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Avatar universal

Just lost best freind from FIP

Hi, I'm normally in the medical community, I struggle with a ton of medical issues and am also a RN, but because I know how kind and loving people are one this website, I thought I'd seek support here. I was informed Sunday night at the Animal ER that my 6 month old kitten and love of my life had FIP or Feline Intestinal Paratenitis. The Vet gave me all these optionjs to prolong her life and risky procedures to remove the abdominal fluid. I spent probably over an hour talking with Saskia-over the last 6 months we have bounded as a mother and daughter do-she has been there throughout my medical problems. I knew the right thing was to take her home, spend a few last days with her, then take her back to be euthanized. She chose me at the Humane Society for a reason; I'm a Hospice nurse and don't beleive in suffering. On Monday we spent all day together, head by head in bed. She loved to snuggle. She really degressed at this point and could no longer walk so I brought her food and water to her but she could barely eat. I carried her to her litter box. We just lay in bed next to eachother all day, listening to the birds. When the sunset she just couldn't get comfortable, her eyes told me it was time. I think she was having hallucinations. She was so scared. Today I started off in bed all day, where she was, but managed to move to the couch, so I do feel better. I just don't know how I can live without her, she was part of my routine and my everything. I'll never be able to find another cat that comes close and don't want to, I just wanted her. I'm gratefull for the times we had but am so sad this had to happen. She was so young and innocent. I've already put most of her things in her box, she loved boxes, and once I get her remains I'm going to find a special container to put them in. I know I need to get out of the house as she wouldn't want me to be depressed, but it just hurts so badly. I'm 23 y/o, first time on my own, and I felt safe with her around. It's hard to wake up and go to sleep when she's not here. Any suggestions or stories?

Sara RN
15 Responses
874521 tn?1424116797
COMMUNITY LEADER
Oh how sad, I read this and I cried for you both....this is so sad to lose one so young and so darn loved, yes she chose you for a reason....she had you there by her side all through this and right up to the end, she wasn't alone. You were there for her, she knew this and she new she was loved....what more can any of us ask for?
IMO you did the right thing, sometime its so hard to say enough.....and just to let go. I worked all my life in palliative care too. Its the way I would want and its the way I chose for my animals too.
All of us on this site have been there with a loved pet before and know how badly it hurts....the pain does pass and you will be left with a very sweet little spot in your heart for a special baby that you love....bless you dear. and RIP dear little Saskia.♥
Avatar universal
Thank you so much for your kind post. It just hearts so bad right now. My heart literally aches. I miss her so badly. And I know I will never find another kitty to replace her. And for now, I'll have to live alone, as if I were to get another cat I think all I would be is disappointed in all the qualities it didn't have that Sashkia did. Thank you again for your post, I wish I had found this community sooner so I could have been apart of it when I had her!

Sara RN
874521 tn?1424116797
COMMUNITY LEADER
Sara, you are still welcome to join us....there are a few members who are without kitties right now, they still have lots to contribute as would you.
If the times should ever come that you meet another who steals your heart remember it won't ever be Saskie, but it will be another unique little individual who will never replace her but will still bring you years of joy and reward....
I've had many cats/dogs over the years and I loved them all but none as much as my dear Opus who I too had to make that final decision for almost 6 yrs ago....I thought my heart would never heal. it has, that doesn't mean I will ever forget him, not for a minute, he is in my heart forever....and no one will ever replace him. But I do have 2 more boys now, they are special too and i love them dearly.....give yourself time to grieve. I sent you the 'rainbow bridge' I hope this helps some.
♥Opus88
242912 tn?1402543492
COMMUNITY LEADER
Oh my, the tears are streaming for you, Sara.  I am so very sorry for your loss or Saskia.  I know it will be a long time before you're ready for another kitty and maybe never, but I hope, for the special kitty who's out there waiting for you, you will someday want another and will meet.  

I felt like you when we lost our last cat to a brain injury.  I was devastated for 6mos.  Cried every day.  One morning, my husband and I were talking of getting another cat, but where?  I said, let's wait.  I think a cat in need might come to Us and that very morning, some new people moved into the rental next door and they had a cat named Jade who desperately needed medical attention and love and after a couple months and seeing clearly the neighbor was not going to have her treated, We took her to the vet and she became ours simply because the owners didn't care.  So now, for 5yrs this April, we have had the sweetest, most loving cat named Jade and all due to fate so you just never know!

