Animals have been in my life since the day I was born. I adore them and have a household full of dogs and cats, all rescued in one way or another...adopted from a shelter or rescue, taken in as a result of their human passing away, rescued as a Facebook give away, or rescued from running the streets with no one to care for them, some feral and some not so much. I also help to run a rescue. So between my personal animals and the animals brought into our rescue, I see way too much ugly that these precious souls experience at the hands of humans. On August 27, 2019, my world came crashing down as the result of a different kind of ugly. One that didn't happen at the hands of any person. This is the day my vet told me that she strongly suspected my sweet Betty had FIP. I'll never forget that day. The immediate fear and anxiety I felt was overwhelming. And the questions that filled my head were endless. How? Why? She wasn't a kitten, she wasn't older, yes she was young...3 years old. But she was fine all this time, so what happened? What caused this? What about my 22 other cats, that include Betty's mama and 4 siblings and there's a genetic pre-disposition? FIP is a death sentence...how do I accept that? Well I couldn't and I didn't accept it. I had to at least try to find a way to save her. And save her I did. Thanks to the UC Davis drug trial and work of Dr. Neils Pedersen, Betty was treated with a non FDA approved version of one of the drugs used in the drug trial, GS441524, and is now considered CURED of FIP! The treatment is very expensive though. I worry about my other cats. I struggled to afford Betty's treatment and am still paying off my credit card. How could I do it again? What would I do? I pray I never find out. But I want and need to do whatever I can to get this treatment FDA approved, make it affordable and accessible to everyone, discover better and more effective treatment options, and ultimately discover an effective vaccine against this horrific and devastating disease to prevent FIP altogether. I found ZenByCat through the FIP Warriors Facebook group that enabled me to get the treatment that saved Betty. I went to the website to check it out. I saw the incredible work being done with the donations they receive. The contributions to FIP research are amazing, as is the help they provide to others trying to afford treatment. I quickly signed up to be a $10 monthly donor and I want to do all I can to encourage others to do the same, so one day soon our dreams will become a reality... Better and more effective treatment options that are affordable and available to everyone, an effective vaccine to prevent FIP, and FDA approval for all!
I have been an animal lover for all of my life but I never encountered FIP until I moved to Los Angeles a few years ago and adopted Loki and Odin, two adorable grey kittens who were not related. Sadly, I lost my sweet Odin to FIP three months after I adopted him. I had no idea what was wrong with him at first and it was one of the most gut wrenching experiences of my life. Seven months later, I lost my amazing Loki to FIP as well. It was inconceivable to me and I was devastated. It felt so unfair; he was my pal and only a year old. I still get tears in my eyes when I think of them (which is often) or look at pictures. I volunteer for a local cat rescue and I hear about cases of FIP but now I also see cats and kittens being treated and thriving! But there is still so much work to be done and progress to be made, which is why I am a Zen by Cat Ambassador. In honour of my Loki and Odin, I want to help spread the word, increase awareness and raise money for FIP research so one day no cat or their human will have to go through what many of us have. Pictured: Me and Loki
My name is Sylvia Torres and this is my polydactyl queen Emily. I have been around cats most of my life. I started fostering kittens July 30, 2017. Emily was part of the very first litter I fostered - I had no idea she was going to adopt me. Since then I have fostered at least 100 kittens and have helped trap several cats for TNR efforts. I have seen parasites, gastrointestinal issues and much more fostering kittens. But nothing could have prepared me for FIP. My girl Em was diagnosed with FIP in August 2019. I had never heard of FIP - I thought the veterinarian was going to hand me a bottle of medication for her. To hear that FIP was terminal and that my Em had days to live crushed me. Emily is a unique cat. She is one of a kind. Our goal is to help others learn more about FIP. To bring awareness and comfort to those affected by FIP. ❤
I have always been a huge cat lover and as I've gotten older I have made sure to contribute to the cat community however I can because it holds such importance in my life. At age 9 I adopted my first cat Coconut who I had with me for 16 years, until her passing of cancer. A couple months after that my husband and I were fostering a sweet kitten who we became foster failures to. Mochi was a huge part of our family and meant so much to my husband and I. Our worlds however were turned upside down when she was diagnosed with Wet FIP. My husband and I had never heard of FIP before this and were absolutely shocked and devastated by the news. She had her routine vaccines, which triggered the virus and lead to 3 days of hospitalization. Those last few days Mochi declined so fast and began losing her fight to FIP. Upon my vets guidance there was nothing more we could do for Mochi and had to make the decision to let her go peacefully. After being extremely devastated from our loss , I began researching FIP to learn more about it, where I came upon "Zen By Cat". I saw the amazing passion and goal to help treat cats with FIP, to research it, and to help fight to get the drugs approved. I quickly became a member because I believe so much in this foundation and their mission. I want to do everything I can to help get the word out, help others going through the same thing I did, and to finish the mission to get cats access to the treatment. I am honored to be part of this foundation and to contribute wherever I can.
