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FIP Warrior:

Vincent (Vinny)

At 5 months old we adopted Vincent and Lyra from a cat cafe. He was quirky and tenacious, and clearly a feisty trouble maker. After a few weeks at home he began coughing. The vets were sure it was herpes. As time went on he became lethargic and the cough persisted for more than a month, and he wasn't growing. X rays showed fluids but the vet wasn't able to interpret. Another X-ray showed the fluid was decreasing. Antibiotics were given as a precaution eventually though the vets were adamant that it was herpes and that the cough was likely 'environmental'. We knew this wasn't true, especially when he started to shiver and have weird behaviors such as licking ceramics, only drinking from the shower drain, pulling his claws and fur violently and swallowing strangely. He started taking steroids which seemed to help. One evening 3 months later, after many vet appointments, he suddenly had no balance and lost the ability to walk. We went to a different vet ER and they had no ideas other than it was neurological, more antibiotics were given. We made another neurologist appointment and the morning he was supposed to go, he had a seizure and lost the ability to move completely. We rushed him to his appointment that morning and an MRI found lesions on his spinal cord, and inflamed and herniated brain. We were told about FIP finally and given a phone number to call. The woman had an FIP cat which had survived. Those were the options: euthanasia or a black market medicine which was a long-shot. If we wanted to try to save him, we had to find and administer the medicines ourselves. We were directed to FIP Warriors FB group. The neurologist cautioned us that he was so far gone already he may never recover to be 'normal'. We nearly did euthanize him, but while we were in the room crying and hugging him saying goodbye, I couldn't imagine forgiving myself knowing he COULD have a chance. The neurologists office generously and at their own risk gave him his first doses over the next few days of hospitalization and taught us how. At home, he was limp as a noodle for days. We doubled his dosage, and Finally after about 4 more days he started lifting his own head and recovered rapidly to walking, feeding himself and using the litter box after that. From that close to death, and after 106 days of GS injections, he is now a happy healthy boy who doubled his weight to be a normal sized cat, who is still is feisty and quirky. He walks a bit funny, and he twitches and even falls of chairs in his sleep, but these are just more quirks for which we love him even more. It was worth the risk.