You are here

The Brink

I'd like to write a meaningful update about Fred, but the truth is I've become incapacitated by this horrific situation. Words are very hard for me to come by. I'm focused on providing round-the-clock care for Fred, for arranging his next test or Vet appointment and for finding a way to pay for it all.

I'm sick to my stomach. I can barely function. I have visions of having to euthanize a 10-month old KITTEN because I can't find an answer to what has been slowly robbing him of his neurological function. The more tests we do, the less we learn. Most of the tests show us nothing. Everything is normal, but Fred is far from it. We rule things out, then rule them back in.

The Vets scratch their heads and say that if Fred has the dry form of FIP, the only way to really know it for sure is POST-MORTEM.


another vet trip.jpg
©2013 Robin A.F. Olson.

I've cried a river of tears and had to force myself to go into the foster room-a place that once only meant joy to me-to witness seeing my dear foster kitten wobble across the room, trying not to fall over, but flopping to the floor if he tries to go too far. He is reluctant or unable to eat, so Sam and I have to zip him into a “cat bag” so I can syringe feed him every day and give him his meds-which may or may not do a thing.

Cat Bag.jpg
©2013 Robin A.F. Olson.


I cry as I force the liquid nourishment into Fred's mouth. He is frustrated and angry. I am trying to be gentle, loving, sweet, not miss his mouth and squirt the warm fluid all over us. I tell him he's a good boy, that I love him. I tell him I'm so sorry all the time. I hate that he tries to run away from me when he sees me or Sam. He thinks we're going to give him the painful eye drops again or shove a pill down his throat. It MUST be done to keep Fred stable enough for the last tests we can do: an MRI and a spinal tap to test his spinal fluid.


The tests were supposed to happen today, but will occur tomorrow, instead. Today we opted to do a bile acid test, in the hopes that Fred has a very rare condition called a Portosystemic Shunt. Fred does not have all the symptoms, but the symptoms can vary. Fred's neurologist felt it was worth investigating and it IS treatable if it's causing the problems.

Exam at VCA.jpg
©2013 Robin A.F. Olson.

They wanted to look again, with a second ultrasound, at Fred's mesenteric lymph nodes. Once “plump” they are now normal. This is good news, right? Not really because now they're seeing a faint “glow” around his kidneys which could mean LYMPHOMA, but of course it's not definitive. Nothing seems to be at this point.

Tomorrow, April 23rd, they will do an MRI of Fred's brain. If they see encephalitis (swelling) it can indicate FIP. They could see brain degeneration due to roundworm infestation or a brain tumor. They will take some of his spinal fluid and look for cells in it. If there are more than 5, that's a problem. If the protein levels are above 25 it will mean it's more likely FIP. If those tests are normal they will look again at the fluid to see if there is toxoplasmosis or cryptococcous-even though his blood showed no signs of it-they can some times find it in the spinal fluid. Those two things we CAN treat for and cure, but lymphoma and FIP are a death sentence for Fred.

©2013 Robin A.F. Olson.

So we wait. We may learn things tomorrow or we may be stumped. We may never know what is happening so we'll do what most vets do-give Fred steroids and hope the inflammation reduces and he gets some function back in his limbs, that he has better quality of life for some amount of time. I got Polyprenil Immunostimulant from Sass & Sass. It's the ONLY drug known to POSSIBLY, in some very few cases, give cats with the dry form of FIP a greater chance to live longer and more comfortably. Some cats have lived over a year with the therapy and one cat has lived over 5 years.

Excuse my rambling, awful post. I'm in a very bad place, terrified, hoping that somehow, some way, Fred gets a miracle and we can cure him. It feels very unlikely right now, but foolish me, I will hold onto the few strands of hope I have left.

Cute Fred at VCA r olson.jpg
©2013 Robin A.F. Olson.


I have vowed to do what's right for Fred, regardless of what that may mean. If Fred has to die, he will die at home with his brother, Sam and I by his side, if we have anything to say about it. If he can have ANY CHANCE to LIVE, I will make sure he has it.



Fred's vet bill is ENORMOUS and pushing over $6000.00 to date. Kitten Associates is a small rescue. We don't have big benefactors. We don't have a load of money in the bank. I only ask for help when we REALLY need it-and we REALLY NEED IT. If you can donate the price of a cup of coffee-that's GREAT-you can donate via this LINK. We're not greedy. It all adds up to help Fred. You can use the widget, below to make a donation or mail us a check made out to: "Kitten Associates" and mail it to: Kitten Associates, P.O. Box 354, Newtown, CT 06470-0354.

We're a 501(c )3 non-profit so your donation is even tax deductible.

and a BIG THANK YOU to everyone who has so graciously donated and shared our fundraiser!


Robin, our beloved Sunny lived to be just shy of 16 after being diagnosed with dry-form FIP.  Up until almost the last, his life was one of quality and health.  Our wonderful vet used ImmunoRegulin (here is one of many links for info on this treatment)

and B-12 injections to achieve a good quality of health for our beloved boy.  We of course fed him premium foods and he stayed indoors-only, as all cats should, living very happily in the company of his feline family members, none of whom ever contracted FIP.  

Don't give up hope.  And please discuss this course of treatment with Fred's care team if that is in fact what he has.  It may help him to recover a good percentage of his health.

Don't let go of hope unless there is no hope left.  There is always a chance for a miracle until the moment life ceases.  It is not silly to hold on and hope for one.   I can imagine the devastation you feel over this, if it were one of mine I would be desolate.

I haven't donated yet, my darn van needed a tire, again.  Payday is Friday and I'll send something.

******HUGS****** I'm so sorry, Robin.  I'm so sorry Fred is in this horrible situation, I'm so sorry you have to go through this with him.  My heart breaks for you both.  Life is really, really shitty to really sweet kitties sometimes.

Oh Robin....I am just heart broken - and I am so sorry for how you are feeling and TOTALLY understand as I have been there too......if you want another opinion, though I know that your Vet is GREAT - Becke Bogue in Knoxville, TN is AMAZING...She (and a lot of Prayers) saved my little Mia  - who is like Fred is to you. Maybe she would see something that others aren't seeing - not because they aren't good - just because she away from the whole picture and can look at things differently - Maybe she could do tests?  I'll help with the cost if you decide to do that.   Please let me know if I can help in any way......I am Praying...and crying....   I have written you in an IM also - so you will have my e-mail address.....know I am Praying - Fred and you have touched my Heart.....     Susan

I know you are totally exhausted.  I wrote you yesterday too to say that I am thinking about you and Praying for you and Fred.  I wish that there was something I could do to help.  Know you, Fred....and all other Kitties and your Family are in my Prayers as you care for and love Fred!!    Susan

We had something almost exactly
Ike this just happen to us. Thomas. Was about 11 months old when we finally had to let him go. I write this with tears running down my face...I loved that little boy so very much. I will be thinking of you both and much love to you as well.


Can you purrlease provide an update on Fred?  I am owned by my own furry son and am concerned for yours.   Even if he does have FIP, give him anything he wants to make him feel comfortable up until you have to make that decision.  And take plenty of pics... although I'm sure your heart will do that for you.

All the best and I hope this works out for you and Fred,

Linda Meeds, x

Have you considered putting in a feeding tube? It can be done under sedation only (at least it was for my girl who was seriously ill with pancreatitis) and I was able to give her nourishment as well as medication through the e-tube. Much easier than trying to syringe food and medicate her (she was involved with the toxic pet food and had many medical problems as a result).

Hoping for some answers.

Add new comment