grumpy, she doesn’t like many people and other than me she rarely lets anyone touch or stroke her. She is also older now, and potentially becoming frailer. This has hit me hard. She has been in my and our life for a long time. Longer than my children. I nursed her back to health, and she and I are partners in crime. She is not just a cat. She is my companion and she’s very special to us.
She talks to me, she gives me kisses, and she loves human food, Thai Green curry and rice or scrambled eggs on toast being her most favourite thing. She won’t let anyone else handle her, and in the winter, she and the husband battle for ownership of the bed and snuggling rights. She even has a small following on Twitter.
I am sure those who know me know, that I am very aware and conscious of all the dreadful things and sad events in peoples lives, and that yes, Layla is just a cat, but that she is important in this little corner of the world, to us, and we were worried for her. I am quite glad certain friends did not see the post or the comments, I am fairly sure a few harsher words would have been shared, in Layla’s defense, because she is loved, even if she doesn’t love back very well.
So, my “first world” “selfish” rant is this she is JUST a cat, but she is my cat, I adore her, she looks to us to look after her, and provide for her (even if she is quite rude and demanding about it) and we will do whatever we have to, to make sure she is comfortable, and as well as we can manage, for as long a time as she gives us. She is MY friend, and we have been through a lot together, I would be very sad if something happened to her. So, to those of you who think she is “just a cat”, that’s fine, but she’s just MY cat, and the blog would not have it’s name without her, and that’s that!
*For those cat lovers more knowledgeable amongst us, we knew when we got Jasper, how to keep him separate from Layla, so they did not share cat litter (Corona-virus is passed through faecal matter cat to cat) and he is free of the Corona-virus, and we take precautions so that they don’s share the same toilet spot, and have trained Layla to go in one place, and Jasper to avoid it. It can be done, it was hard work, but worth it to keep him safe and healthy. We took advice from our vet, who is a renown feline specialist and was happy for us to take in another cat, with Layla doing so well and her titer levels being almost none existent*