Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Tomten's Birthday

"...for us physicists believe the separation between past, present, and future is only an illusion, although a convincing one." ~ Einstein on the death of his friend Besso

Just wanted to drop a note to say that Tomten & Gizmo celebrated their 6th birthday last week! Yeah! Happy Birthday Tomten & Gizmo! For those of you who are newly diagnosed and feeling at a total loss. I wanted to share that bit of news. Tomten was diagnosed July 1st 2012 with dry FIP. He has been on the feline interferon and pred ever since. While he has his good days (totally normal mischievous Devon Rex) and his slow days (sleeps all day and scares us to death) his quality of life seems good. We never thought we would see this birthday so we celebrated with a nice long walk outside on his leash, a can of tuna fish, and plenty of cat nip! I don't know how long he has but we treasure each day! Thanks to everyone who helped him see this birthday! ~ Cassie (details of treatment here )

Many happy returns to Tomten and his littermate Gizmo (who doesn't have FIP)! Cassie is so thoughtfully posting his updates to keep our spirits up  as we watch the steady stream of kittens dying from FIP on the FIP fighters facebook community.
This month Mihoshi Barner - the little Ferret with FIP who has been on PI for over a year, passed away leaving a very sad owner behind. Ferrets do not live as long as cats so in ferret years I wonder how old he was? Mishka was 27 in accelerated cat time when she died, which is some sort of cold comfort. Tomten and Gizmo are the equivalent of 41 human years old wow, nearly middle aged by the catyears calculator ( in the right column menu overthere ) - no wonder he's catnapping all day. Hiphip hooray! Kill Da virus!
Gizmo on left Tomten on right

Sunday, 19 May 2013


The optimist sees the rose and not its thorns; the pessimist stares at the thorns, oblivious of the rose – Kahlil Gibran

Is this cat very unlucky or very lucky? She's got wet FIP but it's been found early and treated with PI and she remains well. 
Bella ticks some typical boxes for FIP - she's young, she's Birman, a breed predisposed through inbreeding depression to FIP, she got sick after a major stress - neutering. Interestingly she had false positive testing for FeLV before this which turned negative some months later. After spaying her omentum had balled up on her bladder and had to be removed. Abnormal looking lymphnodes biopsied at that time were reported as FIP "confirmed with immunohistochemical stains – which is about as solid a diagnosis as we ever get for this disease."
Bella's facebook page - alive and well feb 2017 long may she purr!

Fortunately her vet Dr. Tracey Gillespie, internist at Indianapolis Veterinary Referral, knew of the Polyprenyl trial. She wrote to Dr. Legendre and Bella was allowed to start treatment in mid-March 2012 although she didn't qualify to be a formal study cat, her young age and lack of clinical signs of the wet form of the disease made her a good candidate for treatment. Mishka was knocked back when I originally asked a few weeks after diagnosis - should I be cross about that since she responded later when the drug went on sale? I guess they had some regulatory problems prohibiting sales, and limited funds but I would have made a donation.  
 "She adores clucking at birds, chewing all manner of plastic and paper, fishing for pellets out of the dog food bag, and of course flaunting her natural beauty." Although she remains largely asymptomatic her Mum Sue is guarded about the prognosis (and somewhat worried the chewing obsession is another genetic oddity):

" She is doing well right now but we know this is simply remission or suppression of the disease which has no cure. We focus on letting her enjoy every moment of being a cat. Her alternative was being put down by the breeder if we returned her. We noticed that she does have more energy and seems perkier after PI treatment. Not that she needs much more energy leaping for feather wands."

There's a bit of question mark about the chewing fetish Bella has for fuzzy things being a genetic problem as well.
I can only pray since FIP was caught early she follows Miracle's outcome. Miracle was not positively diagnosed but she was sicker, and is alive and well. Another Birmilla I am following in Australia has a similar early diagnosis from exploratory surgery; Leo is on feline interferon and a low dose of PI. 

Update feb 2017 Bella is still kicking on! please see her facebook page which was created sometime after i first wrote this post.