Let Hendricks Live!!

COVID has been a beat down for everyone; and while some curveballs have been manageable, this one has, and will continue to be the most difficult of all for me.

For those who don't know, I serendipitously stumbled upon the SMALLEST kitten just last September -- so small he actually fit in the palm of my hand. Though I had no intention of adopting a pet that day, his spunky personality and oversized blue eyes won over my heart, and next thing I knew, I had this tiny animal scurrying my apartment. 

I quickly found out the reason the term "crazy cat lady" exists... I was obsessed. Beyond his entertainment, he quickly became my best friend, snuggle buddy, and favorite explorer. Giving him the best life possible became my #1 priority... I may or may not have even bought him a leash so that I could attempt to help him see the big exciting world outside! *This did not work out well.*

After just 8 months with my little man, he seemed to have an irritated eye, that I assumed to be allergies or a minor infection. Nevertheless, as a first time mom, I rushed to get him seen by a vet just in case. I was in no way prepared to receive the shocking news that he likely had a life threatening infectious disease, FIP. 

Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP) is caused by a mutation of the feline coronavirus (unrelated to COVID-19), and is most often diagnosed in kittens 4-12 months old.  It affects nearly 1 in 100 cats, and is particularly prevalent in those that were sheltered previously. It's historically been deemed 95% fatal, as it is very difficult to detect or diagnose, and there had never been a recommended treatment... until now. 

The road to recovery is not an easy one, nor is it cheap, but I hope and pray that Hendricks will have the chance to survive this, and live well into his cat years! To see such a lively source of light & love wilt away, and know how many other kittens are doing the same, truly breaks my heart. I have cried more hours over these thoughts and images than one could ever imagine.

Coincidentally, the same day Hendricks was diagnosed, I also received a call that the business I work for was shutting down until further notice due to COVID-19. While the next few months are going to be a struggle to even stay afloat myself, I couldn't bear the thought of not giving Hendricks the opportunity to live and take on the fight.

I am not the type to ask for help... ever. But in this case, it is not for me. Any donation is appreciated more than you could ever know; and in the unfortunate circumstance that anything happens to Hendricks along the way, all unused funds or treatments will be donated to other FIP families in need. And anyone out there who comes across this awful disease, know that there is hope and to not give up!!!


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Rachel Urquhart 
Dallas, TX
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