December 2009

I had looked at Mitten's photos on a breeder's website for more than a month before I finally brought her home. She was the black and white Maine Coon kitten that I had been dreaming about having for years. My beloved rescue cat had recently died leaving his 13 year old litter mate very lonely, and I thought that the beautiful kitten would become Muffin's new play mate and friend. Mitten was a constant snuggler who slept by my side every night. She gazed at Muffin with admiration, trying to imitate Muffin's big jumps. When she couldn't follow Muffin's leaps, Mitten would copy a little jump like a child dreaming of becoming an athlete. Mitten's Maine Coon body was never destined to be as airborne as the Siamese-mix Muffin, and I started wondering if there might be a minor neurological problem when the Maine Coon sometimes literally tripped over her own butt, falling while she played.

The day I went to get Sandalwood, in June of 2009, I knew the moment I set my eyes on her that we were going to be the best of friends. She was snuggles next to a male Bengal buddy in a donut bed like he was protecting her. She was tiny and soft as silk to the touch. Her beautiful   Sandalwood colored marble pattern was truly captivating. I could not wait to start showing her. In my eyes she was already a Supreme Grand Champion. When I got her home I put her in one of the bedrooms isolated from my other cats. My male Bengal snow leopard kitten, Caesar, sat outside the rom all day anxiously waiting to meet this new girl. The first time we let him in the room to meet her it was love at first sight for both of them. They were inseparable babies.  She also grew very attached to me. I would pick her up and she would cuddle in my arms like a little baby girl. I loved her deeply and had great plans for her future.

Cat with wet FIP usually have very large amounts of a yellow-tinged, mucinous fluid in their abdomen and/or chest cavities. This fluid is high in protein and contains a variable number of white cells made up of macrophages, lymphocytes and neutrophils. It will often form a partial clot on setting. There is virtually no other disease than FIP with this type of fluid, especially in a younger cat (two thirds or more of cats with FIP are under one year of age) that comes from a shelter or cattery environment (70% of total cases). Combined with history, physical findings, and common laboratory abnormalities, these findings should be sufficient to make the diagnosis.


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