Here is a picture of Lilian, a 10-month-old kitten with the fatal disease FIP (feline infectious peritonitis), snuggling up against Dharma, our dog who has a seizure disorder:
We adopted her on an emergency basis from a shelter in New York where she had suddenly collapsed. The day she came to us Lilian was unable to maintain adequate blood pressure or temperature. Because she had neurological symptoms (e.g., abnormal reflexes; nystagmus -- rapid shifting of the eyes from side to side), we drove her immediately to Tufts and admitted her to the Neurology unit for emergency care and a comprehensive assessment.
She stayed at Tufts as an inpatient for one week while they pulled her through the crisis and searched for the cause of her problems using x-ray, ultrasound, MRI, etc. The tests showed enlarged ventricals and lesions in the brainstem and in the tissue covering the brain. When tests ruled out other potential causes, it seemed very likely that she had FIP.
We brought her home from Tufts to make her as comfortable as possible, try experimental treatment approaches (there is no recognized treatment than can cure FIP), and give her as much love as possible.
She made immediate friends with the other special needs cats and dogs who live as a family in our home, as the photo of her with Dharma near the top of this page suggests.
Several times each day Wendy, a cat with the Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV), would groom Lilian. Here's a photo of Wendy licking Lilian's head.
She was a remarkable spirit. Here she is cuddling with her cotton rabbit.
She died suddenly at home, from a seizure, only 2 weeks after we brought her back from Tufts. We miss her terribly.
Please follow this link to the family of special-needs dogs and cats who live in our home.