My heart truly goes out to you, Sara.  You and Saskia were blessed to have found each other and poor girl was sick and needed someone just like you to see her to the end.    
681148 tn?1437661591
I wasn't going to get another cat when my previous cat died.  She had IBD that became cancer.  It became increasingly clear that I needed to end her suffering then, too.  So, for a few years after I had the kitty put to sleep I didn't have a cat.  Like you, I wasn't ready.  But, eventually, it became only too clear that getting another cat was the right thing for me.  There was this empty void from not having a furry kitty in my life.  So, it was time.

I still waited, though, because I was reluctant.  Right about this time a friend suggested that I should really consider getting myself another cat, and this was coming from someone who isn't a pet person, especially not cats.  Well, as it turned out, a different friend had me cat sit for her for six months.  When she came home from her trip, she asked me if I would take the cat if something were to happen to her.  I didn't expect to be taking the cat so soon after my friend asked me, which was only six months after she said that.  Now I have this wonderful female cat who is my precious fur baby.  This cat and I are very close friends.  We have "conversations" of sorts everyday.  It's amazing how cats and humans learn to communicate with one another in a meaningful way.  They probably understand more of our human words than we understand of what they mean with their multitudes of vocalizations.

I know you're not ready now to get another cat.  I wasn't ready immediately.  You might find that you want another cat some day in the future, though.  You'll know if and when the time for another cat comes.  Right now, you are grieving the loss of a dear furry friend who was really like a family member to you.

You will find, though, that the people on this forum know how you feel, because all of us have experienced the loss of at least one cat or one dog.  So, we understand this sadness and grief you are going through right now.  Our pets are really our family members.
Avatar universal
Thank you all for your wonderful postings and loving words. I'm on day 2 without Sashkia right now, stuck on the couch, no shower, eating ice cream. Everything I see reminds me of her. I have flash bulb memories of her. This morning I woke up and greated her, I felt her sitting next to me on the bed. I saw much she must have seen every morning, that I never took the time to see. I look outside my window and just listened to the birds for a while. So peacefull, so happy.

I just find this so hard as I am 23 years old and this was the first time out on my own. I moved to San Diego from Santa Barbara and got my own appartment. I started work as a Hospice Nurse but soon quit that job due to my illness and the fact that it was a horrible agency. Around that time Sashkia found me. I wanted a companion as I felt lonely living all alone and strogglued down here making friends. I passed by all the kittens, not one standing out to me. Then I looked in the display window at the Humane Society. I asked to hold the kitten there. She just lay flat on her back, belly up in my arms and starred at me. I always joked that she "made me" buy her.

She was a trouble maker at first, but really, she was the one and only true friend I had done here. I was home a lot from my illness/back injury and she comforted me through a lot of pain and sorrow. She loved me undconditional, which is something I find no humane being can do. Now I do feel all alone again, I know Saskia is here in spirit, and this will always be her house. But a certain part of me feels like, excuse me, I'mm 23 years old, I need a companion here, especially as I don't have a boyfreind. But I know that this kitty chose me for a reason. She had FIP when I got her. She was a gift, an angel given to me because I am one of the few that could give her the life she had and was capable of handling her sudden death. I am one of the few that wouldn't try to prolong her life. That's why she chose me. So I know Sashkia will let me know when it's time to look for another little kitty whon needs some nursing love. I'm just struggling right now doing the big girl and responsible things of life as I have little suipport in this town and my body feels like it's 100 lbs heavier than it actually is and aches. This website is really what's helping me get through it. Answering questions on the Ask a Nurse Forum helps me get out of myself. Thank you all again, it's so nice to have people who understand and who have gone through this. You are all great and are providing your kitties such wonderful homes. Thank you all again, and sorry for the long post!

Sara RN
242912 tn?1402543492
COMMUNITY LEADER
Honey, please don't be sorry for a long post.  These are your feelings and we are all happy to listen so please post anytime you would like to talk about Sashkia, even if it's every day.  What a blessing you were to that sweet little girl.  I know how you feel about this website.  I have FM and posting and helping others certainly does take my mind off myself and I love to do it.  

