By Jessica Comstock July 01, 2021
Looking at him now, you'd never believe the hardships Smokey the cat has faced. He was first rescued after being found sick in a field without his mother. Later, he was diagnosed with feline infectious peritonitis, also known as FIP for short. FIP is a viral disease caused by feline coronavirus—not the same as COVID-19—that is almost always fatal in cats. But Smokey defied all odds and was one of the first cats to ever be cured of the disease!
Smokey's owner Peter started ZenByCat, a nonprofit organization raising funds for further FIP research, which Smokey is now the "poster cat child" for.
"Smokey's purpose is to give hope to people," Peter said.
Now completely happy and cured from FIP, Smokey spends his days walking on his wheel and playing with his 24 cat siblings! Peter tells Daily Paws that he adopts as many cats as he can to give them the happy home they deserve. And since he's a talented general contractor, he's used his skills to modify his home with cat walks to basically create the most incredible cat jungle gym ever.
Peter says that Smokey is definitely the rebel of the house and gets away with everything because he knows that he's special. But when he's not getting into trouble, he's snuggling up with his girlfriend, MiniBean, or wearing one of his many outfits.
"Just his existence makes me smile," Peter says. He sure does make everyone else smile, too!