We have decided to stop breeding cats for now. Unfortunately, our three-year journey has been filled with sorrow and tears. Late in the evening of the 11th of October, 2020 started the last leg of this path. Vilda, six weeks pregnant, vomited for the first time during her pregnancy. We thought, as with Violet, that this will pass and switched her food, controlled her portions, and made sure she kept on drinking. The next morning went well. In the afternoon-evening, things got worse again. On Friday morning we called the vet. They suggested bringing her in late in the afternoon. Later, they called us back, after deciding that it being Friday, it would be beneficial to bring her in already around lunchtime, if that would suit us. It did. After a thorough evaluation they said that Vilda most likely had a blockage in her intestines. She needed surgery, which would be tricky with six kittens in her belly. In the evening of Friday the 13th, a tiny piece of largely unraveled fabric was removed from her intestines.
After that, she fought. We got her back home on Saturday afternoon, feeling hopeful. The evening and night passed with us syringe feeding her regularly as instructed to keep her body going, encouraging it to accept food again. However, despite our best efforts, she became weaker and was taken back to the vet’s office on Sunday morning. After receiving alarming indications from tests, a decision on another operation was made. In that operation a widely spread infection was found. The kittens, Vilda’s uterus and a large part of her intestine were removed. After the operation, Vilda fought for another day, but on Monday morning, her body started to fail. She was put to sleep close to midday on Monday after it had become obvious that there was no more hope.
We understand that having bad luck is possible. But when there is one unfortunate incident after another, one begins to wonder. Maybe we aren’t meant to do this right now. Maybe it is a sign. Maybe it is fate. Whether it is some larger power that controls our lives or not, in the face of these terrible losses it becomes irrelevant. All those kittens we already loved, both Violet’s and Vilda’s, have moved beyond our reach.
We had hoped to give our children great learning experiences, caring for kittens, playing with them, seeing them grow and develop. Instead, we have been hit by setbacks from parasites to trouble getting pregnant, Violet’s miscarriage, Stormy apparently catching corona, then Violet losing 5 of her 6 kittens, with the 6th being declared dead prior to being revived, and finally losing Vilda's six kittens and Vilda herself. Instead of spending time with our kids and our kittens, laughing and playing together, we’ve went through countless hours of sleepless nights, fear, and sadness, sacrificing our attention for our children to put in on the cats.
11 out of 12. When looking at typical numbers for professional breeders, kitten mortality is just higher than 8%. For us it is closer to 92%. I suppose one could argue endlessly about this simplification, but to us, these numbers illustrate why we simply cannot continue. Anyone who knows us well, knows how fiercely we love our pets. We always go the extra mile to care for them and are heartbroken when something bad happens to a furry friend.
We are immensely thankful for our little Milla. She is our one survivor, our strongest warrior. She will move into the best possible home, S*Rytorps cattery, if all goes well, in January. There, she may one day have kittens of her own, continuing the line of our gentle and caring Violet.
For all of you who had shown interest in our expected kittens, we are very sorry. We truly wished for a different outcome, but we just cannot continue. There are too many painful memories, made in such a short time. For example, the clever and cozy birthing bed that Tristan built has mostly served as a sick bed. Not a single kitten has been born in it.
For you who have asked about stud services with Stormy, he will be available for visits for a short time around summer 2021, when his current chip has wears off, then we will get him sterilized. We’ll get back to you about this later.
Our wonderful Vilda. You were with us for less than three months. During those three months, you already got several new nicknames. My favorite, my name for you: Instapurr. I have never met a cat like you before. Quite often it happened - the moment I put my hand on you, you started purring. Even before I moved it at all. No matter if it was scrubbing, petting, or merely lifting you from one place to another, the smallest touch was a cue for you to start purring. It felt amazing. Also, you reminded me sometimes of my first cat Essi, following me from room to room, coming to lay on my newspaper. Within just those weeks, you touched us all in so many ways. We only wanted the best for you and did all within our power to help save your life. It pains us greatly that it wasn’t enough. You will be remembered. You will be missed.
Our huge gratitude goes to the vet clinic, Djurläkarna Nord, who have taken us in early Sunday mornings, answered our phone calls during weekends and nights, and even camped at the clinic to care for our cats for several nights and weekend days. We can highly recommend you and will do so in the future at every opportunity. Also, special thanks to Emma Berggren, who has helped us immensely during this journey, giving us advice, being there to listen to our concerns, and helping us through the worst times. Our two lovely ladies, born in your cattery, have been such amazing Turkish vans that our love for this breed will carry on forever.