Your continuing story brought tears to my eyes.  I feel your pain, Sara. I think this is about the hardest thing about being a pet owner is having to choose when it's *time.*  You did so good by Sashkia - I truly believe, as you do, she picked you because you would know exactly what to do when the time came.  My heart goes out to you.  

Gentle Hugs to you, honey...♥
Avatar universal
Thank you so much for continuing to give me that reassurance that I provided a good home for Sashkia. I'm keeping a daily journal were a plan to write a different memory of her every day until I get them all down. I just wish my mind could print photos so I could have picturs of the first time I saw her and all the wonderful memories I have. I'm scared my mind will loose those images as I age. I'm feeling a little better right now and might even be up for a shower! (It's been since Sunday...)Thank you again for helping me to feel at home here :)

Sara
Avatar universal
I know it is never easy to lose a furry friend.  Be happy with the time that you had with your kitty.  Know that she is looking down on you, smiling because she was loved.  I am sure that my kitties have welcomed her to the Rainbow Bridge with wide open paws.  Maybe someday when you least expect it, another kitty will find you, maybe even sent to you by Sashkia. I do believe that they send us other cats to love.  
Avatar universal
I have lost 3 precious companions in my adulthood.  My best advice would be to get another kitten.  I was torn and felt guilty too about getting a new kitten but there are so many more reasons to get a new buddy.  There are so many cats available for adoption that would love your companionship and their new life. I have never felt like I was "replacing" my lost cat. You will never find a new kitten exactly like your last but they are unique like people.  You can always find something special in each one.  Don't deny yourself that special bond with a pet.  Good Luck!  Some lucky little kitty is out there waiting for you.
1118884 tn?1338592850
Hi there,

Saskia chose you for a reason.  You were everything to her.  I am crying now thinking of you tending her in her last days.  As other posters have mentioned, the decision to stop our kits suffering is very hard.  But necessary.  Let yourself feel her presence as you are.  Grieving is perfectly normal.  My concern is that you begin to have those mental snapshots of her during happier moments....like she was when you found each other at Humane Society.

I have the ashes of two of my darling cats.  It comforts me to remember them.  And have their ashes.  Not for everyone, but it helped me.  

She will send another to you  when the time is right.  I jumped too fast into adoption of a kitten who decided he didn't want to stay...heh.  Word is he is in another apt. with several cats. I just let it go.  And one morning a grown ginger cat started meowing at my back door.  He is now dozing by my side.  He chose me, as Saskia chose you.  

Keep posting.  We know how painful it is to lose a beloved cat.  Part of the process.  So anytime.....no post too long!
Avatar universal
Thank you all again for your wonderful postings! On Saturday, after spending 5 days on my couch eating ice-cream and glued to my computer, I was able to get out of the house and hang out with a friend. It was chilling to come back only to find the house empty. I've realized that in a sense I felt protected by this small kitty, thinking I could not be harmed when she was here. Since her loss, I haven't been sleeping, just tossing and turning, and have been fearful to go to bed as I just don't feel safe alone.

I do talk to Sashkia daily and think of her. At night every time before I go to bed I light a candle and said what I always used to say to Sashkia before I left the house "I love you forever, I'll like you for always, and long as time goes on, my baby you'll be." Usually first thing in the morning I'll turn to look for Sashkia but instead end up looking outside at the beautiful blue sky, just as she did, and say goodmorning to her.

I have actually done some thinking about my whole purpose in life and why Sashkia came in my path. As my mom told me, she chose me for a reason, as she new I could be the best mother to her and could also provide the most peaceful death for her. I started thinking about how I have the ability to be a great mother to kitties, and right now my appartment is a kitten dream pad, cat tree and all! So I thought that Sashkia was the start of one purpose I could fulfill in life. If I am capable of helping a kitty in need and can be a wonderful mother for them, then I would be selfich to waste to much time in getting another cat, as I realize now Sashkia would want me to continue.

I'm still waiting to get Saskia's ashes, but plan to make a little shrine for her on my dresser. I have most of her things in a box, along with everything that reminds me of her. The last things are her filled food and water dish which are on my kitchen counter which I just can't get rid of, but of course can't save forever. So for now, they'll stay there, as a part of Saskia will always be in this house.

