It would be wrong of me in these strange times of 2020 to write of anything else but lock down and this dreaded Corona virus. I mean, it is like nothing this planet has seen before. Corona Virus is not a new thing, it has been around for decades causing the common cold in people and animals, except this particular strain of Covid-19, which is the disease. The new novel virus, SARS- CoV-2, has not seen before.and it is this causing all the trouble in people around the world. They are very smart viruses that sneak about infecting this and that in our natural world and are so called Corona as under the microscope they form little crown shapes and in themselves are quite beautiful.
Cats have a type of Corona Virus it is called FCoV (Feline Corona Virus) This is the virus that causes the dreaded and incurable FIP (Feline Infectious Peritonitis). Us cats have titre counts the same as people, it is a blood test in cats to see if we have been exposed to FCoV and in most cases we have and the reading is very low showing we have had a dose and fought off the virus and won, but could be shedding the virus daily to our cat family or we can never get it again. Then there are others of us who have a permanent high titre count and never shed the virus but just keep getting a dose of it from those invisible shedders in the house and this reads like a false positive. Then there are some of the unlucky ones who have caught the virus and the virus mutates into FIP (like Covid-19) and kills us with no cure.
Each time we go to a show or the vets we are exposed to FCoV just like humans will be exposed to Covid-19 everywhere they go, except we can not wear masks or protect ourselves, we just build up a family immunity to it if we should be so lucky. Each time we come home from a show, our show items are washed and we are wiped over with Leucillin or Safe4 which kill Corona virus. But, this is not really how it is spread. It is spread through our saliva, dropletts of nose vapor and more importantly, POOP! Our chocolate gold is the biggest contaminant known to kitties and having a cat litter that coats our poops at least reduces the amount of it exposed. But these little crowns are so minuscule, they stick to litter and then our paws, then we walk on the rug and spread them about with grooming and the next cat along picks them up on their paws, ingest them and hey presto - CONTAMINATED!
I am sure human scientists have looked at the poo passing of homo sapiens and have made links there too, but luckily for you lot - you don't have dirt trays! I truly believe it is not just airborne! But I am no scientist, just a mere feline. We can't wash our paws like you humans and washing paws would probably save many a cats life. Here at Maystar HQ every new kitty into the home has to be titre counted at our cost. in 2012 we very sadly lost an imported kitten to this awful virus and it all happened so fast. It was no ones fault, although, there is much stigma attached to the virus among cat breeders which I now find just a little ironic as now the whole world has it! Does that make EVERYONE dirty, filthy, disgusting individuals? No, but I bet in the breeders circuits, in the animal world, it still will be a terrible thing!
To show solidarity, and primarily we already HAD THAT strain of FCoV among us, Momma got Ikon from the same cattery. No biggy, it has been seven years and we all stuck together, despite a rocky start. Talking things over and helping each other is the way forward and it can be reduced in households, if not eliminated through PCR (Polymerase chain reaction). FIP is scary and terrifying and we luckily only lost the one cat and only had one shedder, Mr Zeus, who now lives close by with Liza and can not shed to anyone here. Liza even wears clean clothes when visiting kittens, she is so good. Because it is the same strain, we tested Ikon before he left Poland and like here it is present, but not rampant and hasn't been since 2013 when we became clear for the first time in two years. I don't mind talking about it, my titre is always below 100 count and never moved and we don't have any sneezing, chesty cats, runny butts, well except Flaire and her rice allergy, or any of the other symptoms at vaccination time with kittens poorly with runny eyes etc. So yes, we can talk about it so others may learn or even feel confident it can be dealt with if properly addressed.
Back to lock down. For us, really, nothing has changed. There are more of us, 10 now! How did THAT happen? Well, we kept three kittens from this years litters, one from each as insurance because we do tend to get neutered here a lot with pyometras, so Momma is taking no chances and by going out to a new established boy, we hope this will strengthen this part of the line. We live in hope!! Ikon had the 'Neuter-UM chip' in November 2019 so he could live inside with us all but he is a big pain in the proverbial, so Momma said we had better keep a boy to tide his boisterous behaviour over. He is such a clump foot, heavy pawed and likes to pounce and throttle. I DO NOT LIKE IT and spit at him and yell for Momma. He has scared me and scratched me badly so now I keep a safe distance. In reality, he is a sweet boy, just a bit heavy for such delicate catwomen! Magnus Rex, his son, get on great guns together and he is teaching Magnus the art of wrestling. Not my thing, I like running and chasing games.
Well, with all this chatter about chasing, I must go and check the front window as it is a Sunday and the neighbours have taken to cycling out. This means a good 15minutes where we all line up in the bedroom to get a good view of the inside of their immaculate garage and watch them wrestle out 4 bikes, pump tyres, check chains and mess about with rucksacks and hats and such like. It is such fun to see activity in the street other than the usual leaf, Blackbird or Pigeon rolling by. It is the highlight of the week now and Bolo, the neighbourhood cat even comes from two streets away to check out the excitement.
It is Sunday roast day too and we have one final piece of free range piggy left. That has been popped into the oven already for a super slow roast. Sadly, there is no light in the oven anymore so we can't watch it cook like the old days, we can only imagine it all succulent and follow our sniffers to the cooker door to get the odd porkie steam bath if it is opened and bask, eye masks on like a spa day, basking in it's soothing aroma.
Be safe, be kind and be full of life folks.
Much love from your adoring Queen Vee =^..^=