It seems that Pants, the cutest cat in the world, has been diagnosed with Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP). FIP starts out as something called a coronavirus. Lots of cats get coronavirus and typically it stays in their gastrointestinal system and dies out. Some cats do not have a strong enough immune system and/or sometimes the virus mutates, so it ends up escaping into the rest of their body. It hits all of their internal organs, causing them to slowly fail. FIP is terminal–there is no proven vaccine and no cure. There are also very few visible symptoms aside from lack of energy and secondary infections/illnesses.
Less than 48 hours ago, I had never even heard of FIP. Now, I wish I had never heard of it. Regardless, it has gotten to Pants' liver, causing her to show signs of anemia. The past week or two Pants has been increasingly non-playful and recently took to staying in my lap all day and night. She has been eating bits of kitty litter–a symptom of the anemia. In fact, when the vet went to retrieve a stool sample (I guess they can do that at the office with some kind of hook or wire loop on a stick), all he got was kitty litter gravel.
Although she is eating, she is slowly getting less of an appetite. Even still, she has not gained any weight in several months. She will generally not leave my lap, maybe because she feels safe or warm or protected from The Precious (who wants to play and fight–in fact, she has gotten more playful recently). Pants strongly resists being taken from my lap by digging her claws in deeply.
The preliminary results from the bloodwork came in yesterday, the final ones today. The vet is going to shop her charts around the other doctors at the clinic for various opinions to see if anyone thinks there is even the slightest chance of it being something else, but the lab results are pretty damning. It looks like this will be her last weekend among us. In theory, she should have a few more weeks, but her condition is just going to keep degrading.
Because there is absolutely nothing I can do but sit here, cry, and try to distract myself, I made a little video [QuickTime, 30 seconds, 780Kb]. I also have a little montage of images to share…