A cat in the abstract is entirely different from a cat lounging in front of you acting as if he owns the whole bed, the whole apartment, and the whole world (as my cat is currently doing now). I knew this, of course, before we got our kittens, having had a strange and possibly insane cat named Marmalade for a short space of time. And the internet is always buzzing with something about a cat. (Got room for one more, Internet? He’s seriously cute.)
So really, between the “My Cat was the Best Decision of My Life Let Me Post Ten Thousand Pictures of Her” posts and the “Eep! My Cat Is Going to Kill Me I Need Therapy” posts, I should have gotten a fairly good idea of the realities of keeping a cat…or two, in our case.
But no. I went on and on and on and on about how cute they were, how cuddly they’d be, and no, no, cleaning the litterbox wouldn’t be a problem at all, what a ridiculous notion!
Well anyway, after all of that “Oh my goodness look how cute these kitties are we have to get them oh please can we” stuff, we decided to get one—just one—Bengal kitten. Bengals are supposedly hypoallergenic, which was their main selling point, because my husband is allergic. That, and they were adorable. Long story short, we ended up getting two—Talia and her best friend, her brother (who we originally thought was a girl) named Knight.
Poor Knight has had problems ever since he became an unexpected addition to our family. Ear infections, cat colds (who knew?), and now, this.
One day he seemed perfectly fine, the next, he wouldn’t stop throwing up. Then he stopped eating and drinking. He lost a pound in one week, which for a seven month old kitten is like a 180-pound man losing 30 pounds in the same amount of time.
We visited our vet repeatedly, and nothing worked or was even apparently wrong. Thousands of dollars, three vet trips, and one specialist later, something was finally found in his intestine—something nobody had ever seen before. We don’t know if it’s a parasite. We don’t know if it’s cancer. He’s on three medications right now that are meant at least to stabilize him if they can’t cure him.
Here’s the thing: Knight was one of those kittens that is probably chosen last. Bengals are picked for their coats—and Knight is a melanistic Bengal, so he has spots, but they don’t show up because he’s jet black. He has the same genetic mutation as a panther—which sounds awesome, except nobody buying a Bengal wants a Bengal that just looks like a black cat. He might not have even found a home at all—and what would someone else have done, in our shoes, with a kitten with inexplicable health problems and a mounting list of vet bills? I don’t want to think about that. We love him. We want to do our best to take care of him. We didn’t plan for him, but he’s ours.
With all of that in mind, and with the need to pay down the vet expenses both present and possibly future, my husband and I set up a fundraiser on Go Fund Me. Please keep him (and us!) in your thoughts and prayers, and we’d love if you’d like to contribute even just a little bit to help cover the cost of his expenses. You can donate here and read more particulars about his story.
Having our kitten get this sick was definitely not something for which the internet prepared us—but neither did it prepare us for just how cute he (and his sister) would actually be!