- 3 years ago
- Wedding: July 2013 - UK
So, it’s been a rough few weeks. My husband is in the US, I found out that my groundwater had been poisoned from a poorly maintained drain… the cats and I were all sick… and after a very long and painful set of processes at the vet, my beloved boy Ginger was also diagnosed with wet FIP.
This is Ginger, the cat whom I found in a village in Borneo. Ginger, who was my companion when I had cholera. Ginger, who comforted me when my other hand reared Borneo cat went missing in November.
By the time we had the diagnosis comfirmed by PCR, Ginger had already undergone two abdominal biopsies and was being fed by tube. The chance of him surviving is very low… estimates range from 5% to less than 1%, with the exception of a series of Japanese studies which are unusually optimistic and put his chances of survival at around 30%, if we continue with the current treatment. Wet FIP is THE SINGLE WORST diagnosis a cat can ever receive. Worse than cancer. Worse than FIV.
We are trying an experimental treatment, which is very expensive. Insurance has not covered his care so far. He needs me to tube feed him four times a day and pill him twice a day. I have also had to sterilise the house and will have to dispose of the carpets because of the groundwater. He has to go to the vet every other day for interferon injections.
Although I have many bad traits, cowardaice has never been one of them. But for the first time in my life I feel frightened. I have never really been frightened before, certainly not as an adult. I feel completely alone and overwhelmed in this house, dealing with all of this. I have only just recovered from being very ill with a fever, probably caused by the groundwater, and I now have TWO sick cats to deal with… Ginger, and also Spock, who has t. foetus. My vet has refused to treat Spock, so I’m having to take advice elsewhere and measure out his (unlicensed) drugs as well.
Usually I moan, but I always cope. These feelings of fear, panic, and loss of control are completely foreign to me. I’m terrified. My house stinks of bleach, my garden is covered under a layer of quicklime, and I am surrounded by bags and bags of kitty drugs, completely alone. My husband comes back tomorrow evening, but I honestly don’t know how I can cope until then. I can’t go and see someone and leave the cats, and none of my friends who live locally (ish) drive, because they work in London. I would usually get a huge glass of wine, but how will I administer and measure these dosages if I’m half cut? I’ve hand raised kittens before, but I have never provided proper veterinary care. I’ve only ever worked on humans. Ginger just seems so small and vulnerable in comparison.
I should also say that my vet thinks I’m crazy for treating Ginger, but he doesn’t want to die yet. You look in his eyes and you can tell that here is a cat who really, really wants to live… he still loves cuddles, goes crazy to see me, talks to me with his different meows, snuggles on my lap… he isn’t ready to go. He still has quality of life. And I love him. I love him as much as it is possible for anyone to love anything. Even if my only gift to him will be to bring him home so he can die here, rather than in some hospital, that’s the gift I want to give. So I’d appreciate it if people didn’t just turn around and tell me to euthanise an animal which is not in any pain, and is not (yet) suffering, as well.
I guess that’s all.