Yep, by the way: Happy New Year!
This is actually not a real post. It’s self-therapy – because I need it. And I need to get this out (plus, I hope that somebody out there has had a similar experience and can tell me how to get through this?!) :
Many people probably won’t understand how attached you can get to a pet. I’m not one of them. Obviously.
Yesterday I went with our little tabby lady Feia to the vet. She had not been eating properly for a couple of days and she was a bit lethargic and had a slightly hard tummy. I knew it would probably be something serious as she had gone through a similar phase a couple of months back – but the vet had given her antibiotics and she was her usual self again. So yesterday I would not leave the vet until they would do some more tests. I was prepared for a serious diagnosis… peritonitis… tumour… kidney failure… But I expected something curable. Feia is only 4 years something old, for Chrissake.
They took Feia for a blood test and urine sample. I had to wait. After a while the vet came back telling me that it looked like Feia had a very nasty virus: FIP. Should they do an FIP-specific test? Yes, of course. In the meantime, I googled “FIP” on my phone, since I had never heard of it before. A virus – that could not be life threatening no matter how nasty, could it? But Wikipedia said: Yes. It can be life threatening. And in case of an acute FIP it definitely is – not only threatening. It’s fatal. I had to get out of the clinic immediately, I needed to buy a pack of cigarettes to calm me down. I also didn’t want to cry in front of the vet, because as I kept telling myself: Feia’s disease was probably only a mild curable form of FIP – and I’d look really stupid crying like a silly cow over a harmless diagnose, wouldn’t I? Turned out I had every reason to cry. And I did. For the next 24 hours.
According to the vet, Feia has an acute form of FIP, which is fatal within a month in most cases. She will eat less and less, she will get even thinner, she will be sleeping almost all the time and her tummy will get bloated from water retention. It’s so cruel, it’s really hard to write it down. Many cats carry the virus, but only one percent will actually get sick. And nobody really knows what triggers the outbreak actually.
It will be our task and duty to let Feia live as long as she’s enjoying her life and let her go BEFORE she starts suffering.
Once back home Feia was allowed in the garden and I started to research which vet would do a house visit to put Feia to sleep when the time has come? Are there crematories for pets in Dubai? This was all sorted. Then I’ve started to read as much about FIP on the internet as I could. I even posted a question about it in a cat forum. And I’ve started to doubt what the vet had said. “Get a second opinion”, “FIP cannot be 100% diagnosed as long as the cat is alive”, “What was the exact blood-count?” – this was the result of my research and the feedback to my question. So, tomorrow I will ask the vet to provide me with the exact test results. And I’ve called another vet to ask – just in case Feia is doing fine – if I could bring her (and the results from the first vet) in tomorrow.
Feia is definitely not absolutely fine. She ate just a couple of treats (yayyyy) today and she sat in the garden for hours, watching birds, sniffing at plants, walking around slowly… But she looked OK. I observed her every move.
Then I went running later today, and when I was back in front of our house, I remembered how Feia would usually greet me at the door, make her trademark “e-mauuuuu” and flip on her back waiting for belly rubs. And I realised that she hadn’t done that for a couple of days. Hach. What should I do?
Seriously, I will not let Feia suffer. I will take the decision when it’s time and definitely early enough. I’m not selfish. But this is so hard now. Should you accept a fatal diagnose without a second opinion? I will wait for tomorrow and decide if we should go to the vet or not after I had a look at the results again and compared them to what is written online. And then I will take a very close look at Feia and see if she is fit for another visit or not.
It’s the hardest time – she is still here, but I already miss her. I could break out in tears whenever I look at her (and I do most of the time), but I can’t start grieving, yet.
I love her to pieces and even though they say that a (cat) mom never has a favourite cat among her litter – Feia and I have a special bond! The other two fluffy ones are more fond of Alex. Feia and I chat with each other (yes, she keeps answering with “mrrrs”, “e-mauuuus” and “moc-mauuus”), she crawls into my arm as soon as I go to bed and she sleeps next to my head every night. I can’t be without her.
And I don’t know if I want the time to stand still or to hurry up.
(This photo was done when Feia was only a couple of months old.)
And that is an older Feia being her cute self:
And a last one for today: