A family of four in northern Saskatchewan is in mourning after their beloved cat was forced to die from a mysterious illness.
It all started in August 2016 when the owner discovered a small red kitten was having a heart attack.
The family says the cat was in a bad condition and it was only when they were told the cat had died from a strange illness that they were able to get to the bottom of it.
“I was like, oh, this is crazy, this cat is gone,” said Kristin Campbell.
“And then we found out that it was really a really bad infection.”
The family says they were shocked to learn their cat had been forced to go into cardiac arrest and died.
“We were like, ‘Oh my God, he just died?'” said Campbell.
The cat had had a stroke.
“We were shocked.
We were really shocked.”
The cat was the size of a small dog and the family says it was too small for its owners to carry around.
“The owner, the owner, is still working out what to do with it,” said Campbell, who lives in the area.
“It’s just sad.”
The cats health problems began around April of this year and were only discovered after the owners decided to remove the cat from their home.
“They didn’t tell us the reason, but they said they just wanted to take it outside,” said the family.
“They said, ‘We don’t have time to take care of it.'”
The owners say they had no idea their pet was so small and unable to survive outdoors.
The family is now asking for anyone who may have had contact with the cat to come forward.
“If anybody had any questions about the cat or its condition, we would love to get your contact information, because it would mean that we could do more to help this cat,” said Dr. Lisa Schmitz, from the local veterinary clinic.
“There are very few cats who have these kinds of symptoms.
So we need to be very careful with this information.”
The pet cat’s death was quickly followed by a devastating news story in which the family was inundated with grief and anger.
“It was so hard for us, and it made us really angry,” said Sarah Campbell.
The Campbells say they were not aware their cat was a carrier of a rare, rare disease called coronavirus, and they were devastated.
“This is a really hard time for us,” said Kelly Campbell.
Sarah Campbell says she’s been in and out of the hospital in recent weeks and says she has had to put up with more tests than she can count.
“To be out in public, it just makes you feel like you can’t do anything,” she said.
“But the more tests you have, the better you know that it’s probably not a serious disease.”
The Campbell family is not the only family affected by the sudden death of their pet.
A similar case has been reported in a Manitoba city.
“A lot of families in this area have been impacted,” said Schmitk.
“This is one of the hardest cases of pet death we’ve had in a long time.”
The provincial government has announced an investigation into the circumstances of the cat’s demise and is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to an arrest.