Thank you all again for your support. I'm still trying to get back to my routine, but I know grief is different for each person. Hope you all are doing great with your kitties as well.

Sara
Avatar universal
I finally made, not a step but a leap, and purchased not one, but 2 kitties from our local Humane Society. It is hard as  I still think of my Sashkia every day and still cry as I'm opening the door into the cat and kitten world again. One kitty is 7 months old, the age Sashkia would be, Nadia, and was found in a trash can, adopted, then brought back as she didn't get along with the other cats in the home. The next is a 3 month old kitten, Nyla,  who's a long haired, which I've never had, and very shy and easily stressed.

I have a couple questions I was hoping you guys should answer, as I think you guys are the best reource as opposed to my mom who just says I made a bad decision and not going to provide a good environment for Nadia-trash can kitty- who's starving for attention as she's never had a permenant home yet.

I've been keeptin Nyla kitten in the bedroom, as she is shy and seems to like small rooms. I've introduced the 2 cats a few times atnd they do not like eachother and I'm scared it's going to always be like this and don't know what to do-as I feel these kittes are both my children now and I'm not going to give up a child because she oesn't get along with her sister. Older cat Nadia has made it obvious she just wants to play and is submissive and has never hissed. She is very playfull and friendly. She is very intrussie in that she, for some reason, whn offered the chance, goes straight for Nyla's food and litter box-which is not ok with teritorial Nyla, though had Nadia's size.

Nyla kitten hisses at Nadia despite her submissive positions I can't tell though if a part of her considers it play to chase eachother. The hissing is no good, and the guarding of her things is no good as she is always on a higher level-the bed, watching Nadia when she's in the room. But they can run after eachother for a while and at least Nadia, I think, considers it play. Any suggestions on how I can make my family happy?

Last question, as I initially posted, I lost my first kitten to FIP. My mom said that came from the shelter and they should have done a thorough cleaning after hearing about it. Is it odd that when I spoke of it the shelter was not concerned of transmission at all? They did not tell me how to avoid tranmission to my other kitties. I wasn't worrffeied about it, as it is rare, until my mother... Based on her research, I bleached out the litter box, use all different toys, bedding, and food dishes-as I wouldn't share Sashkia's anyway, and waited 6 weeks before getting new kitties. My mother is still concerned that that shelter could be a carrier and I should get my cats the ELISA test for antibody titers to be sure-which I don't see the point of because it's 100% fatal with no treatment. Any words of wisdom or experience?

Thank you guys for being here! Any suggestions would be helpful as I thought I was following my heart, now fear I made a bad decision. I just want to give good homes to all of them!

Sara
874521 tn?1424116797
COMMUNITY LEADER
bless you dear lady.....Sashkia will be proud of you taking in kitties who so badly need a home and love.
I will answer your first question and let others with more experience wtih FIP answer the last one...
give them their space and time....patience is the key, I'm 99% sure they will get accustomed to one another but they have very different personalities and backgrounds so don't force the issue, give them each a separate and protected space...and gradually introduce by bringing a blanket from ones bed into the others and visa versa....in a few weeks allow them to have a peak and a sniff of each other while your holding one...see how that goes..gradually introduce a bit more each day, until they have become accustomed to one anothers smell and presence.
this will take time. good luck, patience will win out I'm sure...keep us posted hon♥
Avatar universal
FIP sometimes results as a follow on of corona virus in about 10-15% of cats who contract the corona virus.

FIP is not a highly contagious disease, since by the time the cat develops clinical disease only a small amount of virus is being shed. Feline coronavirus can be found in large quantities in the saliva and feces of cats during the acute infection, and to a lesser extent in recovered or carrier cats, so it can be transmitted through cat-to-cat contact and exposure to feces. The virus can also live in the environment for several weeks. The most common transmission of feline coronavirus occurs when infected female cats pass along the virus to their kittens, usually when the kittens are between five and eight weeks of age.

FIP is relatively uncommon in the general cat population. However, the disease rate is much higher in multiple-cat populations, such as some shelters and catteries. FIP has also been shown to be more common in certain breeds, but the research is still unclear as to whether these breeds are more susceptible because of their genetics or whether they are exposed to feline coronavirus more often because many of them come from catteries.
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