Smokey became a part of our lives through Miss Bean and our journey to cure her of FIP. Smokey was accepted into the same UC Davis treatment program but had no means of getting there. House of Nekko adopted him to help him in his fight against FIP.
Follow Smokey’s progress and his fight with FIP
Smokey has responded well to the UC Davis trial drug and is nearing the end of his 6th week of a 12 week program. All his symptoms disappeared by the end of the 2nd week and his last blood tests showed him within normal ranges on all metrics. In short, he is a normal kitten, making friends with the other 21 cats of House of Nekko. While he still faces long odds, we take his journey one day at a time and are grateful for every minute we have with him.
Smokey update - 10/16/2016
Smokey has just a little over a week before he is scheduled to go off the trial drug. He has been receiving the drug twice a day for over 10 weeks now and his transformation has been nothing short of miraculous. When he began the trail he was near death, with a bloated belly and no energy to even get up. He is now a happy, energetic, growing kitten who weighs over 6lbs. While we are very hopeful, we know making it off the drug is still a risky proposition. Paws crossed:).
Smokey update - 10/25/2016
Smokey had his last shot this morning. We are about to have a small party to celebrate his finishing 3 months of twice daily painful shots. Now all we can do is hope his body was able to kill all of the mutated virus during the treatment. The first week is the most scary because if he shows any neurological problems, it means the FIP reached his brain and we will need to euthanize him. If he clears that hurdle, and if no FIP symptoms return, he will have beaten very great odds and join Flora and one other real world cat that has been cured of FIP. No matter what happens, Smokey will have given the researchers at UC Davis valuable information in their quest to find a cure. We are also very grateful for the 3 months we have had with Smokey that we would not have had without this drug trial. That said, we really really really want him to hang around a long time:).
Please help us raise money to speed the cure. Just $5 or $10 a month from a lot of people will make a world of difference. All monies raised are give equally to the Bria Fund and SOCKFIP. No money raised is used for our cats or for the creation of this webpage. Please also share this site so that more people can have a chance to help. Thank you!
Smokey update - 11/4/2016
So happy to report that Smokey has been off the drug for 10 days now and is still doing great. Half way through the really scary part but we stay hopeful and enjoy every minute with Smokey. Check out some of the videos of him enjoying his life as a kitten:). We are very grateful.
Smokey update - 11/15/2016
Smokey received his first perfectly normal, healthy blood test results since he was a very young kitten. Every reading normal:). He has been off the drug for 3 weeks exactly and so far he is doing great. He weighs just over 7 1/4 pounds and has a practically insatiable appetite. We feed him wet food 4 times a day and he still loves treats. He burns all those calories in his daily battles with MiniBean.
Smokey update - 12/23/2016
Smokey had his second perfectly normal blood test earlier this month and continues to thrive. While I have not been posting much here, I have on the site:).
Smokey update - 2/04/2017
Smokey had another perfectly normal blood test this week. He has now had normal blood tests for almost 3 months and has been off the anti-viral protease inhibitor for almost 15 weeks. His doctors have switched to monthly blood tests/exams and if the next two are normal, as expected, they will then switch to every two months, and then yearly. They have said their longest remission time to date is 8 months and counting. They are beginning to dare to hope these cats have been cured of FIP. One odd side effect of the drug might be the interference with adult teeth formation. Smokey may never get all his adult teeth but it is too early to tell yet. Here he is getting his teeth examined during his bimonthly visit to his doctor. Regardless, it is a tiny price to pay for beating FIP. Please help us expand these drug trials and speed the cure for FIP. http://www.ZenByCat.org/give-to-fip-research
Smokey Update 02/15/2017
We have shared Smokeys story in the hopes that it would help raise awareness and hope for all those who are losing kittens/cats to FIP. As anyone who has dealt with FIP knows, it can be a rollercoaster ride of ups and downs. These last few days have been some of the scariest in Smokey's long battle with FIP. He has shown signs of neurological problems that could come from the FIP penetrating his brain. Since the protease inhibitor cannot penetrate the brain barrier, we have known from the beginning that if that happens, we must let Smokey cross the Rainbow Bridge. But, he has also shown other symptoms that are not consistent with FIP. We remain hopeful and ask that no one give up on defeating FIP, no matter what happens with Smokey. He is low on energy but not in pain and now resting with MiniBean. We will post changes to his condition and thank everyone for their good wishes. If fighting FIP was easy, it would have been defeated already. Never Give Up Hope.
