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FIP Warrior:

Gamora

My boyfriend and I adopted Gamora from a local shelter in November 2018. She was a beautiful cat and extremely sweet and affectionate. We couldn't believe that she hadn't been adopted already! She was a little thing with a little pot belly. She fit into our household perfectly, unfazed by my other cat's annoyance with her sudden appearance. She loved attention, but only when she wanted it! She was super sweet and made friends with any stranger that came through the door! She loved her wet food, and sitting in the window sill to "people watch". She also loved to curl up into blankets. I bought her a little enclosed cat bed that she took to immediately and barely left. This was about 8 months after I adopted her, and when I first noticed she wasn't feeling well. It really was out of the blue. She was perfectly fine one day, and the next, she wouldn't leave her beloved bed. Not even for wet food, which was the big alarming symptom for me. I called 5 vets before one could take her in same day. I brought her in, and they said she had a fever. They noted her pot belly, but she had always had that since I adopted her. She just loved to eat and was a little chunky. Her urinalysis showed she had a bad UTI. What a relief, something easily curable. They gave her antibiotics and fluids and sent us on our way... Next day, she showed no improvement. Vet said she should be noticeably better by the next day and she wasn't. I called the vet back and they fit her in and took xrays to see what's going on. Her bloodwork also came in... Both xrays and bloodwork confirmed the vets fears - she had FIP. That pot belly that she's always had was fluid in her stomach cavity - classic wet FIP. Before this visit, I had never heard of FIP. The vet broke the news, almost on the verge of tears herself. She tried reassuring me that it's possible she would get better if some steroid meds helped her but she was clear that wasn't realistic. She said realistically that she had about a week left to live. I was devastated. I took Gamora home and just cried. I gave her all the pets she wanted, tried very hard to get her to eat anything, which she had zero interest in doing. My boyfriend laid with her in our bed and just pet her. The vet said she might have a week left, when realistically, she only had 1 day. The following day, her breathing rate increased notably and she couldn't get comfortable when trying to sit and lay down. And she was still refusing water and food. I sat on the recliner and she hopped into my lap and just laid against me as I pet her, and for the first time in days, she seemed somewhat comfortable. I will always treasure that moment. As she laid on me, I saw how fast she was breathing and knew that I didn't want her to suffer anymore. Heartbroken, we made the decision to take her to the emergency vet clinic that night after I gave her plenty of love and attention... They confirmed that the fluids was entering her lungs and causing breathing issues.. It was incredibly hard in those last moments, as she was very lively and curious as we waited in the room . She acted like a perfectly healthy cat in that last hour, which made the decision even harder in that moment. We stroked and talked to her as they put her to sleep... She crossed the rainbow bridge on June 14th. FIP is a horrible virus that took my kitty's life in a matter of 2-3 days. There were no other symptoms before that, besides the pot belly that had given her no issues in the months prior. It kills indiscriminately purely due to a random virus mutation with almost zero hope of survival. I hope the cure comes soon to prevent others from going through this heartbreak. Gamora had only been with us for 8 months, but she left a huge lasting impression on us in that short time frame. She was so incredibly spoiled and loved, and as much as it hurts now, I'm glad we had adopted her so her final months were filled with love and comfort. We will never forget you, sweet girl.