Sweet little Rosie, also known as Burma Pearl’s Rosebud, was born in July 2006. Her littermate, Burma Pearl’s Mahagiri, was my very first grand champion. Rosie also was a beautiful Burmese girl, with huge lustrous gold eyes, but she was very shy in front of the judges and so I retired her after only one show. She almost went to another breeder to make Burmese babies, but it is just as well that didn’t happen. She lived quietly with me for two years, her soft, gentle nature a loving and comforting presence. But in a household where kittens were raised, she didn’t always get the attention as she deserved. And so I wanted her to have a home of her own.

I thought I had found the perfect home for her, it was quite far away so it took some doing to get her there. Unfortunately, the new home didn’t work out and it took a while to bring Rosie back. Sadly, the trip to and from took a huge toll on Rosie and is a tragic example of how stress plays a role in FIP. A couple weeks after she returned she developed a cold, and then she deteriorated rapidly from dry FIP. I finally knew I had to end her suffering, and so I travelled to UC Davis so Rosie could help with FIP research. She was put to sleep in September 2008. Of the kitties I have lost to FIP, Rosie’s death was the hardest. If she’d stayed with me, perhaps she never would have gotten sick. Rosie, I’m sorry the choice I made cost you your life. I love you and I’ll never forget you. I hope you will help us find solutions to this terrible disease.

It is good that Rosie did not have babies, because her sister, Mahagiri, had a litter of six kittens five of which have died of FIP. And because research has shown there is a strong heredity factor in FIP, I spayed and neutered the parents of the kitties lost to FIP and started over as a Burmese breeder with new lines that I pray will be FIP free. I am grateful for one thing that has come out of these terrible losses — and that is discovering and becoming a volunteer for SOCK FIP. I am honoured to be a member of this group and determined to do all I can to help defeat FIP.

Nancy L. Reeves, Burma Pearl Cattery

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