Update as of Friday, 06/28/2019 at 12:48pm CST
FELIX IS HOME!
Wow, what a 48 hours it has been.
Thank you so much to everyone — Felix’s and our friends, family, and the incredible community who rushed to Felix’s aid during the past 8 days — for continually checking in with us to receive updates and to send healing wishes to our little miracle cat.
Frankly, on Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday we were getting nervous, as Felix had been continuing to receive oxygen with not much improvement in his oxygen levels during the course of those five days. My mom was hoping and praying with all her might for an improvement or an update or any positive change. And despite his progress in all other areas, we were still nervous that Felix may never recover from his washing machine accident.
On Wednesday, my mom received a call that Felix’s vet was able to move him from the oxygen chamber, because his breathing rate had returned to the normal range. Prior to that, they were able to take out his IVs. We couldn’t believe what we were hearing, and my family hurried to the emergency vet to visit Felix and hold him for the first time since his accident last Wednesday, June 19th.
(Here comes the really exciting part)
The next day (yesterday, Thursday, June 27th), we received the news that we’ve all been waiting to hear:
FELIX WAS READY TO COME HOME!
We couldn’t believe how quickly he was ready to come home, after all that he’d been through. But the vets believed that his lungs had healed to a point where recovery at home, albeit over the course over the next several weeks, was possible. Felix is still taking medication for his eyes, as his chemical corneal burns are continuing to heal as well. My family has to keep Felix’s activity low, but he is able to roam the house under close supervision — the laundry room is permanently off-limits to all cats.
My family rushed around to get things ready for Felix, and they were able to buy him a special cat bed and crate so he has a cozy place to recover. It will be a long road to Felix’s full recovery, but with love and time, Felix’s vets, as well as my family, trust that he will be back to his usual self, hopefully soon. Mom said he has begun purring again :)
I hope you understand my hesitancy to post immediately, because with the amount of attention Felix has received in the press — he’s now our “famous” family member — my mom wanted him to have a quiet transition back home.
Two more things...
About this GoFundMe campaign:
Thank you all from the bottom of our hearts. We, especially my mom, will be thankful to you for the rest of our lives. Felix’s final vet bill was steep — yes, five-figures steep, as predicted — and he will continue to have frequent checkups at the emergency vet, with another one coming up tomorrow, and an eventual transition back to checkups his usual vet. We will use the remainder of the funds to cover these special checkups for Felix, and, as I mentioned earlier, once Felix returns to good health, we will be donating any leftover funds to a charity for other pet owners in need of financial assistance for pet emergencies like Felix’s. Without the help of you all, it would have been very difficult to handle a vet bill like this, and in many instances like this, we heard others share stories about cats in similar situations who had been euthanized. I wish that weren’t the case, but when faced with a pet bill like this, many pet owners feel that they have no other choice. It is my mom’s wish that all pets be able to receive the care that they need regardless of financial circumstance, and already (again, she’s going to be embarrassed that I am sharing this with you) I know that she is hoping to give back in whatever way she can. If you know of any charities who do this work, or if you have any suggestions of how to start one of our own, please let me know. Our family would like to give back, not just financially, but with our actions and intentions.
Follow Felix’s recovery:
Since this GoFundMe will be ending, I have created an Instagram for Felix:
We never expected to give him that name, but I’ll say he earned it. It’s my hope that we can continue to share his story with you all in his months of healing ahead.
Lastly, thank you to all of the news outlets who covered Felix’s story. What began with a friend of ours sharing Felix’s story with a press contact (without our knowing) grew into features by the likes of Minnesota KARE 11, Twin Cities Pioneer Press, Minneapolis Star Tribune, CNN, Fox News, The Daily Mail, USA Today, New York Post, New York Daily News, Jezebel, Business Insider, and news channels around the country and around the world, including a radio show in Ireland and a news website in Yucatán. It was overwhelming to say the least, and the phones kept ringing. My mom, who was crying for days, kept calling me to say that she didn’t know if she could do any more interviews. She was just so sad and scared for Felix, and she wanted to focus only on him. I asked her to keep going and to share Felix’s story no matter what, and I assured her that people needed to know his story so that we could prevent accidents like this from happening to other cats while also ensuring Felix’s continued care. She agreed that that’s what was most important, and I am so proud of her for being a good advocate for all animals during a very traumatic and scary time.
Felix, we are so proud of you, and we love you so much. You made it.
Three hours ago, my family's one-year-old cat, Felix, was found inside their washing machine after a wash. He had just survived inside the washing machine through the duration a 35-minute wash cycle, unbeknownst to them. When my mom found him, he was soaking wet and barely breathing, confused and unable to see, with bruises all over his body. My mom, grandpa, and brother rushed Felix to the emergency vet, where he is right now, in critical condition. He has fluid in his lungs and is connected to oxygen. His heart rate and blood pressure dropped upon arrival, and it is suspected that he has hypothermia. He is experiencing blindness, which could be temporary or permanent; only time will tell.
Felix is best friends with my dog, Sprout. (Truly!) After having just spent three weeks together at my family's home in St. Paul, they were inseparable. He's my favorite cat that I've met -- doglike, almost, super attached to his humans, a darling, cuddly, curious sweetheart of a cat. He's an amazing companion, and would sit in my lap every day as I worked from home while visiting. He was born on my cousin's farm in Minnesota, and has a wild sense of adventure. (Obviously.) Pure personality. Vibrant. I've just fallen in love with him, and my entire family has. He is an important member of our family. (And he's a Hemingway cat! He has thumbs.)
My family has applied for a line of credit to fund Felix's vet bills as they see to his continued survival, but the vet is calling for $3000 cash tonight in order to continue Felix's care, which, unfortunately, my family does not have immediately on hand. It is likely that Felix will have to stay under veterinary supervision for many days as he recovers -- we are hoping that his blindness is temporary, as can happen in cases like these, and that his lung and brain function will return to normal. My family is heartbroken and scared, and they'd kill me if they knew I was creating this GoFundMe campaign, but I couldn't not, considering the situation.
You can see articles from The Today Show and People Magazine here profiling similar stories; the sheer fact that Felix survived the washing machine is a rare and tremendous feat of survival:
To those of you with cats, PLEASE always close your washing machine and dryer doors in between washes, and ALWAYS check your washing machine and dryer doors prior to beginning a wash. You can prevent an accident like this from happening.
- Zelalem Alem
- Julie B
- Mallory Evans
- Leslie Gagnon