Smokey Update 02/17/2017
Smokey is doing much better than before. All neurological symptoms have disappeared and he now just has a bad cold left to deal with. His doctors now think this was just a particularly bad recurrence of the common Herpes virus and that nasal drip had irritated Smokeys throat, causing the gulping actions. We are breathing a little easier as we gain confidence this was NOT an FIP recurrence. We started him on antibiotics, in addition to getting Sucralfate (soothes his irritated throat). We also treated him and the 21 other cats in the house with Revolution to rule out Roundworm. He is improving each day so we will continue supportive care and keep all paws crossed:).
Smokey Update 03/16/2017
Smokey completely recovered from whatever the mystery illness was and continues to grow and lead a happy kitten life. He will have his next monthly blood test next week but we do not expect anything but a perfect result:). He is just shy of 10lbs now and has learned to jump pretty well (he used to only climb things).
Smokey Update 04/30/2017
Smokey is coming up on his 27th week anniversary, just one week shy of 7 months since his last injection. He continues to grow and remain FIP free and happy. We continue to have great hope that he will live a long healthy life. He plays rough but still gets along with all other cats of the house. He and MiniBean continue to play so rough it looks like a battle to the death. They have somehow managed to avoid hurting each other. We are planning on adopting 3 more kittens in the coming weeks. ZenByCat is rolling out several new ventures that we hope will both raise money and awareness about the fight against FIP. Life is busy.
Smokey Update 7/5/2017
While Smokey continues to thrive and enjoy his life as a happy 16 month old kitten, he faces another bump in his challenging young life. The drug trial that saved his life involved him receiving 186 painful injections over a 12 week period. Some of those caused small bumps of scar tissue to form well below his skin in his shoulder area. These calcium bumps can, in a small percentage of cats, turn cancerous over time. Usually they are just monitored and only removed if they start growing. However, given Smokeys history with FIP, his doctors felt the risk of the surgery was less than the risk of complications if he ever had to battle cancer. Because the bumps are deep, his vet decided a specialist surgeon should do the operation. Smokey met with his new doctor on Monday and as of now, his surgery is scheduled for July 17th. If all goes as planned, he will have a 4" incision on his back near his shoulder area and have to stay in the hospital at least one night. They expect a 2 week recovery period.
I feel bad that after all he has gone through, and when he is finally 100% healthy and strong and playful, he now has to go through this surgery. He has remained a loving and stoic cat that never ran away from his shots and always kept on trying to just play. I hope he understands we are seemingly setting him back in order to help his future.
The picture below is actually of The Professor surrounded by the 186 shots that Smokey endured. This picture was taken at Smokeys party we had after he completed the 12 week trial. We were very careful with the syringes and properly disposed of them after we took this picture. We felt it was important to show how many injections Smokey went though. Research is difficult and as the human guardians of these innocent lives, we have to decide how much they should endure and for what possible gain. Once this drug is commercialized it will be made into an easier form to take. But for the lucky kittens who made it into the UC Davis protieas inhibitor drug trial, they had to get twice daily painful injections. We are in no way complaining and never forget how lucky Smokey is to have received this chance. That said, it is never easy causing pain to another sentient being, especially when you cannot explain to your cat why they need to hurt before they can get better.
Smokey Update 07162017
Smokey had a fantastic day and is ready for tomorrow.