One morning, I set-out with an ambitious list of chores and armed myself with a broom, rake, barrels, and trimmers. Out of nowhere, two small black and white kittens appeared and curiously watched me. As I raked what seemed like an endless amount of fallen leaves into one giant pile, the kittens decided it was time to play and tackled the moving leaves and then each other. They appeared to be having the time of their lives and I was tempted to join them, but I had this nagging list. As I moved to another activity, they came along and offered to supervise in exchange for snacks. I happily accepted.
These adorable little kittens, Nehka and LaLa, were about 2 months old; shy, but friendly; and very hungry. They were either abandoned by their mom or someone dumped them near our house and they found their way to us. Sadly, in our neighborhood, this is a regular occurrence.
This deeply bonded pair were together day and night. They could be seen playing, exploring, cuddling, sleeping, and even practicing their negotiation skills together. One day, they approached us and asked if they could join our family. We were already smitten, so it was an easy decision. After they were cleared by the vet, we hoisted them onto our shoulders and excitedly welcomed them to their new home.
Fast forward to about one year later, we started to notice some changes in Nehka. She seemed to suddenly become very quiet and lethargic; she spent less and less time with LaLa; she was less interested in food and started losing weight. In addition, she felt feverish. Nehka spending any time away from LaLa was a definite cause for concern by itself, but combined with the other changes sent all of our Spidey senses into overdrive.
We immediately took Nehka to the vet. She was diagnosed with a viral infection and prescribed some antibiotics. After a week passed with no improvements, we returned to the vet and begged for something, anything to help her. The vet stated that Nehka needed a few more days of antibiotics and that she would be fine. But she was not fine, in fact, she began to rapidly decline. Within a day or two, she started to show new, troubling symptoms including instability on her feet, wobbliness, and incoordination. About 12 hours later, she could no longer get up and was completely immobile. Seeing our sweet baby like this and feeling powerless to help her was killing us.
We began to experience a bit of déjà vu and remembered that awful, gnawing feeling in the pit of our collective stomachs…it was the physical sensation of FIP. We reached out to our FIP Warrior Admins, Nancy and Butters who quickly assessed Nehka and worked to put together a treatment plan.
The treatment requires a big commitment from us, Nehka, and her team of FIP Warriors (otherwise known as admins, advisors, cheerleaders, and saints). For our part, we have to give her daily injections for a minimum of 84 consecutive days followed by an 84-day observation period; monitor her weight, temperature, and appearance; and schedule routine appointments for lab work and follow-up care with her veterinarian.
Nehka was diagnosed with dry, neurological FIP which causes chronic inflammatory lesions to develop around blood vessels in many different organs and sites in the body. In addition, it impacts her ability to walk and overall coordination. To date, she is on day 68/84 and has been doing well for the most part. Her gait, coordination, and ability to walk on her own have been restored. She has gained weight; become more active; and fallen in love with toys all over again.
Unfortunately, we are having a lot of trouble giving her the injections. She has severe anxiety and despite two different sedative medications and an arsenal of tricks and tips, she aggressively refuses the injections resulting in consistently missed doses. For each missed dose, we have had to add on additional days to her treatment plan and as of right now, she will receive treatment for 102 days. As a result, we need to switch to oral medication which is much more expensive, but necessary to complete her treatment. This plus the expense has proven to be the hardest parts of our commitment.
The money raised will help pay for the cost of switching to oral medication, ongoing treatment, and labs. The estimated cost of the medication plus the remainder of office visits and labs is approximately $2000-$2300.
We wholeheartedly believe that these little beings are sent to us for a reason and we honor that commitment. Every day we are grateful to Creator for giving us these opportunities and blessing us with Nehka. She is an amazing little being; so sweet, strong, loving, and (thankfully) forgiving. She deserves so much and every chance for a long, beautiful life! We love her so much and would do anything to save her.
Please keep our Baby Girl in your prayers and thoughts as she continues her fight. If you are able, please consider donating and sharing. Any amount helps and is greatly appreciated!
Love and Blessings,
James, Nehka, and all of our fuzzies