It is incredibly sad but I have to announce that Minnie the cat has died. I can now just about write this without flooding the keyboard with tears. She died on the 30th of December 2011.
Minnie was about 15 months old which is about 21 years old in human terms. She died of Feline Leukaemia which caused her thoracic cavity to fill up with fluid. We had the fluid drained which gave her a brief respite. When the laboured breathing started to get bad again, we decided to have her put down. I had never heard of this disease before the vet did an ELISA test which is a very quick way of diagnosing the disease using a blood sample.
She had probably had the disease from before we had her and it may have even been transmitted from her mother.
I realise now that it is a good idea to have a blood test done before getting any new cat. If the test is negative, then the cat should have an anti-leukaemia jab followed by a booster one month later and then a booster each year. Nobody tells you this at the time.
Information about Feline Leukaemia