Julie Stanton Welch

I attempt to own the Bengal Cat, with spotty success...

Monday, February 18, 2013

Rest Mariah

I posted this in October 2011 on the third anniversary of the FIP death of my Bengal kitten Mariah. FIP is the always fatal disease Feline Infectious Peritonitis. My seamuskitty wordpress blog has been closed down. You can read more about my story on my previous blog myindigosea

Three years ago, rest Mariah...

I knew I would be traveling for work this week so I posted pictures of Mariah on the facebook group FIP Fighters before I left for Houston. I cried ahead of time. She died on October 20, 2008.
I go on a trip at about this time every year. That year I was in Savannah enjoying beautiful weather and watching boats float by right outside of our meeting room. I worried about my kitty at home because when I left, she wasn’t quite right.
I came home on a Thursday and found that Mariah had developed the neurological symptoms of Dry FIP.  I didn’t know what it was. I had no clue and assumed she could be cured of whatever she had.
But she collapsed on Saturday and was gone on Monday. FIP is a merciless killer.
I couldn’t cry on my trip to Houston this week but I thought about her. I will think of her each year when I make the annual work trip, no matter where it is. I can cry now, I have the time and space.
Mariah started me off on the path of activism. Seeing her go from bright energetic kitten to a kitten shaken by seizures made something click in my mind and heart. So when I pack my car to go to a cat show with the FIP Fighters Booth I don’t think twice. I HAVE to do it.

Most of the time I end up sharing a box of kleenex with someone as they tell me about a loss. Grief is a process. If one isn’t allowed to pass through the stages with the support of loved ones, one gets stuck in protracted grief.
A lot of the time I see the look of relief on a breeder’s face when they realize FIP is not contagious. Every time I’m at a show I distribute info from the Winn Feline Foundation with their support. And with special support from Susan Gingrich, the founder of the Bria Fund. Susan is doing mirror FIP Fighter booths in the Mid-Atlantic area.
Poor Mariah showed me the horror of FIP. I reacted and did something. It is life and activism intertwined.
Thank you everyone who has donated to support the booth so I can inform about FIP and raise funds for Winn. Thank you to everyone who has donated directly to Winn. - Originally posted on seamuskitty.com October 21, 2011