Fantasia is the littlest sister of a litter of three kittens found with a feral colony living on a mountain in West Virginia. Her siblings found homes over a month ago, but Fantasia was being treated for an ear infection, and had a head tilt as a result. Or so we thought...
After having Fantasia with us for just over a week, we noticed a persistent fever and some other anomalies that just didn't add up to an ear infection, or any other treatable infection. Based on her clinical presentation, Fantasia was presenting with signs of FIP.
Feline Infectious Peritonitis is a really terrible, 100% fatal viral disease. We have recently lost two other cats in our rescue, Goose and BoBo, from FIP. It hits randomly and cannot be prevented. Vaccinations and medications do nothing to hinder the virus or its progress, and we can't tell if any cats are predisposed to development. We are devastated by our recent losses and are not looking forward to losing Fantasia as well.
Fantasia has recently been living with our veterinarian's family. Her two young children are enjoying having a kitten, and Fantasia is loving the home life, laser pointer, and snuggles. But her happy days are numbered, and we have started to question her quality of life. She is eating less and less, and is having days where she is too tired to do much. Since we do not wish for her to suffer, we have been monitoring her closely and have been anticipating euthanasia for over a week now. She has rallied every time we have thought the worst, but the end of her life looms over us all.
After hearing about some recent drug trials, it seems as though there could be some hope for Fantasia. I joined a Facebook group and began doing research and making contacts and have found a way to possibly treat her. The drugs we need for her are not commonly available and will take some special efforts to get. And, of course, they're pretty expensive.
I am realistic, I know we can't save them all. I wish we could have afforded the same chance to Goose and to BoBo. But I am tired of sitting around and watching them decline and holding them as they die and crying as we get back an urn filled with ashes. If there is a way to save Fantasia, I'm going to try my best to get it and save her from the same fate. I refuse to watch this happen again, even if there is but the smallest chance.
It's going to be tough. It's going to be expensive. But we're going to try.