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.