My sweet Cinder was brought into my local cat rescue last June, at a mere 4 weeks old. (See picture below.) He came from the backwoods of West Virginia where he and his siblings were tossed outside, to fend for themselves before being rescued by a good samaritan. I immediately fell in love with his bright greenish-yellow eyes and his fluffy face. It's one of those things where an animal comes into your life and you just know they're meant to be yours.
He laid next to me, refusing to leave my side, when my golden retriever passed away and I was grieving. He never let me cry on the bathroom floor alone. I'm so beyond blessed that he picked me to be his human. The picture below was taken just days before his first birthday in May. He is so beyond sweet and loving. Loves to play with his brothers, Batman and Calvin, especially. He is the first one to tell us in the morning that it's time for breakfast, and when the food bowls are empty. He makes me laugh and makes me feel whole again.
Last week (5/27/2021), we noticed he was just laying around. He likes his cat naps as much as the next kitty, but when he didn't come for breakfast the following morning, we immediately knew something was wrong. We booked a same-day appointment for the vet, and initially thought he just had a bug or a virus, and was given antibiotics. Instead of getting better, he started getting worse. This kitten that would bound around the house, playing until 3 in the morning, was now sleeping all day. The kitten that would immediately start purring like a motorboat when you pet him, now suddenly didn't have enough energy to even do that. During Memorial day weekend, he stopped wanting to even get up to drink water, and then I noticed those beautiful eyes I loved so much were foggy, red and unnatural. His gait was slow, and his back legs would give out on him. A perfectly healthy kitten knocked down in less than a week.
(Here are a picture of his eyes at the beginning of the Memorial day weekend. Already, you can tell they don't look normal and have since gotten worse.)
When the vet reopened on Tuesday, we returned and got bloodwork done and a new antibiotic. Bloodwork came back concerning, and then he started walking like he was drunk. Kept falling over, and would crouch as low as he could to the ground to make sure it didn't hurt when he fell. So, I started carrying him around the house so he wouldn't fall and hurt himself. The picture below was him less than an hour ago on 6/3/2021. He was 9lbs, close to 10. (We're thinking he might be part Maine Coon because he's so big.) ...He's now down to 8. To see him like this absolutely guts me.
My mom, Debbie, and I have treated 3 previous foster cats for FIP, and when he started showing neurological symptoms, I knew in my gut that's what it was. The bloodwork confirmed our suspicions. My sweet 14 month old kitten who hasn't gotten the chance to live any of his life yet...has FIP.
FIP stands for Feline Infectious Peritonitis. Our vet says they see one to two cases of this disease a year. It normally affects kittens, but can show up in any cat until the age of 3, as well as in older, geriatric cats. Up until a few years ago, it was a death sentence. Now, there is a drug that is available that treats FIP, with a 98% success rate. Two of our three previous fosters (Mia & Brooke) have "graduated" treatment, and are doing amazingly. The third, sweet Woody, was one of the rare cases of relapse and crossed the rainbow bridge in December 2020.
Cinder is my baby, named after one of my favorite book characters. I can't lose him too. He is one of the lights of my life, and to have him taken so soon would destroy me. After all he went through to survive as a tiny kitten, it just doesn't seem fair he again has to fight for his life. But, my boy is such a fighter. I have every faith he can overcome this. We just need a little help. This medication gives him a chance to live a long, happy life.
Anything you are able to donate to give this sweetheart a third chance at life, would be so appreciated. Much thanks & God bless.
Emily F. & family
- Cristal Tyler
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