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FIP Warrior:


Hello everyone, my name is Irene and I am a year and 4 months old. I was diagnosed with wet FIP on August 20, 2018.

I’ve had kind of a crazy life. My mommy adopted me when I was just 10 weeks old. I didn’t even weigh a full 2 pounds. I was already a little sick back then. My tummy hurt a lot and mommy had to cover all the furniture with sheets because my booty was a little leaky (sorry if this is TMI). The vets didn’t know what was wrong because I was feeling great otherwise! I was running around and playing and eating a ton. The new vet I met, Dr. Waldrop (he is so nice and smart!) told mommy that’s probably when I got the coronavirus because that is a virus that messes with the GI tract.

After a few weeks of recovery, including a week at the animal hospital, I was finally well! Mommy was excited to see me poop like a big girl kitty, though I was still learning how to use the litter box. Mommy has a big potted plant in the living room with all this black litter, which made it a bit confusing. Thankfully though, my big brother Ted showed me all the right ways.

A few months later, on Labor Day weekend 2017, I had my “big accident” - and I don’t mean the litter box. Mommy was cooking in the kitchen and I was playing with my brother. We were running around and chasing each other, you know, doing our normal kitty brother & sister thing. Then we got a little bored and Ted thought it might be a good idea to try to open the screen door and hang out on the balcony (we live on the 4th story and the views are awesome!). Now that I look back it I don’t think Mommy would’ve approved of that but I was just following my big brother. When he finally got the door open, we walked out and saw the sunshine and the trees. It was so lovely! There’s this big tree that I love to look at outside of the window - it has all kinds of birds and boy do I love birds! And squirrels! It didn’t look so far when I was out on the balcony and I saw a birdie so I thought I could make the jump. Well, that didn’t go as planned. I don’t remember that much about what exactly happened but next thing I know I was all the way at the bottom of the building and everything hurt. I was so scared. I found a corner where I could hide and wait for mommy. Surely she’d come for me... And of course she did. She was crying, a lot, I think she was scared that I was hurt real bad. And I was crying because everything did hurt real bad.

After a night at the emergency clinic (I had a little hard time breathing so they gave me a special mask that made it so easy), Mommy picked me up and we were on our way home.

A few weeks later, I was still feeling great. Our family from Chicago came to visit (my grandma and auntie). I was so excited to meet them for the first time. Grandma lovesss to cuddle and kiss me, typical grandma. That weekend is when grandma noticed the pouch on my tummy. It didn’t hurt or anything so I didn’t think much of it. But before you know I was back at the animal hospital for a hernia surgery (what a weird word!). The vet told mommy it probably happened after my big accident.

Surgery went well although I wasn’t particularly happy with it - they gave me stuff that made me feel so sleepy but Mommy said I need to take it so my stitched up belly doesn’t hurt. And I got “the cone” (ugh, I hate that thing). Luckily I was a good girl and wasn’t licking my stitches so mommy took it off :)

We had a great year after that, Mommy and Ted and me. We played a lot and got so many new toys and treats. I love to be petted and get cuddle time with mommy.

Then, mommy started noticing my belly getting round. She said she’s not feeling good about it but I said I feel just fine. We had a checkup at the vet coming up. During the checkup the vet said I’m just a little round so Mommy felt better.

Right after the checkup though is when I started feeling not so good. I was starting to feel tired and food didn’t taste as yummy as it used to. Then I also started getting nausea and threw up (twice). Mommy said we need to go back to the vet.

So we went back on August 20, 2018 and that’s when everything got crazy. I got the weird X-ray pictures done again and a whole bunch of other tests. I guess there was a lot of fluid in my belly and the more the doctor talked, the more sad mommy got. I’ve never seen her cry like this before, so I knew something had to be really wrong. And so it happened, it turned out I had wet FIP, a really scary virus that has no cure.

When we got home, mommy started looking up all these things online about it. She said maybe there’s something out there we don’t know about that could make me feel better. But the more she read, the more sad she got, so I don’t think she found what she was looking for.

Mommy worked from home all this past week to hang out with me. In the meantime, I was feeling more and more icky. I’ve been very very sleepy. And food just doesn’t taste like it used to so I’m not super into eating it. Using the littler box has been hard too.

On Thursday is when we went to see the new vet, Dr. Waldrop. It was a long drive in the car and I hate those, but I think it was worth it. He knew soooo much about my sickness. His clinic is a special one for kitties only! He put me on some medication to make me feel better. One of them is pretty new (it’s called Polyprenyl - I can barely spell that so don’t even ask me to pronounce it). We are not sure if it will work or not, but Dr. Waldrop said we’ll know after a week so we’re trying it out.

The last week we’ve been having some bad days and some good days. Monday-Thursday were pretty bad. I was really not feeling good. I felt sad and tired and nauseous. And Mommy was sad too.

But yesterday was a good day and today is too. I think that the medication is making me feel a little better because I don’t feel as sleepy. Mommy also found this anchovy food that I really like so I’ve been eating that too - still not super hungry but I am trying! She’s also giving me goat milk which I’m not super crazy about, but I think it has some vitamins that can help me feel better so I’m being a good girl about it. I also got some new catnip toys! They are my favorite.

Mommy says we are going to take it day by day now and she will do whatever it takes to make me comfortable. She also pets me a lot which I love.

I sure hope we have more good days than bad days coming up, but I am brave and know what my diagnosis means. I’m excited to hang out and play with with Mommy and Ted as much as we can. We are going to make the time we have left very special.