She's been here about 6 weeks. She arrived while I was on a road trip with my sister. I was only gone for 2 weeks on that trip, but a lot happened on the foster cat front in my absence. One whole cat came and went. This cat was a Russian Blue, the same as our very first beloved cat, Milos (rest in peace). My husband felt a little sad to let her go, so Eva (the woman from the rescue group we work with) pulled another gray cat from the Animal Control kill list to replace her. Steve bonded with this new gray cat as well. New gray cat (aka Dying Cat, aka Violet) initially seemed mostly just very underfed. Skinny as hell, and with the already mentioned health problems, but not anything that love, devotion and food couldn't fix.
But after a couple weeks she wasn't putting on any weight. She seemed, in fact, to actually be losing weight. Petting her was like stroking a steel folding chair. All sharp angles and hard edges.
I took her to the vet. Then I took her to another vet. Long story short: Feline infectious peritonitis.
According to her shelter record, she was owner surrendered. My guess is that her owner knew she was sick and couldn't or wouldn't deal with it.
When we first decided to foster cats, I knew that practicing detachment would be key. Providing affection and care, of course, but with a constant understanding that they would be temporary boarders. That we would function as a conduit - a happy in-between place. And understanding, as well, that there would always be more. Always more. As soon as one cat went out the door, another could come in.
But Violet will stay, for however long she has left. And I try not to be sad, because being sad is useless.
It is rainy and gray today, truly chilly for the first time this season. The sun is setting earlier and earlier and I try not to take it personally.