Hi, if you're reading this, I don't know who you are, but I'm so grateful you're here. My baby needs your help, and I'm all out of options.
Charlie is six years old, and he's been my everything since the day we found him. He was abandoned at my mom's job when he was a kitten, and my mom found him stuck under a fence, crying. We had too many cats but she felt too bad for him to leave him; there was just something about him, something sweet and heartbreaking, and she knew he was ours.
He's a special cat, and has had problems from the start. He has really high anxiety, which makes him pull out his fur and pee on things, and after a while we realized a lot of this stress was coming from the other animals in the house. Basically, he's a cat who doesn't like other cats, and is only really relaxed when he's alone, so we came to the decision to let him live in my room. As far as I'm concerned, it was the best decision we ever made.
Charlie and I bonded really fast, and I feel like we could kind of relate to each other in our problems. Maybe that's weird to say, because he's just a cat, but he's never been "just a cat" to me. He's like another part of myself; always in my lap when I'm on the computer, letting me cuddle him like a stuffed animal at night. He's been with me through so many hard times, takes care of me when I'm sick, and helped me through getting diagnosed with depression. It's like he knew that one of my problems was getting out of bed, and he learned the sound of my alarm and would stand on me and meow in my face until I got up.
We learned each other's problems and adapted to them, helped each other, and I haven't been without him since the day we moved him into my room.
But now he's sick. Very, very sick. He's helped me through so much, and now, when I really need to help him, I can't.
He has what's called fatty liver disease, which is the most severe liver disease cats can get. Here's a description of it from petmd.com: "Normally, when a body is undernourished or starved, the body automatically moves fat from its reserves to the liver to be converted into lipoproteins for energy. Cat's bodies are not designed to convert large stores of fat, so when a cat is in starvation mode, the fat that is released to the liver is not processed efficiently, resulting in a fatty and low functioning liver. As the fat accumulates in the liver it becomes swollen and turns yellow. Because it is not able to process red blood cells efficiently, the yellow pigment that makes up a portion of the red blood cell is released into the bloodstream, causing a yellowing of the eyes. If not treated promptly, [fatty liver disease] can lead to various complications and eventually death."
This took him down so fast. Just a week ago, he was still climbing on my shoulders and being his usual, happy self. There were signs, small ones, but it's only in retrospect that I can see them. To me, it seemed that one day he was fine, and the next he couldn't get up.
After we got the diagnosis, we tried our best to treat him at home, but he had already reached a point where he couldn't quite eat on his own. The way to conquer fatty liver disease is with food, and we tried our best to force feed him, but each time I feared that he wasn't getting enough, or that we weren't doing it often enough, to break him out of this starvation mode he was in.
We had to take him back to the vet daily for IV treatments, and even the techs noticed his daily decline. Yesterday, Friday, the vet ended up saying, "If he survives the weekend." This made me panic, because everything I read about fatty liver disease made it sound like, while serious, it was treatable and something that can and will be survived. But I just knew he wasn't getting the maximum care at home, so I asked the vet to keep him over the weekend.
Today, the vet called and told me Charlie had declined further, couldn't even stand on his own, though he looked clearer: his eyes were wide and alert, and he was tracking people with his eyes and crying at them specifically. But overall, he had reached a point where I needed to decide to put him down, or give them the okay to do everything they can to save him, which can end up costing up to $5,000.
I'm not putting him down. Ever. Not unless it reaches a point where he is in unbearable pain, or some kind of definite suffering. At this point, he feels no pain, it's just the weakness keeping him down. And based on his behavior when he was here, I could see him trying to continue his normal routine and act like everything is fine. He wants to live. He wants to try. And I'm not going to stop that because of money. I don't want there to ever come a time where we have to stop treatment just because of that. Charlie has done so much for me, even just by being here and loving me, that I just can't give up on him.
At this point, I'm begging. Honestly begging. I don't have a job right now, and I'm paying for school, and I just don't have the funds to do this. I may not need $5,000, I may need more; I just don't know at this point. But I want to have the money here, so it can just be one less obstacle for us. So even if I don't hit the goal, this really is a case where every single dollar will help, so I can give him the best care he can get.
Please, please help my cat. I don't know what else to say, or how else to stress how much I'm just sitting here in tears begging you for help, but I love him so much, and I can't imagine going on without doing everything I can for him.
In case there is any extra money, I will be looking for an animal charity to give it to. Again, I won't be completely sure about the final cost until Charlie is ready to be released, but we were promised that it won't exceed $2,000.
I'll never be able to thank all of you enough, but please know that this has been life changing, and I know every time I look at Charlie, I'll think of the generosity and love that's been shown to me by complete strangers.
Thank you so much.
He hasn't gained much weight, though, and he's not eating on his own at all. He was also had full blood work done, and his blood sugar is still high (he's diabetic), along with some liver-related chemicals. He won't be ready to come home until he starts making progress with eating, and they want his blood work to be more normal. His skin is also still quite yellow (which you can see in the picture, if you look at his ears). But he's on the mend, and it seems that he's actually going to make a full recovery.
The bad news is that I don't qualify for Care Credit, since I don't have much of a work or credit history, and I have no income at the moment. So, when Charlie is able to be released, I'll be expected to pay in full. I should hear from the vet later this evening, with an estimated release date (and hopefully an estimated total cost; last I heard it was still supposed to be around $2,000), and I'll update again when I find out. All I know for now is that his balance hit $1,000 today, and will continue to go up with every day that he has to stay there.
As always, thank you to everyone who's donated. I never imagined that this would work, but I'm just overwhelmed by the amount of love that's been shown to me from complete strangers. This has meant the world, it really has, and even without the Care Credit, paying in full is beginning to seem more and more possible with each donation. You guys have changed my life, and saved Charlie's. And there's no way I can ever find the words to thank you for that.
He needs to stay at the vet for a few more days, possibly a week, until he's stable. They're going to work on him possibly eating some dry food, and just trying to get him back to a point where we can care for him at home.
Some good news about money, too. This isn't going to cost $5,000, but it's still going to be a lot. By Wednesday, the bill will definitely hit $1,000, and will continue to increase from there. The vet said he'll try to release Charlie before we hit $2,000, though that's not a total guarantee. They don't accept payments, so the final amount will have to be paid in full when Charlie is released.
However, the vet recommended a program called Care Credit, which will basically allow us to take out an interest-free loan that will be paid directly to the vet, and we can pay off the balance over a year. If we're approved for Care Credit, all money earned from donations will go directly to pay off that balance.
$2,000 is a much more manageable goal, though it's still way out of my reach. I'm going to leave Charlie's donation page up and running until the Care Credit loan is paid off (assuming we're approved), if anyone would like to help me bring my baby home.
And once again, thank you so so much to everyone who has helped so far. And thank you to the people who have sent such sweet messages, and for sharing your own stories with me. This has all meant so much, and really helped me get through what has probably been the worst week of my life. So, really, from the bottom of my heart, thank you.
Skip forward to this morning, and there has been a pretty significant improvement. Charlie is wandering around his cage, yowling at anyone who walks by. He's finally aware that he's not at home, and he's not happy about it. He's somewhat acting like his finicky self again, torn between liking his heating pad and hating it. The vet is still cautious with the overall outlook, and he says that Charlie isn't out of the woods yet, and it's still very serious, but he's "pessimistically optimistic."
And thank you so, so much to everyone who has donated. I wish I could express how much this means to me, and how overwhelmed and amazed I am. Charlie still needs help, because every day he's at the vet undergoing his treatment, the costs add up, but knowing this money is here for when we need it means the world.