Finally (and thankfully), we have a diagnosis for dear Wylla. She has Megaesophagus, which is a pretty rare condition to find in a cat. It's not the greatest news ever, but things could have been much worse.
With this condition, which is most likely congenital, her esophagus isn't functioning properly and it's unable to move the food into her stomach at a quick enough pace. This often causes vomiting and can lead to more complicated things like Aspiration Pneumonia.
There's not really a cure for Mega-E, although sometimes kittens can grow out of it, we just have to learn how to manage it. We've been doing that with medications and by controlling her food intake.
She has to eat five to six small meals each day. To help with digestion, we have her eat standing up - this way, gravity can help pull the food into her stomach. I've rigged a little dining table for her using a few stacked books and a box. Her plate is placed on top of the stack, and she's able to stand up, stretch out, and easily eat from it. This works for now, but I'll build something that functions better soon.
After each meal, she must be held upright for 10 - 15 minutes to help the food pass. I set the timer on the kitchen stove, pick up Wylla and hold her vertically against my chest and we go for a little stroll around the house. Surprisingly, she's not wiggly and is happy being held. She knows already that when the timer starts beeping, our stroll is over, and she will squirm a little until her feet touch the ground. She seems to have some sense that it's for her own good and is always patient.
Since we started with the the upright eating, things have improved, and vomiting which was daily before, is infrequent now.
You can tell she's feeling much better - she's playing more and playing harder. Before she would shy away from wrestling matches with her sister, and now she's instigating them.
Audrey has crossed over the two-pound mark, and is scheduled for spay surgery this week. She has found her family, and will be leaving this weekend.
I had hopes of adopting out the girls together, but most likely it will be awhile before Wylla will be ready to go and then, she's going to need a very, very special home. I didn't want Audrey to have to wait to start her life, so I chose to separate the pair. She's found herself a great family, and I know she'll be very happy with them.
Wylla has been such a trooper through all of this. She's been subjected to many pokes, prods, needles, meds, x-rays, tests, rides in the car, hours at the vet and many days of not feeling well.
It's such a relief to have a diagnosis now. I know there's a very long road ahead, but I am grateful for all that we have behind us now.