Sudden and Recent Loss of Pet due to FIP
I felt so comforted by some of your stories that I decided to share my own. My husband and I just had to put our baby girl Flo (10 months) to sleep on Tuesday 2/26/13.
Flo (Flosephine) Williams
April 15th 2012 ��" February 26th 2013
On Friday February 22nd my Husband Jared started noticing some severe changes in Flo’s eating habits. Since I wasn’t home that night, I didn’t start noticing until Saturday the 23rd. After we switched Flo from kitten food to adult food around 7 months of age, she slowly became more of a light eater. Even so, she was active and happy and there were no early warning signs of her illness. On that Sunday the 24th, I started getting really worried. I just knew that there was something going on, something was really off with the way my little peanut was acting. She wasn’t coming into bed, she wanted to be alone, she still wasn’t eating and she wasn’t grooming herself. I decided we needed to take her to the vet immediately. I scheduled an appointment for the next day.
When we adopted Flo in June of 2012, we knew she was the runt of her litter. She was so small and so precious, but with an attitude bigger and better than we could of expected. She loved to play, she was so social and she loved Jared and me so fiercely. I chalk this up to her knowing we had saved her from a life in a cage. She was the happiest kitty, and we felt so lucky to find another cat that was so affectionate and loving. What could be better?
When we got to the Vet’s office on Monday the 25th, we expressed our concerns with the doctor was so wonderful. I had this sick feeling in my stomach that the result wouldn’t be a positive one. This wasn’t some simple illness that could be fixed in 5-7 days. We proceeded to explain her symptoms and he gave us the run through of possibilities; could she have swallowed something foreign? Could it be worms again? Dr. Hatch decided it would be best to take her temperature, some blood samples and to run an x-ray on her belly. The first red alarm, her temperature was high. Cats generally run a normal temperature of 101 Degrees. Flo had a fever of 104.5. A few minutes later, he came back into the office with our little girl and with a small rush of relief confirmed there was nothing foreign lodged in her abdomen. This feeling only lasted a moment. He started to show us a more detailed view of her x-ray and that’s when we saw the fluid. Flo had a distended abdomen that was slowly building fluid.
I started to feel sick. I started to feel like my little world was ending. Fluid in the belly could not be good. Dr. Hatch started to discuss the possibilities, Coronavirus and FIP being one. FIP, that dreaded fatal virus that claims the lives of young kittens between 6-10 months of age. Flo was 10 months old. At that point, I couldn’t hear him anymore. Thank goodness Jared was there to collect all the fine details. FIP, what the hell is FIP? Why haven’t I ever heard of this? How could this be happening to my baby? I cried so hard in the doctor’s office because in my gut I knew this was probably the issue. Why would Dr. Hatch bring something up so adamantly if he didn’t think it was the case? We had to wait until Tuesday the 26th for the results.
Tuesday morning I went to work with knots in my stomach. I started researching Coronavirus and FIP, trying to educate myself on the possibility of this being something we had to face.
As I was reading people’s experiences with cats with FIP, I started to bawl. This was it, I knew it was it. Waiting for the blood results was torture but I knew in my gut that Dr. Hatch was right and wouldn’t scare us with an assumption as great as this for a laugh. I finally got the call and my heart sank as my biggest fear came true. Our baby girl tested positive for the Coronavirus and all her blood levels, fever and swollen belly suggested she was in the “end stages” of FIP.
I cried harder than I think I have ever really cried. We were left with no other option then to put our baby girl to sleep. I called Jared right after I spoke with the Doctor and he immediately came to my aid to pick me up from work. I couldn’t look at anyone, I couldn’t talk and I felt like I couldn’t breathe. We got home to our girl and we knew she was tired. She looked terrible and so, so sad. This was not the girl we were so lucky to come to know over the last 8 months. She came to me and nuzzled my hand, a past time that I miss so much already. We made the decision that it would be that day. Jared made the call and we waited. It was the longest two hours of my life.
Saying good bye to Flo was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. She was taken from us too soon and I will never forget her face, her coat, the sound of her mew or her purr. The way she would look at me with her little eyes or the way she would wake us up in the morning for food. We got to the vet and everyone was upset. She was loved by many there. We rocked her to sleep and we kissed her goodbye. We thanked her for the love and time she had given us and we promised to never forget her. I had to leave my baby on that table in the caring hands of the doctors and staff that I knew would be as gentle with her in death as they were in life. I will never forget those last moments when her tiny life slipped away literally before my eyes. I never thought this loss could hurt so much but I know we gave Flo the best life she could have had and that will always give me comfort.
Thanks for reading.