Today, at 9:55 a.m. EDT, Bradley left this earth for Rainbow Bridge.
This past Tuesday, fluid was found in his belly, after several days of inappetance and general malaise. After tapping the belly, the fluid was found to be "sticky" and so labwork was done to include an FCV (Feline Corona Virus) titre. It was high, so given that, the nature of the belly fluid, and his symptoms, the presumptive diagnosis was FIP (Feline Infectious Peritonitis).
This is an especially deadly virus; very few cats survive once they've developed it. Many cats are exposed to FCV, but exposure does not necessarily mean the disease will manifest itself as FIP and, in fact, does not in most cats. It's unknown why some cats will develop it and some will not, but the immune system strength must obviously play some role. Bradley was recently stressed when he developed diabetes and was then returned to us after 12 years in his adoptive home. In my opinion, this was the trigger.
From the day Brad came back to us, I contemplated adopting him. God works in mysterious ways. If I had brought him home, I would have exposed both Pumpkin and Magic to FCV (though Pumpkin shows exposure to it and Magic was also likely exposed while he was a stray). More importantly, I would have exposed them both to the possibility of developing the deadly FIP. And so...God works in mysterious ways in that He kept me from adopting Bradley.
I've seen lots of cats die over the past 4 or 5 years I've worked at the vet. None has affected me this way, with the sole exception of my own Oreo. I'm heartbroken.
For more information on FIP, please visit the Winn Feline Foundation. To donate for FIP Research, you can visit Winn's site, or give through their Facebook Causes page.
(the digital scrapbooking kit I used to create the scrap shown above is Aurelie's Chic and Smart, the rainbow is from Lindalou Creations' Over the Rainbow)