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FIP Warrior:

Myrtle, aka Squirt

Hi everyone! You may know my 5 month old kitten, Myrtle. My coworker, Noelle, found her mom hit by a car and Myrtle crawled up to her on Halloween 2019. I knew the minute she entered the hospital, she would end up with me. I have worked in various cat rescues and vets, and have never taken home a kitten to have as mine, but she was special. She was a little half a potato! When I eventually took her home in December, Myrtle became my best friend, my favorite companion, and I am that to her. People joke that she is actually secretly a dog because she is so affectionate with me. I had/have been having some pretty significant health issues for a while, but she has kept me going, caring for her and myself because she is my inspiration. I don't know what I would do without her, and vice versa. She is the happiest little kitten, slept on me every night, and is honestly one of the best pets I have ever had. She has been having intermittent fevers on and off. I tried every test I could think of. Our main concern was FIP, especially since the fevers of unknown origin panel came back as positive for the virus that it mutates from. It isn't a guarantee, though, and we can't confirm FIP without certain things like abdominal fluid, and since her only symptom was fever and the symptoms that are associated with fever(lethargy, lack of appetite), and because they were infrequent and short in duration, we kept on searching. She stopped getting fevers for a while, and was gaining weight, super happy, until last Sunday. On Sunday, 3/22/20, she spiked a very, very high fever of 105.6. She was a little lethargic, didn't want to cuddle with me. Her abdomen enlarged, bloated. She was still eating, drinking, and using the bathroom, so I texted her doctor and we decided to do a xray the next day. I gave her her normal fever reducing medicine, and she perked up. Xray was pretty unremarkable, bloodwork was actually better than it was in January. Still iffy, but she was not feeling well. Nothing to be too concerned about, probably a virus. I was still worried because this is worse than her usual fever, but consoled with the information we had gathered. I got supportive care meds and we went home. She did well until tuesday AM around 10 am. She spiked a fever of 105.9. I talked to her doctor and she said we can raise the dose of the fever med because her weight had risen significantly. So I did, she did well throughout the day and night. Completely herself, loving up on me. On Wednesday, 3/25/20 I gave her first AM meds at 9 am, then her others at 10 am. At 9 am, she was cool and acting normal. At 10 am, she seemed off and warm. I took her temp, it was 106.3. I rushed her to my work to get fluids to try to reduce the fever since we couldn't give her anymore fever reducers. While there, the doctor tapped her abdomen because it looked bigger. When she did that, they got fluid. This means there is fluid free in her abdomen. I rushed her to UGA, where she and I are now. I was not able to go in with her due to the COVID pandemic changing protocol, which I totally understand and expected. I just spoke with the doctor. They said she is stable and it was really good I brought her in, that they would do the same for their kitten. When the STAT fluid analysis came back, Myrtle was formally diagnosed with dry to wet FIP. I decided to treat upon speaking to some vets I really respect, as this cat is my "heart cat", my best friend. She is doing well so far, but we are only day 23/84 and I still do not know how I am going to pay for all of it, especially with COVID going on and myself being high risk. I have already had to see the doctor twice for severe bronchitis, caused by allergies and asthma, since the shut down started and I am very concerned about how I am going to pay for everything. Even with that, the only reason I got appointments for it was because I thought to myself, "Who would do her injections if I had to go to the hospital?". I don't have much in savings because I've been trying to pay off medical debt of my own. This cat, though, is worth every penny I have and will put into her. I honestly do not know what I would do without her. She is why I get up, go to work, take care of myself. She is my heart animal.

Thank all of you. I know you all know how important this cat is to me and how absolutely special she is. I appreciate anything you can contribute. I am embarrassed to be in this position, but Myrtle is so special. She is the absolute light of my life. If you met her, you would understand just how special the little nugget is!

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