This story is dedicated to my very special best friend Caesar "Monkey". I am sharing his life story with the Steemit community to celebrate his life. I would also like to educate readers about Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP). Like most pet owners, I was completely unaware of what FIP was until the very end of my pets journey. By educating others I hope to give Caesar's life a new purpose to help others in search of answers.
Caesar Monkey - 1 yr 2 mo
April 3, 2015 - June 7, 2016
Caesar Monkey - The "Meowy-go-round"
Caesars story first begins with his mother, Cali. Cali is a feral Calico/Tabby cat who had been adopted as a kitten by my friend. Cali easily took to domestication and became an instant house cat. She received all of her vaccinations and when she had her first heat she was scheduled to be spayed. Fortunately for me, she managed to escape! The very next morning she could be heard meowing outside the door. Cali was back home for good.
Cali lounging in her favorite spot.
Caesar is Born
On April 3rd, 2015 Cali gave birth to a litter four adorable male kittens. Caesar was the only kitten born with a birth defect which was a small crook at the very end of his tail. Lucky this was not a severe defect and did not cause any problem with how his tail worked.
Cali gives birth to four kittens under a bed.
Caesar with his siblings
Caesar with his mom
Once the kittens were wean my friend began to put the kitten up for adoption. As luck would have it, she asked if I was interested in adopting the very last kitten. I asked her for a photo and this is what she sent. Let's just say it wasn't a very hard decision to make.
Caesar Monkey as a Kitten
One of most incredible things about Caesar was his wit. Like most cats he would meow when he wanted something. He learned that all he needed to do is lead me to what he wanted and I would help him out. He was able to achieve a lot things with his little trick.
Monkey asking me to help him get
his toy out from under the sofa.
Perusing the Crypto-Market
Monkey loved browsing crypto-currencies with me. His favorite coins were Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Steem of course! He said Catcoin would have been his alt coin of choice but it never caught on. Caesar was with me the day I signed up for Steemit. :)
Me and my laptop buddy checking out Crypto-currency Altcoins!
Caesar telling me to buy some Steem Power!
Here is my Monkey after I asked him if we should buy some more Doge coin. :)
Caesar was always receiving compliments about how handsome he was. He was know for his good looks by anyone who had ever met him. Being the polite and humble guy he was he would always let others pet him.
Monkey modeling for the camera
Who cares who let the cat out of the bag when this one is in it!
On June 7th, 2016 at 2 AM we took Caesar to an emergency pet hospital where he was diagnosed with the late stages of the wet form of Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP). After three months of desperately trying to find out what was wrong with Caesar it wasn't until the end of his life journey that we knew. The ER veterinarian told us that there was nothing more that we could do. We had extended his quality of life by giving him steroid shots and Prednesone, both of which would only help extend his life momentarily. I lost my Caesar that morning and part of my heart died with him. This was the hardest thing I have ever had experience or had to write about.
Caesar Monkey's last photo
Feline coronavirus (FCoV)
Caesar had been tested for the very common virus called Feline coronavirus (FCoV) and the results were negative. Most cats will come in contact with this virus at some point in their life. Some cats become infected through their mothers milk but most commonly through the feces and urine of a shared litter box. Cats groom themselves and ingests the virus by licking their paws.
Once inside the cats body the virus travels through the GI system and into the stomach where it reaches the intestinal track. An autoimmune response is triggered and the cats white blood cells begin to attack the coronovirus. As the immune system begins to overcome the invader the cat will excrete the virus in his urine and feces for up to three months. In most cases, 85% of cats who contract the coronavirus show minor signs of discomfort and continue on with their normal lives. In fact, some cats are completely unaffected by the coronavirus due to some genetic immunity that has yet to be identified.
Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP)
In very rare cases (5-10% of cats), the coronavirus will decide to mutate causing Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP). Although FIP contains the word "infectious", it is in fact not infectious at all. The mutations is completely dependent on the cats own immune system and therefore is confined to the cats body. In this circumstance the mutation exploits the cats own immune system by entering the white blood cell or monocyte. The virus then uses the white blood cells own metalloproteinases to loosen the junctions between the endothelial cell walls causing diapedesis and plasma leakage. This means the distance between the cellular walls begin to grow and cell plasma begins to leak from the endothelial cells.
As the cats immune system responds with more white blood cells it inadvertently assists the virus by providing more host monocyte to accelerate the virus duplication.
A Misdiagnosis Became a Blessing
When Caesar first began to feel uneasy I requested his blood work be done. He was tested for FIV, coronavirus, and feline lukemia. Both tests came back negative. We also checked his liver and kidney functions which were at normal levels. Everything came back good with the except of slight anemia. Because of this he was misdiagnosed with Immune-mediated Hemolytic Anemia (IMHA). He was prescribed 5mg of prednesone taken half in the morning and half in the evening. Prednesone is an anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressant medication. Since Caesar was on Prednesone I believe he was able to live much longer with the disease. Because his immune system was suppressed it did not go into over drive allowing the mutation to exploit his white blood cells.
The Two forms FIP
There are two forms that FIP will manifest itself as within cats. One that is called effusive, or "wet" form, and the other known as the noneffusive, or "dry" form. Though both forms are fatalistic, the "wet" form is much more progressive.
Signs of the noneffusive form of FIP are more slowly than the effusive form. Symptoms generally include depression, anemia, slow weight loss, and a fever which is persistent and does not respond to antibiotic therapy. Cats can live up to 8 month with treatment and care.
The "wet" form of FIP is characterized by an accumulation of fluid in the abdomen, or less commonly in the chest. Early in the disease, cats may show similar symptoms to the dry form. This including weight loss, fever, loss of appetite, and lethargy. The wet form of the disease often progresses much more rapidly. Cats may quickly appear pot-bellied due to fluid accumulation in the abdomen. When the fluid accumulation becomes excessive, it may become difficult for the cat to breathe normally.
There is not a vaccination for FIP as of yet but research is being conducted by several non-profit organization to find a cure for this deadly disease.
- Cats litter boxes should be cleaned daily. Discard old litter and thoroughly disinfected boxes weekly. No more than two cats should use a litter box.
- Food and water should be changed daily and the feeding bowls should be disinfected weekly. Food dishes and water dishes should not be shared.
- Limit the number of new cats in a home and keep all cats up to date with their vaccinations.
Thank you for reading about Caesars life.
Follow me @hannixx42
SOCK FIP - http://www.sockfip.info
Feline Infectious Peritonitis - http://www.vet.cornell.edu/fhc/Health_Information/FIP2.cfm