I have had cats for my entire life and had never heard of FIP until my 8-month old kitten, Barack Obameow, was diagnosed in May 2018. Thanks to the incredible research conducted at UC Davis, Barack was one of the first survivors. After participating in the UC Davis drug trial, I knew there was much more work to be done in order to cure all cats of this insidious disease. So, Barack and I got to work trying to raise both awareness and funding for FIP research. I soon became involved with ZenByCat as well as the FIP Warriors group on Facebook. As ambassadors for ZenByCat, Barack and I aim educate other cat lovers about this disease as well as advocate for the need for continued research.
I have always felt a deep connection to animals. When I was a teen, I came home to my apartment to find a kitten in front of my door, who had sustained severe injuries due to fire. I did everything I could to save "Ice Kitty", who went on to live 12 exciting years. We did everything together; from going to the beach to late night food runs to camping...because neither of us knew any better. My experience with Ice Kitty solidified my love and respect for cats. It was during Ice Kitty's reign that I first became aware of how terribly expensive Vet bills could be. I now have a happy household of rescued animals, including many formerly feral cats, a dog, and a few other critters who showed up at my doorstep. The medical costs incurred when doing the right thing for my beloved furry family has reiterated that not everyone can afford Vet bills that could save the lives of their beloved pets. ZenByCat's goal is to raise money for the battle against F.I.P, so everyone has access to the cure. The cure is out there, so if everyone reading this donated just a little, we could realize the dream of saving the lives of all the sweet kitties impacted by this horrific disease.
I adopted my first kitten in 1988 and since then adopting from shelters has became one of my greatest passions. Inspired by a tiny book by Bob Walker, I began building cat walks in the mid 90's and have never stopped. When we lost Peanut to FIP in 2014 I thought it was a very rare disease. When Miss Bean was diagnosed and was lucky enough to get into the UC Davis FIP drug trial, I became aware of the huge magnitude of this disease. It was then that we decided to create ZenByCat as a non-profit dedicated to raising money to find a cure for this horrible disease. While Miss Bean did not make it, Smokey did and became one of the very first real world cats cured of FIP in 2016.
Jeffyne Telson is the President and founder of RESQCATS, Inc. in Santa Barbara, CA. RESQCATS is a non-profit 501(c)(3) dedicated to the rescue, care and adoption of stray and abandoned cats and kittens. The organization has operated for nineteen years and has placed over 2600 cats and kittens in forever homes (including 13 kittens in House of Nekko).
I grew up with a dog, many cats, birds, and fish in Japan. I can’t live without animals in my life. I’ve lived in the “House of Nekko” since 1995. I have had to say goodbye to many cats over the years, but it is especially difficult to lose little kittens like Peanut and Miss Bean who died to FIP. I am so happy to be part of ZenByCat and help researchers to cure this fatal disease. I’ve spent a lot of my time for AIDS/HIV volunteer work over 10 years. FIP is just like HIV and we need to find a cure for it.