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Tuckerman is named after a ravine on Mt. Washington. He is love and thinks he might be a dog. He follows us everywhere, sits at the computer, watches me cook, naps as I work, supervises laundry, sits by the sink and stares at me when he wants a drink, and chirps a greeting each and every time I open the front door.
Shortly after Tuck’s one year (and coincidentally my son’s 13th) birthday he was diagnosed with FIP, and given days to live. Between sobs, I asked the vet what we could do, he only shook his head sorrowfully. But a series of miracles and abject refusal to accept there were NO options, led me to Dr. Peterson. To my surprise I was on a plane, just days from the fatal diagnosis, from Boston to Sacramento. I hydrated Tuck daily, syringe fed him, and whispered into those big ears “hold on.”
A 12lb bag of bones but still a Maine Coon, Tuckerman’s 27 inches (and 15in. tail) wouldn’t fit a 19 inch carrier. The dead cat walking, he wouldn’t survive under a seat for 5 hours on his first flight. I explained to my doctor that to sit on my lap on a plane Tuckerman must be a support animal. I could feel the smile over the phone. I had the papers in an hour.
The journey, filled with obstacles, was only starting. The team took Tuckerman, after a week they sent us home with injections and instructions. It was up to Tuckerman and the drug now. Mike and I texted; his unrelenting faith in the process, kind encouragement along with the powerful EVO kept us going. The kindness of the team, and their knowledge set my mind at ease.
Tuck grew stronger. His weight, appetite, and temperature journal filled up its pages with progress, setbacks, more progress. Dr.P and Dr.M chimed in with encouragement. Tuck took EVO from June 2017 until January 2, 2018 and we waited. Boo, our other cat, the healer and lover, nurtured Tuck along with us. He would snuggle him and clean him and always stayed close.
18 pounds, Tuck was starting to look like a MaineCoon.
By February he was up another pound; March another.
On Thursday, April 12 I wrote a heart in Tuck’s journal next to “21.0 lbs!”
On July 21 I wrote “21.11 lbs, 200 days drug free :)”
Tuckerman never protested injections, or daily temperatures; we had a sense he knew the minor discomfort was the path to recovery.
Over a year from his last injection, 21lbs, cheerful, he greets us at the door with his signature chirp and fluffy tail; his labs are beyond flawless. Even the vet is astounded that he ever had FIP.
Words cannot express my gratitude to the team at UC Davis. In a world where FIP translates to “death sentence” I can only imagine the impact EVO will have once available to many; I hope this time will come soon.