Rhinotraceitis

Below is a story that one of fans shared with us. It is a great example of the challenges and joys that cats can bring to our lives.

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This is the true story of a special journey.   I’ve had many cats but none like Emmie.  She came into the world on a farm with her greatest loss, her mother.  The three premature kittens were true survivors.  Before they should have been able to try out their wobbly legs, they made it to aEmmy3 place in the field where their cries could be heard by a farmer.  He waited to see if Momma cat would be back, but fearing their eminent death, he brought them to a veterinary clinic nearby and that’s where the story of the “Wendys” begins.  My friend Wendy has a passion for rescuing.  She is a veterinarian at that clinic where the farmer brought the three kittens. Since they needed 24 hour care, Wendy brought them home.  They were full of everything life threatening, i.e., parasites, fleas, Rhinotraceitis, and being anemic from their premature birth, so survival didn’t look promising.  Wendy and her daughter Nicole gave all they could to help the three kittens survive.  Emmie was the littlest and the sickest.  She weighed in at .04 of a pound at  2 weeks.  They were a mess.  All of the kittens had Rhinotraceitis (one of the respiratory diseases the distemper vaccine prevents).  They contracted Rhinotraceitis (otherwise known as feline herpes) in their mother’s womb.  Every morning Wendy told me she expected to come downstairs to find them dead.  It wasn’t the first time some of the kittens she tried to rescue didn’t make it.  Bathing was frequent.  This is about where I came in.

I had lost my two cats within the previous 6 months and decided due to financial concerns, not to adopt another cat.  Wendy was trying to get the kittens adopted but they were passing the respiratory illness back and forth.  I offered to foster whichever one was most ready to be separated.  Ironically it was Emmie.  Who could have known the road ahead!  Emmie arrived in my apartment on Labor Day of 2016.  She was 2 months old and weighed 2.9 lbs.  Let’s take a moment for a reality check.  Who can take in a kitten like Emmie and then give her back!  With fear and in trepidation I couldn’t let her go to a shelter.  I had no clue what I was getting myself into but I knew there was a major learning curve ahead and I was not on the high end of it!  Emmie was sneeze free for about 2 days but then the symptoms came back full blown.  At the risk of offending readers, there is no way to describe rhinotraceitis at it’s worse.  I learned what “snot flying” really meant and what “snot bombs” were. The bombs were sneezes that produced so much air born infectious excretion that Emmie’s head, face, eyes, and everything in close proximity was covered.  “Snot flying” was just that, sneezes that managed to project to lengths beyond human comprehension.  On top of this she had a cough that was not asthmatic, however, I couldn’t identify it’s cause.  At a veterinary visit I learned cats do get post nasal drip coughs!  Who knew???

After 5 rounds of antibiotics with no success, my veterinarian suggested essential oil diffuser therapy.  I felt horrible.  I would put her in the bathroom for one hour three times a day, which was difficult since I work in an office 45 minutes from my house. She showed some improvement but not enough to call her close to being cured.  So we sought out a holistic veterinarian next and went the route of supplements and specific foods.  She got better but not close to cured.

Emmie definitely has Siamese in her by the shape of her face and her over the top intelligence.  When the light is shining just right on her, her undercoat is perfectly tiger stripped will all the markings.  This little black bundle of energy and joy had me on an emotional rollercoaster.  I would think, I’m not sure I can do this.  I don’t know if I’m the one to keep her.  Those closest to me said,  “yes, I was the perfect one for her.  She was given to me for a reason.”  I thought of her possibilities and I couldn’t give her up.  You see I have disabilities.  I have found conventional treatment to fail me in many ways.  I had to seek out other naturopathic interventions to survive along with very unconventional meal plans.  I was told I would not live past 30 years old.  I’m 61 and healed from what was to take my life and continuing my healing process.  That made is so I knew Emmie could make it.  She, thanks to Steve’s Real Food, has her health back.  She is a certified assistance animal and totally cured.  How did we get from diffusion therapy and supplements to cured?  Steve’s Real Food!!  I was at the end of options for Emmie.  Her brother and sister had long shook this virus and were well.  Emmie just couldn’t.

It was so frustrating to hear each veterinarian say,  “she is so healthy I can’t figure out why she can’t kick this virus out of her system.”  At two months old when I took her to my veterinarian, I begged for answers Emmy was only 2.9lbs, and covered with well…….you know what!!!! ” Im veterinarian assured me that Emmy was strong and would get better.  She assured me we would work together as a team to get her well.  About a year and a half from that day, with no more options,  I sat with Emmie Grace as she looked at me with those deep yellow gold eyes, I cried and told her I wouldn’t give up on her.

I emailed to my naturopathic doctor in desperation.  “What do I do, do you have any ideas?”  The reply was what my heart longed to hear. It read, “I just adopted 13 kittens with rhinotraceitis virus and they are all well.”  I sat in excitement, amazement, renewed hope, and the picture in my mind of 13…. well…. profusely expectorating kittens!!!!!  I quickly responded and said tell me how!  He said “a strict diet of Steve’s Real Food! ”

Emmy-2In no time I was on the telephone with Tera from Steve’s.  We worked at transitioning Emmie from her high quality, grain free canned cat food to raw.  Patience is the word I was told to kept in mind.  Emmie Grace’s transformation was amazing!!!  Sneezing began to lessen.  CoughingEmmy1 became almost nonexistent.  Within about 6-8 weeks I watched her body detoxify and transform before my eyes.  Emmie and I both enjoyed her healing as the symptoms disappeared.  Feeding raw has put me on a new learning curve.  Emmie is beautiful and has demonstrated her miracle to a couple of my close friends who helped me out during the day with her.  Everyone marvels at her beauty and health.  Even in the darkest hours, at my very core I was so certain she had the capability to fight this disease.  I knew deep inside it was about holding on and finding the right source of help for her.  I learned a lot about faith, patience, acceptance, determination, loving and enjoying her in her illness, and staying optimistic while holding out for healing.  Ironically Emmie helped me experience grace in a way I hadn’t understood.  Hence her name…..Emmie Grace.  To everyone I meet and have the opportunity to talk about feeding raw to their animal companions, I recommend Steve’s Real Food.   I appreciate the quality of Steve’s Real Food, their total commitment, assistance, resources, and expertise they offered both Emmie and myself during the transition and healing process.  Now instead of searching for answers for my sick kitten,  whenever and wherever I have an opportunity, I share this deep passion…….If I knew years ago what I know now, every animal I ever had would have been eating raw!!!

Many thanks to everyone at Steve’s Real Food along with much heartfelt appreciation for walking this journey out with Emmie Grace and me.

Wendy Braun