View All FIP Warriors

FIP Warrior:

Vishka Vila

(VISHKA VILA story - part 3/3:) On sunny days I would put Vishka in her blanket and carry her in my arms to a children's playground near our house. It's a quiet place with hardly anyone there, so she could peacefully explore. I helped her climb small trees, and she seemed to enjoy it. I carried her around like a baby, while I felt her life slipping through my fingers. I talked and sang to her. I took her on some small adventures: to sense some exciting plants, to feel cherry blossoms, a fountain, a lake in the park. To taste the snow, to climb a vine pergola, smell a stable, to sit on the back of a horse... Eventually, on the morning of the day of our appointment at the Faculty Clinic, Wednesday April 10, Vishka wouldn't drink water anymore. For the first time she did her business outside the litter box. When we came to the vet, she said they suspected dry FIP, and sent us to the Infectious Diseases Clinic for further treatment. So we went there, with no idea what to expect... There a vet suggested Vishka remained at the Clinic for a couple of days - for hydration, infusion and vitamin B - after which she should get better, even if temporarily. So I accepted. I was not allowed to visit Vishka during treatment; just get updates over the phone instead. When I called later the same day, they said Vishka was given antibiotics and corticosteroids. Then next day (Thursday), they called asking me to come Friday morning, to give them authorization to do brain puncture for a cerebrospinal fluid sample. They suspected dry FIP (60% chance), or maybe toxoplasmosis (20% chance), or some other disease (20% chance) - so they needed puncture to diagnose. I agreed to come, as I wanted to see Vishka as soon as possible, worried and scared for her life. I asked my friend to go with me for support. So next day, Friday April 12, we came to the clinic. When they brought Vishka and put her in front of us, we were shocked. In less than two days she had spent there, Vishka's neurological condition deteriorated severely. She looked as if there was no mussle in her body - a small flagging bulk of white fur, making sporadic feeble uncoordinated movements. Her flabby head was hanging down, trembling. I tried to look her in the eyes; I lifted her head, but there was an empty spiritless look on her face - her eyes yellow hollows - didn't seem quite conscious. I couldn't believe what her frail little body had turned into. Vishka was actually not there anymore. We broke into tears... The vet still tried to convince me to sign authorization for biopsy, although it was obvious Vishka wouldn't survive anesthesia. Neurological symptoms were too severe; there was no chance for recovery, so I opted for euthanasia. Vet gave us some time alone. I played Vishka her favorite song, and she strained her ears to listen. I held her small body in my arms; I buried my nose in her soft warm fur, memorizing her scent and hoping she recognized me, hoping she remembered. I hummed her lullaby for one last time - a song about Vis Fairy, a shiny star in heaven. I hope she heard me, I hope in those last moments she felt loved... Two weeks after Vishka's death, the three of us - my friend, his husky, and I - went back to Vis to investigate Vishka's origins. With some help of the locals, we found out that Vishka comes from a stray-cat family. We couldn't locate her parents, but we found her two siblings - a brother and a sister. Both of them grew much bigger than Vishka ever was; especially her brother, who looks healthy and strong. Vishka's sister doesn't seem as well, though, with traces of blood in her leaky eyes... The cats wouldn't let us approach them. We left them some food. Then we drove away, to our favorite Vis beaches, to collect some beautiful smooth white rocks. On a sunny hill high above the Vis bay, I found a secluded spot with great views toward Vis town. We carried our heavy rocks up the hill, and built Vishka a memorial - a miniature white pyramid. I planted a few small plants beside it. We took photos, we smiled and we cried... Now Vishka is free to fly wherever she wants, and I hope this can become one of her favourite spots. From high up in the sunshine, she can watch her family, her brother and sister roaming the streets of Vis, depending on the kindness of strangers... And from the town down below, if you watch carefully, you will notice a sharp white spot on the hill above. It is Vis Fairy, shining her bright light... feeling, sensing, listening, guarding her Bay... My dear Vishka, please forgive me, I did what I could. I still look for you. I see you in a floating snowflake, in foam on sea waves, in every fleeting moment of beauty. Temporal, therefore precious. So long, my White Fairy! I will always love you. Yours forever, Lovorka