Last week we took Maggie in to get spayed and receive her last booster. I've posted before that she is our special needs kitten - she is pretty uncoordinated and deaf as a post (she completely ignores any high frequency sound, but seems to hear a little low frequency. She's attracted to the vacuum cleaner and the lawn mower. No, she's never out on the lawn.), and decidedly leans her head to the side. She seems healthy otherwise, though, so we didn't anticipate problems at the vet.
However, a couple of hours after we dropped her off, the vet called to tell us that Maggie's lungs had filled with fluid while she was under anaesthesia. They had given her some medication to help clear it up, but they weren't sure how she would respond. Luckily, the medication did the job, and we were able to bring a groggy, shorn little kitten home.
The vet told us that Maggie has a chronic heart condition which caused her lungs to fill up. Basically, when her system is stressed for some reason, her heart doesn't work as efficiently as it should and can't keep up with the added demands. There's no telling what will cause the stress to her system, but it's safe to say that general surgery will do it. The vet also hypothesized that Maggie's motor deficiencies are probably caused by blood clots in her brain. Looking back, this makes sense - she was pretty sick, which placed additional stress on her heart. She may have even had a stroke. She was a normal kitten before her illness, and it was only when she started to recover that she got so dizzy and her motor skills deteriorated. So our theory of cerebellular hypoplasia being the cause is probably not correct.
The vet went on to say that Maggie could drop dead at any time, but we aren't particularly concerned. Now that she's spayed, and getting older, there are very few chances that she will be traumatized by anything else. Our cats lead pretty sheltered lives. And even if something does happen, we'll know that we've given her a loving, happy, safe life. Except when she decides to join me in the shower!