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FIP Warrior:


2020 has not been an easy year for anyone. In the midst of all the bad things occurring, we had a glimmer of hope in adopting a kitten. By some cruel chance of fate, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, my sweet kitten, Theo, developed a feline coronavirus that mutated into the deadly Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP).  (Please note that there is no correlation between feline coronavirus and COVID-19 and there is no possibility of transfer from animal to human and vice versa - they are entirely separate diseases). Here is a bit of our story...The week leading up to May 23, 2020, I was so excited and nervous that I could hardly get to sleep. It was on that day that I'd be picking up my kitten, who I could not wait to bring home. He was born around March 12 down in South Carolina, and I adopted him through the shelter Last Chance Animal Rescue.The first few weeks having him home were great. He was so playful and sweet, he loved my husband Yacine so much and made a pet lover out of him. He visited the vet twice for his routine vaccines and was thriving and growing as he should.But then there was a sudden change. At the end of June, we noticed a difference in his behavior. His appetite was low and most alarmingly, he was having trouble breathing. His whole tiny body heaved with every breath he tried to take. He became lethargic, the struggle to breath too much for him to move. When before he would run up and down the hall chasing his toys, now he hardly lifted his head to follow a ribbon.I took him to the vet. An x-ray showed a large amount of fluid surrounding his lungs and the scale confirmed he was losing weight. The vet extracted the fluid and sent it out for testing. Based on what she was seeing that day, she explained her suspicions that it was the worst possible case: Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP). That vet visit itself was quite expensive - between the x-rays, tests, fluid extraction - a week's worth pay spent in under an hour.Over a week went by while we waited for test results. His behavior improved dramatically and I began to doubt anything was wrong at all. When the vet called and told me he was positive for FIP, I was shocked and devastated. The extraction of the fluid around his lungs has made him feel much better, but it was only a matter of time before it returned and became worse. FIP is a painful death that if left untreated, can happen very quickly and suddenly.The treatment is expensive but almost guaranteed to work. My poor sweet kitty has been in our life for such a short amount of time but he has made such a positive impact. Maybe you're not a cat person and that's ok, but imagine getting home from work and having this tiny creature running towards you, meowing and squeaking, so happy that you're home. Then he spends the rest of the evening cuddled up on the couch with you, maybe on your lap or behind your head - anywhere to be close. He's my breakfast buddy. Every morning I sit on the couch with my bowl of oatmeal and my coffee and he hops up and sits peacefully in my lap until it's time to get up and get ready for work.In the past few days, I've gone from doubting the existence of the disease to seeing its progression. He has developed some of the other unfortunate symptoms but still he tries so hard to be a happy kitty. He still follows Yacine around relentlessly, meowing at any door he may be "hiding" behind. He jumped up his cat tower for the first time in weeks, and even swatted a few toy mice. But also, his eyes have changed color and developed spots - a clear sign of FIP.I never thought I'd make a gofundme page. I prayed I'd never have a reason to. I struggle with if I've made the right decision to pursue such expensive treatment. I am not in the position to put a monetary value on a life, even the life of an animal. Can thousands of dollars be justified to save a 4 month old kitten, when there are humans struggling to survive and so many other helpless animals? But my guilt would eat me alive if I did not try. If you can spare a few dollars, that would lessen the burden some and make me feel more confident in my decision.Thank you