By FieldHaven Feline Center
On September 8, we received a message from Officer Stopplemore at Gridley Animal Services regarding a feral kitten with foggy eyes. When we looked at the picture of his eyes, we were saddened to see what looked like uveitis: a hallmark symptom of FIP. We hoped to be wrong, but after further workup, FIP was diagnosed. Even worse, Gridley was blind. Treatment was started on September 10. On Day 12, Gridley regained some of his vision, gained over a half pound (he started at 1.6 lbs), is eating well and has increased energy. He has 72 more days to go but we’re hopeful for him.
On October 12, Roxie and Dr. Alex did a 30-day blood panel on Gridley. Yup, it’s been 30 days since he started treatment and what remarkable progress he’s made! The next day, his results showed that his internal progress is just as remarkable as how great he looks on the outside! His blood markers are right where they should be – or even better – for a kitten at this stage of treatment! We are 1/3 the way through treatment and going strong!
Gridley is a dream come true: after battling with the previously incurable FIP (Feline Infectious Peritonitis), he is the picture of health. Just a couple of years ago, he would have been a distant memory, as he would’ve died when he first came to FieldHaven in early September. Instead, he is here with us, alive, happy, playing, and almost healthy. He will soon be halfway through his 84-day course of medication. Each day, he bears the painful injection and the lingering pain as the medication enter his body. Fortunately, as soon as the sting is gone he bounds off, being a normal kitten once again.
Day 52 (11/11/21) update: Gridley is just 32 days away from hopefully being done with his FIP treatment! He is growing, eating a ton, playing, snuggling – in other words, he’s acting like a totally normal 5 month old kitten. 16 years ago, Joy lost her kitten Levi to FIP. His picture sits on her desk where she can look at it every day, hoping to one day be able to help kittens with FIP live instead of die. That day is here. Levi’s spirit is still with her. A few days ago, Joy was looking in a drawer and found Levi’s name tag. Sitting in that drawer for all these years, one would think she would’ve thrown it away a long time ago. Gridley is why she didn’t. He is proudly wearing Levi’s name on his shark “take a bite out of FIP” Beastie Band. Today, he posed next to Levi’s picture for a very teary photo.
Day 84 (12/2/21) update: We are disappointed, but still very grateful. We reached day 84: the day we’ve been anticipating for 12 long weeks, the anticipated last day of treatment. We were even planning a Last Injection party! Then, we received Gridley’s blood test results, the final review before we would get the OK to stop treatment and begin remission. Gridley is growing, robust, energetic and otherwise acts and looks like a normal, very healthy kitten. However, there were some minor anomalies in his bloodwork. After lengthy talks with the FIP Warriors® 5.0 experts, it was determined we would extend his treatment for two more weeks. We’re disappointed for Gridley. He hates the injections. Don’t get us wrong —he’s not in any way suffering, but the 45-second daily injection is not fun, is challenging to administer, and the medication does sting upon injection, but about 30 seconds after injection, Gridley is back to a typical happy kitten. Here’s to two more weeks. A huge thank you to our team who are so involved in Gridley’s journey, and to your support. It truly helps. Gridley, we know we said “just two more days, buddy.” Let’s hope two more weeks will be the magic number. You’ve got this!
Day 96 (12/12/21) update: If you think Gridley doesn’t look happy, you’d be right. He’s about to get his daily shot. It’s the syringe on the left. Three CCs of thick, stinging GS (equivalent to 30+ CCs for humans). That’s half a vial (the ones with the pink top on the right). Each vial costs $80. Gridley is on day 96. He’s doing excellent and we hope he will be released from treatment very soon.
Final Day of Treatment (12/21/21) update: For the past 3 1/2 months, each and every evening this little guy has endured an injection that is uncomfortable and stinging. As he grew older and stronger, Joy had to enlist help to hold him for the injection. Every day, we made the short trek to the shelter, sometimes in the pouring rain. What a brave boy you’ve been, Gridley! It felt strange tonight to not make that trek. Strange but glorious! Thanks for hanging in there our brave miracle kitten!
“Watching the miracle of the treatment work on Gridley and so many others has been one of the highlights of my animal welfare career.”