Warrior Pirate Kitty Battles FIP

Hello- whoever you are taking the time to read this, I want to say thank you!
      Whether or not you decide to dig into your own pocket for me, the fact that you took the time to think about it says a lot in the world we live in today. To me it says that all of our collective humanity remains intact ... if often well hidden from view!

The Short Story:
     Now I will give the cliff notes version of Pirate's story because I know we all have busy lives. (Feel free to hang around if you want to read the "Lord of the Rings" in extended cut version!
     My little one-eyed Pirate has overcome a lot in his short life! Abandonment, herpes, his eye was literally burst when we found him. Now he has FIP...this is a kitty thing that most will tell you is 95% fatal. This is no longer true! (All the thanks I have for that one statement! This happened at a time when something could be done about it!!) However.. The something is not through standard channels & is quite costly. It has been amazing to see his turn around though!
     Treatment is 12 weeks. We have made it through 7 on our own. However, if I am being honest.. I am treading water. Asking questions like "How long can I put the landlord off?", "How long will my car go before something falls off?" and "You think that auto insurance thing is just a serious suggestion?"
     I will continue using whatever resources I can to keep treading water in treatment, every little bit will help!!
     If for some reason I or Pirate have compelled you to give to us I thank you deeply. If I have compelled you to read farther... I worry for you... but also I thank you!

When we started treating -
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Here's where we are today -
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The Long Story:
      For those who stuck around for the extended version.. I'm sorry..no, no.. I mean ... We will go on a grand (mediocre) journey of amazement & wonder! Mostly I should warn you I can be very wordsy! The intro to making one of these said I should tell you the whole story by-durn-it! (I can not actually see you, with my eyes, going back to the short version... but I bet you are!!) No, really, here we go...

     Pirate's story begins....well you know...I really have no idea where his story begins. He was around 6 weeks when he caught up to me. But someone upstairs seemed to think that we didn't have enough responsibilities.
     We found Little Pirate & his brother Hufflepuff in the road. I can only assume they were dumped there. I hadn't ever seen them around, and they certainly didn't act like outside or feral kittens when I grabbed them up. I waited to pick them up... never saw other kitties, or people for that matter.
     I could tell something was wrong even before I grabbed them! Their little faces looked pretty gruesome even in the dark!
     So..here I am... like 10 at night.. I picked them up, like little plague zombies, & deposited them in a box. They didn't even move from their spots, didn't run a bit... they couldn't see a thing at the time!

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     Took them home, cleaned them up. The next day we went through the local rescue. We already had kitties, & hadn't really planned on keeping them, so we began fostering them (no room in the inn for someone else to!)
     I remember the conversation like it was yesterday. "Well what do you want to do with them?", "Dunno, what are my options?", "Well you can't surrender them, we have no room!", "Then I guess I will keep them for the time being." Followed later when we had arranged a vet visit with her adamantly asserting that I could NOT just leave them at the vets office!! I had to ask.."Do lots of people do that?" I guess, as it turns out they do!
     I realize that this is all serious stuff..but I found it hilarious at the time, possibly to divert me from my rage that someone would just dump them out there to starve or be run over, or whatever other fate might befall them! They were looking & feeling better by that night. They had seen the vet, gotten fluids, began treatment for respiratory infection, eye drops, and we'd gotten them to eat.

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     In the very beginning I had no idea how those 2 little brave guys would turn out. They would scream like crazy if separated for 30 seconds, it took us days to get them to where they could really begin to see.
     At this point the vet suspected his eye had already burst in there... but wasn't sure. If you sat them down they wouldn't even move around, they were just glued to one spot. I'm guessing they couldn't see well for some time, possibly since before they were old enough to move around well!

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     However over the following weeks & months they became normal kitties, adorable ones with their own adorable personalities!  We were still fostering and trying to find interested adopters...so we were trying to not get too attached, we did anyway!!
     Along the way they were treated for various minor things & continued treatment for feline herpes which was responsible for the eye and upper respiratory problems.

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     At their 4 month mark they had all the fostering stuff done with. Shots, fixed, started flea meds. At this point the next few weeks kind of become a blur to me.
     We were starting to figure out that there was something wrong with Little Pirate. The special needs kitties with feline herpes and permanent eye trouble weren't being swooped up by anyone, and they were getting pretty costly for the Humane Society. I totally get where they were coming from... they get by on donations! They did loads for our 2 little guys, I am forever grateful for all they do!
     Fostering, even if we never gave them up, was a great experience! Rescues would still be overwhelmed even if none of the furry critters were sick!
     We loved them deeply, what could we do? We adopted them! At 5 months or so they became part of our happy dysfunctional family, where perhaps they were always destined to be!
     They were on continuing medications, but we decided we could swing it. Shortly after that we got the diagnosis of FIP.

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     Here are a couple of sites with information on FIP & all that goes with that.

https://fiptreatment.com/ 

https://www.zenbycat.org/ 

     I will let you google FIP if you would like farther education.   However...it can take many different avenues, the one thing they all have in common seems to be that they are generally fatal!
     He has wet FIP, which is good because it generally takes to the treatment I am using well, and because he had a swollen belly which meant I had already been running with research. I had never encountered FIP, had never even heard of it, though I've always had cats.
     They gave me the diagnosis that deep down I already knew they would give. I knew some people somewhere had had success. That there was treatment, but it was costly.
     We aren't people with a high standard of living. I work full time in the kitchen of a nursing home. It's a great job with great people...the pay isn't overly amazing though. My fellow is a disabled amputee, without disability (that's a rant all on it's own!) We are what you would loosely call lower middle class... which around here means broke! We had no alternatives however. We did, but they weren't good alternatives!! We ordered the beginning of the meds!!
     The results were amazing!  I don't really think he would still be with us if we hadn't, & certainly not in the spirited condition that he's in!!
     Thankfully there are a lot of amazing people involved in the efforts to help those of us going through this. People who give freely of their time, know how, and often of themselves. Without them we would not have made it to where we are now!
    I would also like to say that while most days FIP is a big scary pain in the butt, that I certainly wish Pirate didn't have to experience... I also feel privileged &  humbled to be a tiny part of the ground work of beating it!

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     The amount asked for is my guess as to what the rest of treatment will definitely cost. The medication is currently $16 a day, which will increase as body weight does. It is a 12 week treatment to cure, and hopefully eliminate possibility of relapse. Relapse is rare but can happen. There are also shipping costs, supply costs, and blood work costs.
     Some days I think that we can do this and not ask for other people's hard earned money. Then other days I wonder how we have made it this far! So here I am doing just that I suppose. If I don't and something topples my fragile house of cards I will forever regret not putting myself out there, for the little guys sake.
     Alternately we do leatherwork for supplemental income & because we love it! We enjoy taking it to Renaissance festivals and other conventions. Therefore if you would like us to work for our dough feel free to contact me!  We would love to make you a custom order.
     If anyone is interested in making a personal loan of some kind I would gladly go that route also!

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     So why should you give to us & our one eyed little warrior? Honestly, I have no clue. There's lots of genuine need out there. I'm not particularly deserving... though Pirate may be. All I really know is that as I write this & look down at little Pi all nestled in my robe they have knocked from the chair, is that he deserves for me to find a way. Keep rolling change, asking for extra hours, & apparently asking strangers for help!

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     If you give of yourself - thank you, if you share - thank you, if you gave of your time to read - thank you, or if you hug your cat, grandpa, cup of coffee, or goldfish bowl because nothing is ever promised - deeply I thank you!!

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  • Christine Leddon 
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    • 2 mos
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Organizer

Melissa Jackson 
Organizer
Okmulgee, OK
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