Monday, June 30, 2014

Monday, June 30

This is probably the hardest, saddest blog I've ever written. My heart hurts terribly. This one is a hard one. And to have to pass sad info to you all makes this doubly hard. Forgive me for my absence right now on the cam--just can't do it. 

We have lost two cats that have recently been adopted to a horrible disease.  The virus of FIP has struck and hit us hard. FIP--feline infectious peritonitis. Two of our kittens have passed due to this horrible, awful disease---little Blyss and sister Fantasia.  Blyss was in Chicago and taken to an emergency vet. Passed quickly in loving arms.  Fantasia was brought here this morning and the diagnosis was quickly made. She was let go while being held. We have known these babies since their birth and so the pain of losing them is great.

I've talked to our vets about this. FIP is a horrible disease. I hate it. I can't fight it. I can't fix it. It is a virus caused disease. And it's sometimes called a mystery disease. There are some things we do know about this disease. It affects the blood vessels and harms different parts of the body. Symptoms vary between cats. There are two forms of FIP--wet/effusive and non-effusive/dry. Both are invariably fatal. 

It is unpredictable and untreatable and impossible to know what cat will get it and what cats won't. It basically is a mutation of the corona virus that ALL cats have. Why some corona "goes bad" is part of the mystery.  Unlike Leukemia and FIV, FIP is said to NOT be able to be spread one to another. It simply has to do with a cat's own body system--a mutation only to each specific cat. Why did these sisters get it? We don't know.  This is the disease that there aren't alot of answers to. Our vets dread this disease since there is no cure, no treatment, no prevention. One of our vets just recently went to a seminar on FIP--still not a lot of new information of this dreaded disease. 

We've seen it here before. Our beloved Albert died of FIP. We have seen it maybe 7 times in all of our years doing cat rescue. It is said that there is no correlation of family members getting FIP, but twice we have had 2 pairs of siblings contract this. There is much to learn about this disease. The presence of antibodies in the blood stream does not mean that the cat even has FIP.  Only about 5 to 10% of coronavirus-infected cats even develop FIP. 

FIP is difficult to diagnosis because clinical signs are vague. The wet form is easier; with the presence of fluid in the abdomen makes diagnosis relatively easy to detect. However, the dry form remains a problem. Keep in mind, this is not a "spreadable" disease--it is a mutation change of a normal corono virus that is in all cats.  We can't "fix" this.

The bottom line is we've lost two of our babies. Please....let's just go on. I don't mean to be rude ever, but know that I've read so very very much about FIP--I always keep it in my thoughts and always will.  Our vets keep me up on anything new they learn about it.  I just can't deal right now with a lot of "stories" or suggestions. These two losses have hit me hard. Thank you for understanding. This particular disease is , as our vets, a defeater from the very beginning. If I could fix it, I would. 

Just a quick note.  Our new Milo is doing good.  Milo is wonderful and is a mild CH cat. He is now in the Main Area and is a tall, nice, playful boy. A great personality. Our second new one is Hamline Hope. I'm not totally convinced that what is going on with Hamlin Hope is really CH but possibly a neuro problem. We are in the process of trying to figure things out about him.  More later.

Life goes on here. We have many cats and kittens to care for. Back to running this Rescue Center to the very best that we can. I made a promise many years ago when I started this rescue.  I would give it my all and love what I am doing. Yes, it's hard work, it takes most of my time but I'm in it for the long haul--good or bad. As I've said before, not keep track of those that have left us. Keep track of what is HERE, now, in the present. Let me do the worrying---you all just enjoy these cats. They love you right back thru that cam.