I want to tell you the story of Shuri, our little Warrior Princess, the black kitten that we fell in love with and that we have been trying to nurse back to health for the past year. She had to battle numerous health issues since she was 2 months old, some have put her life in danger, some have tested all our patience and resistance but we are all fighters and we are not giving up.
Last year in May I decided it was time we adopt a cat, I convinced my husband and started to look for a kitten. I really wanted to adopt a black cat because I know they are the last to get adopted. We found an add online with the last black kitten from its litter and we decided that was it – we’ve found what we wanted. We picked her up late one night from her owner and brought her home. She was a scrawny little fur ball with cloudy green eyes. She was so tiny she could fit in one hand.
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We decided to name her Shuri because we’d just watched Marvel’s Black Panther movie and we wanted a strong female name for her. It was destined to be this name, given all the health issues she has and how brave she’s been through it all. She is truly Shuri The Warrior Princess.
This is one of the first pictures of her. She was so tinny we were afraid not to step on her by accident. She was only 500 grams (1,1 pounds) when we adopted her, she was probably the last born and the smallest.
After one day in her new home, we took her to the vet to check if everything was alright. To our surprise, she had a fever so the vet gave her some injections to lower the fever and to treat the cause of it. Little did we know this was only the beginning of our one year struggle to save her life.
Just 2 weeks after we got her, she had to be hospitalized because the fever was worse than the first time, her eyes and nose were badly infected. The diagnosis was feline Herpesvirus infection or Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis. She probably got the infection when she was born, or soon after from her mother or the litter she was is. She was so fragile and weak, she had to be put on IV.
We found an amazing team of doctors at Speed Vet who took great care of her and helped her get better. They have been there for her in the past year and helped us deal with all the health issues she had.
During her stay at the vet, they discovered some other problems she had. She had a fungus on her skin that was causing her to lose her fur. Unfortunately, we also got infected with the fungus so the whole family was under treatment.
After 3 months of trips to the vet and dermatologist, dozens of pills and a couple of scares, we thought we were done, healthy and happy. But when she turned 6 months old we started to notice some strange blood spots on her eyes and ears. After doing some blood tests she was diagnosed with Immune Mediated Thrombocytopenia – a condition in which the body’s immune system attacks and destroys blood platelets. This meant that in case of surgery, a severe fall or blow she could bleed out.
We battled this for another 6 months. It was very hard for all of us. The treatment gave some serious side effects and we had to be very careful with her.
Because her immune system was suppressed by the treatment, she got infected with the fungus again. So we had to fight with the fungus and the immune disease simultaneously.
She stopped growing when she was about 6 months old. Since then she has maintained the same weight (2,6 kg – 5.7 pounds). We think that it’s because of all the health issues she had and all the treatments she went through. She is about half the size of a normal cat but fortunately, that isn’t dangerous for her health.
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She is one year old now and we can say that she is fungus free and she was healthy enough to be sprayed. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find the cause of the immune disease so it’s possible it can reappear anytime, but we are hoping for the best.
It was a very hard and stressful year for all of us, but we are incredibly grateful she is alive and healthy and we enjoy every minute with her. We love her so much and we can’t imagine life without her.
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Despite all the health issues, she is a very happy and playful cat. She runs around the house like she is a puma, she spends a lot of time at the windows birdwatching. She loves to cuddle with us, naps in our arms after we get home from work and only sleeps between us in bed. She likes to wake us up very early in the morning to play with her, chews on our ankles and, like all cats, she loves to hide in boxes and paper bags.
This one is called the Shurizaurus pose. She still has the IV mittens here.
She has a great personality. We love to dress her up and take photos of her and most of the time, she collaborates. I particularly love, when I manage to capture her pink tongue in action.