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I lost my cat to FIP in less than a week


catinheaven

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In September 2020 me and my husband decided to adopt a second female cat, Capri. She was 1 year old at the time and our existing cat, Amalfi (4 years old and adopted 1.5 years prior), had a challenging time adapting to her, and learning to "share us" with her, but after a while she gave in and snuggled with Capri. They were lovely! They have both been my "first" pets ever and I am 28 years old.

During the past year and 1 month that we had her, we loved her a lot and our relationship developed super quickly. Amalfi became super close to my husband and Capri to me; she was all day sitting on my lap (I've been doing home office), whenever I went to the bathroom she was waiting at the door, whenever I left her out of my working space she cried until I opened the door or my husband held her, she woke me up everyday at 5am so that I would pet her and then she would become quiet (it was a pain at the time but one of the things that I miss the most). Whenever we talked about dying pets I always got teary just by having the thought, and I always said "If one of our cats die I hope to mentally be in a really good place, otherwise, I will want to die".

Since day 1, we knew that she was a weak cat; she lost some of her teeth, she had a super weak immune system, she was super skinny, and every time that we traveled, she got sick... even if my parents came to our place to stay with them so that they wouldn't feel alone.

Anyway... in mid october 2021 we started to notice that she was a bit skinnier than usual, she was eating but maybe a little bit less, she was not playing like her usual self... so we took her to the vet, where she got hospitilized for 2 nights as she seemed dehydrated and we decided that we would do surgery to remove her teeth so that she wouldn't have any pain in her mouth when eating... We took her back home on thursday afternoon, and on friday we had to give her the food by hand and I noticed that she was avoiding me, which she never did... I called the vet and told him that I've read that cats avoided people if they knew that they were going to die, but he told me to not be paranoid. 

That night she vomited water 2 times right after drinking it, and on saturday afternoon there was yellow vomit on our bed; we immediately took her back to the vet where they noticed that her belly was swollen, so she got hospitalized one more time.... By saturday's afternoon her stomach was like a balloon full of liquid, and our biggest fear started to become more and more of a reality. All the symptoms were pointing to her having FIP (Feline Infectious Peritonitis) which is a deadly cat disease.

So that was on saturday... On monday she had a fever and was stabilized but the vet told us that it had been a hard episode to control... On tuesday they put her on a feeding tube, but the picture was not positive at all... On wednesday we were able to find an experimental drug that has worked wonders for cats with FIP and the vet started to give it to Capri. That day and thursday she had ups and downs... But on friday she seemed way better, she was still very very weak, but progressing (at least compared to the previous days where she was completely immobile because of the fever and feeding tube). She started snuggling with me again whenever I visited her at the hospital, she started to hiss at a small dog that was also at the vet (that was funny because she normally is the sweetest, and we saw that as progress and being aware of her surroundings.

That friday the "before nightime" report that we got from the vet was super positive so we were very very hopeful.... Unluckily, the next day we got the "morning report" that she had vomited what seemed to be blood, so at 7am we approved some x-rays to be taken of her lungs to find out if she had any liquid in there...

At 9am we got an emergency call telling us to go super quickly to the vet... we did and she was connected to the oxygen one more time... we could hear her breathing with a lot of difficulty and she was basically unaware of her surroundings except for a small move that she did when my husband approached.  Actually at that moment she not only had FIP, but she also developed feline triaditis, another deadly sickness for cats where 3 organs start failing.

I knew if was time to let her go, and my husband knew it too.... We needed to act quickly as we didn't want her to have a heart failure and die suffering, so basically after 15minutes we got to be in the euthanasia room with her. All her medicines and oxygen were stopped, and her breathing was very very heavy... she couldn't move and I just pet her. 

We started reading her some words that we had prepared in case that that moment arrived, we also read her all the nicknames that we had for her (more than 14!), and when the doctor gave her the first dose to sedate her she inmediately vomited more... we could hear her gasping for air, although the vet explained that it was a reflex and not really her gasping for air.... Then he gave her the last injections and she went away.

I am not a religious person at all, I do believe in good and bad energies... but with this situation I like thinking that she went to cat heaven, where she will be able to make biscuits all day, where she will be petted as much as she wants, where she will get all the best tuna and salmon... and with my husband we like talking about her being in cat heaven, creating her own bakeshop, being a "business woman", and basically... creating stories about her and imagining how happy she is now. We also like saying that she is our little guardian angel and that she is helping us from above, or giving us "lessons".

Whenever we speak of this things, I just let myself go and be happy about it you know... whenever I try to obectively think about it, I know that all that is not true... but for her, for my Capri, I do want to let the possibility open, it's a nicer and more beautiful idea than just thinking that she is gone and that's it.

Tomorrow will be one month since she has been gone... We've discussed the possilibity to have another pet basically since that same weekend when she died, as we do want company for our other cat but also to help us go through this...specially me, although sometimes I am afraid that I will always compare that other pet to Capri. To me, she was family, she was like my daughter, and she is the gratest unconditional love I've ever felt.

I feel like she was a big part of my life and one of the things that made me the happiest, even more than my extended family, friends, etc... So the fact that she is gone and that I will never get to see her again, to snuggle with her, to hear her scream or miau is heartbreaking.

I try to be happy for other things going on in my life, whenever someone asks me what happened to Capri I can explain without crying and I feel calm because I know that we tried everything that we could and that Capri was a fighter during that last week, whenever we talk about Capri's afterlife we feel joy... but sometimes I think about it again... and the fact that I will never be able to hold her as a baby (which she loved), or to pet her, makes me deeply sad. I really feel that one of the key things that kept me "calm" and happy is gone and I will never have that again.

I know no cat, no dog, no person will ever mean to me what she did. It just sucks to be an animal person, feel so much love for a cat and loose her in that way. She was young, we only had her for one year... and she was gone in a week.

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On 11/22/2021 at 1:15 PM, catinheaven said:

but for her, for my Capri, I do want to let the possibility open, it's a nicer and more beautiful idea than just thinking that she is gone and that's it.

Believe...a lady here talks about her "mustard seed faith" meaning it only takes a tiny grain of faith to hang onto, faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen.  So hang onto the thought of her being in kitty heaven, making biscuits...who can say it isn't so!  I trust I will see my animals again, I have to!  How can anyone so vibrant just "not be!"  We were meant to be together, we will again.

So hang onto those good thoughts, I am very sorry for your loss, that you are missing her.  It seems so unfair that one should die so young.  I feel bad that my cat lived so long while yours did not, but then no time is a good time to say goodbye, and I don't like the word goodbye anyway, I'd rather say "I'll see you later!"  Sending you thoughts for peace and comfort...

 

 

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It helped me to write about my cat and dog, I didn't want them ever forgotten...

 

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