I love the ragdoll breed. They are absolute sweethearts and have the softest fur I have ever touched. I love their beautiful blue eyes and bushy tails. My kitties will always be a part of my family. They are my fur babies who I love with all my heart. Prior to my ragdolls, I had a calico cat for fifteen years who I loved tremendously. She was the first cat I owned so it was difficult when she passed. I wanted my next kitty to be unique so that is how I have grown to love this particular breed. Sophie was a blue mitted ragdoll. She was born on April 7, 2015. My three year old seal mitted ragdoll is a half-sister to her.
Sadly Sophie was taken away from me way too early by FIP - Feline Infectious Peritonitis. I had heard of it before, but did not really understand what it was until my kitten had it. I just knew it was a rare disease and the odds were slim of getting it. Since then I have learned that many cats have coronavirus without getting sick. However the coronavirus can mutate into FIP with a weakened immune system of a kitten. FIP is such a cruel fatal disease without a cure. It affected my baby girl’s appetite and she lost weight so quickly during her last week.
It is a very difficult disease for vets to diagnose and can affect cats differently. At first Sophie had soft stool which the vet diagnosed as colitis and treated with antibiotics. I also noticed she would sneeze and was told not to worry when it didn’t develop into a respiratory infection. The next few months she seemed like a normal kitten with a healthy appetite and was growing bigger. Then she began to grind her teeth when she ate. I brought her back to the vet. She developed sores inside her mouth. The vet gave her viral meds to treat it, but she was not getting better. Her appetite had decreased and she was lethargic. She slept more than usual. I brought her back into the vet again and the blood work showed she was anemic and had high levels of globulins. I feared that she had FIP and went to another vet to do an ultrasound. The results showed that her kidneys were enlarged and there was fluid built up. I was informed that her body stopped producing red blood cells and a blood transfusion wasn’t the solution. She had stopped growing. My heart dropped when the prognosis was that she would not have long to live. I was in utter shock while that moment felt like a very bad dream. How could this have happened? She was supposed to be a healthy kitten. The vet tried prednisone to slow down the disease symptoms, but it didn’t help. I tried to entice her with different types of food, but she would only eat some treats. It was unbearable to watch her stare at her dishes without eating or drinking hardly anything. I did not want her to suffer. I made a follow up appointment with the vet who confirmed the prognosis. On January 16, 2016 I held my baby girl in my arms for the last time while I said goodbye. It was heart wrenching. I said I was sorry to Sophie as I sobbed. After she passed, I felt a split second of relief as if she said to me “I’m alright. Don’t be sad Mom.” However the pain of losing her was so intense.
I believe that my sweet Sophie is at peace in heaven. She is playing with my other two babies who I lost from miscarriages. One day I will see them all in heaven. Until then I will do my best to understand what the good Lord wants me to learn from my experiences. Hopefully I can increase an awareness of FIP through sharing Sophie’s story as well as honor all of the kitties who have been affected by FIP. It was so helpful to read the e-book from Amazon called KONA'S FIGHT: Tiny Kitten, Big Heart and hear someone else’s story. All of the proceeds go to the Bria Fund at the Winn Feline Foundation for researching a cure. Thank you to Deborah and all who have supported it. I wish someday there will be a cure for this terrible disease.
I want to celebrate Sophie’s life and highlight the moments we had in the short six months together. It was love at first sight when I met her in person. She was so good all of the way home and never fussed. My other kitty acted like a mama towards Sophie at times. She would groom little Sophie which was so sweet to watch. Other times they also acted like siblings while debating on the food dishes or sleeping arrangements. Sophie enjoyed belly rubs and I enjoyed listening to her purr. I absolutely loved how Sophie was a lap cat. She liked to knead on the soft fleece blanket and then snuggle on my lap. It was fun having a playful kitten around. Ragdolls are like puppies and follow me around the house. My kitties have left permanent paw prints in my heart. I love and miss you so much Sophie!