Sunday, 5 March 2017

Love and loss - when FIP kills your kitten

This was such a hard post to write, i'm teared up again after abandoning the effort previously. A recent post on the FIP fighter's page showing Bella still going strong over 5 year's later made me decide to come back to this blog.

Time heals - I can look back now - and finally forward again.

The fire of FIP transformed and fused our mother son relationship in a way that's beyond that which I have with my two older boys. FIP made us talk about matters, and physically and emotionally shared a space, more appropriate to adults, with no one close to lean on but each other. To our horror we discovered some people including our nearest and dearest, just don't understand your utter emotional distress when it's a pet who is terminally ill - not say a human family member with cancer. Especially when its a cat not a dog. The vets even tried to profit from the situation beyond what is ethically appropriate for services rendered!

After FIP took Mishka not only were our hearts broken but the fear and guilt that set in was appalling. I cannot explain why exactly only that it had something to do with entirely optional nature of pet adoption. In that time my teenage son has really grown up - he's moved out of home and made the decision to aquire another cat whom he chose after 'interviewing' several kittens. He wanted an older cat - but not too old, as we know FIP more likely before the immune system is matured. He wanted a moggie from a nice family home. As we know inbreeding is a risk factor for FIP, and show cat breeders or shelter cats are more likely to have issues with corona virus due to crowding. He wanted of course a cat with a nice temperament, and last but not least - hypoallergenic. Soft long but easy to care for coat would be a clue to that, also we had a suspicion that black and white cats in the moggie population are more likely to be hypoallergenic. So here at last is my son's new kitten Missy.  
Vale Mishka, Ave Missy -Long may she purr!


  1. Firstly thank you so much for taking the time and effort to set up your site for all to share and learn from.
    Being in West Australia and having recently had one of my darling fur babies diagnosed with FIP (90% sure in the vets words), I have researched and educated myself intensely, cried and empathised with so many who have lost their babies and questioned myself and goals at length. As the process to try and save my boy takes so much time I had to stop and ask myself what does he need the most. Treatment, peace, constant cuddles and play (when he can) or me to be a pseudo expert in FIP, drugs, treatments, tests etc to be able to make the most appropriate decisions for him. At the moment of diagnosis I told myself it is his life and not my right to make him suffer needlessly. I made peace with the fact I know as soon as he can't enjoy play or the comfort of his sister Mishka I will do right by him. Yes, I have a Mishka too and have felt everyone of your words touch my soul. Your March 2017 really hit home for me, having lost 3 cats and our beloved border collie in less than 12 months from various forms of cancer and illnesses, we searched our souls to see if we had the strength to keep adopting. The joy of even a few months of a fur babies love and company is the greatest blessing of all. So yet again we adopted 2 rescue dogs and 2 rescue kittens. In over 40 years of farming and having uncounted number of cats we had never experienced FIP, yet when you do, you find yourself in a global race to find a cure and life seems it will never be the same. Along that journey you find so much compassion, pain, love and support it is easy to join the global education campaign. One of the greatest challenges I've personally faced is how do I feel now about the lack of knowledge that many rescue organisations and carers seem to have in regard to FIP and as a collective is it still in the animals best interest to have so many anti euthanasia rescue organisations servicing the needs of those searching for cute fur babies. I loved your blog because it helped me really think about how I will approach adoption and decisions in the future. On a personal level for 20yrs I've had a condition that is not unlike FIP in that it is rare, has no cure or truly effective treatments and is a long way off being cured even with the enormous amount of research taking place. I struggled to accept the limitations it placed on my life and the symptoms but today I can say I'm thankful for having it because it has helped me enormously understand the issues relating to FIP and given me the tenacity to do all I can to learn, educate, disseminate, empathize and assist others. You have inspired me to accept what will be. Eternal thanks as I move forward. Love and light always from another Mishka mum xox

    1. Dear Mishka mum, and thank you too for taking the time to post this comment! I am going to clip it out and put it up as a post so its not buried here when i update the photos of Missy and my new kitten. There's a rather dreadful amoebal
      illnesss thats being propogated by shelters too its something i found via the IBS cat facebook group.


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