I had dreamed of the day I would have this kitten my entire life (Yes, it has taken me a long time)! My patience and perseverance was worth it as I felt the joy that only a few rare occasions in our lifetime brings. When I first saw him I completely soaked him with tears of joy.
Damascus is an adventure cat. He is extremely outgoing, curious, easy going, happy and loving. He runs as fast as his little fluffy legs can go to greet the people that he loves and willingly accepts hugs and kisses from strangers even giving kisses in return. He is very vocal and has A LOT to say. He does not care where we go, what we do or who we are visiting as long as we are together.
Previous to bringing him home, he was cleared of all of the common kitten diseases. However, once I got him home, he was sneezing constantly and had many trips to the vet to try and figure out what was causing it. One day his eye changed to such a deep burgundy color that I could no longer see his iris or pupil so I rushed him to a 24 hour veterinarian. They kept him over a couple of nights doing all different tests on his eye and sending out lots of blood tests to get to the bottom of his symptoms.
Then a few days later, I received a phone call that would cause my whole world to come crashing down. The vet said the blood test results had come in and they believed him to have Dry Ocular Feline Infectious Peritonitis. It is a 100% fatal viral disease unless they are lucky enough to receive a life saving medication. I was completely blind sided by this news as I was expecting her to say it was a common sinus infection that would be cleared up with a 7-10 day antibiotic. The vet indicated in her summary “the owner is distraught”. That was a major understatement. The diagnosis sent me spiraling into a very deep and dark emotional state. I felt every negative human emotion. The anguish of those devastating days is something I will never forget.
Damascus is the love of my life. I tell him every day, multiple times in fact, that I love him MORE than ALL of the stars in the sky, MORE than ALL of the birds in the trees, (even the leaves), MORE than ALL of the fish in the sea, MORE than ALL of the beautiful butterflies. Yes, you guessed it, it goes on and on and on and on……
There was no doubt in my mind that losing him would break me and that I would never be whole or restored and would go on as only a shell of my former self. WHY HIM, WHY ME, WHY, WHY, WHY. I asked this a thousand and one times. WHY?
One morning with complete clarity I knew the answer to WHY…..
The answer was simple, because the love I have for him would give me the strength to climb every mountain and swim every ocean to fix what is broken. I knew what I had to do and that was to save his life with unwavering determination.
I began doing hours of research on this life saving medication and talking to other families who had or are going through the same horrific diagnosis. I learned a lot about their experiences with the medication and how others were able to save their pets.
So, that is what brings me here today. The tests and medication so far have cost me $3,000 which came from my life savings and maxing out a credit card. The medication is very expensive but has a 99% cure rate! He must have a daily injection for 3 months. Blood tests are done along the way to confirm the positive progression and more trips to the ophthalmologist to be sure everything is being done to save his eye.
As I write this, he has had 4 injections and I can already see improvement! He is now waking me up at 5:00 am for breakfast and I gladly get up as I’m so grateful that he is hungry and can’t wait to see what the morning improvements are.
I am certain of this path and I am very confident that this medicine will cure him. Damascus and I would have heartfelt thanks for any help to be able to continue his treatments. We have a lifetime of kayaking, hikes and visiting friends planned.
Words alone could never describe the love and gratitude I have for Willow Street Pictures and Cindi. You all amaze me with your time, love and devotion to help me save this perfect little boy. The photos and video were donated by Willow Street Pictures to help with promotion and awareness of which I am so incredibly grateful for. Thank you, thank you, thank you, from the bottom of my heart, thank you.
Lots of Love,
Laura and Baby Damascus
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- Laura Begg
- Jessica Dalton
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