I've read this forum without registering for a few weeks now so first of all thanks for all the helpful posts that have been made before now, there are some really knowledgable people on here and I'm sure your posts have helped lots of people

3 months ago we got 2 10 week old rescue kittens, Dixie and Tinkerbell. They had been starved to within an inch of their life by their mothers' owner but had been rescued by a local rescue centre. Dixie was the most loving cat you'd ever meet, and Tinkerbell the most playful, if a little shy of human contact at first - she's grown to accept us most of the time now though!

About a month ago Dixie got a runny nose, so we used the power of Google to find out how to treat her and managed to control her symptoms really well for a week before we took her to the vets who put her on antibiotics and sent us home. She'd fallen behind Tinkerbell in her development and growth, but was still gaining some weight, and when the antibiotics seemed to work for her, we were relieved. She even had a little growth spurt and started to finish off full bowls of food.

Last week she had a relapse, so we called the vet who said to do all the things we had done before and give it time, but yesterday she showed real signs of becoming very unwell. She was listless and lethargic as well as having a blocked nose that just wouldn't shift (wet cotton bud wiping, hot shower room, the usual stuff) so I took her in again. This time the vet was more concerned than before. She didn't have a temperature this time, which he said worried him, and she looked like she was giving up. He suggested we test for FELV and FIV as well as doing a general biochemistry set of bloods so we could find out why she was like this.

A few hours later I got the call that I was dreading. Dixie had FELV and was so weak that treatment would be unlikely to have any positive impact, and would be beyond our local vets so a hospital admission would be necessary.

We had a little cuddle and I held her paw as she went to sleep peacefully. Me and my girlfriend are still both devastated but we know that in her short life with us we had given her all the love in the world.

Her sister is still with us, and has always thrived - she is double the size that Dixie was and is playful and mischievous but since we left Dixie at the vets, she has showed signs of pining. She never meows (we thought she physically couldn't for a while!) but today she has paced our corridor crying and after sniffing the pillow that Dixie slept on at night spent five minutes looking under our bed covers to see if she was there. They were close, and Tinkerbell used to groom Dixie each night. They shared cuddles as well as a litter tray but ate out of separate bowls and knew which area they were fed in.

The vet said that we should get Tinkerbell tested for FELV as soon as we are ready, but I'm worried that if she has it then we will lose her too. Would a cat with FELV look healthy? Would a healthy looking cat with FELV need to be put to sleep? They were both indoor cats and we have no intention of changing that for Tinkerbell, so she wouldn't be a risk to other animals if she tested positive.

As far as I can tell, they never inflicted any penetrating bites or scratches on each other. We were always stroking them both and would have noticed anything major - and we have laminate flooring so I'm assuming blood would have dripped if they had done?

Sorry for the long post, but I wanted to give as much detail as possible so you guys could be of help

This was Dixie when she was well