Sunday, February 13, 2011

Hello, Goodbye

I promised ML that I would share my story of Harley on here for those still left around... I would say if I didn't have bad luck, I would have no luck at all, but I'm going to go with a friend's theory that certain kitties are sent to me because they just need love for a little while before going to the Bridge... This is one of those stories...

Two weeks before the Arcadia cat show, a kind person posted three sweet Selkirk Rexes in Northern California for adoption. I had been looking for a JE kitty for my son to show and my heart was tugged towards the rescues. I am always a sap when it comes to hard knock cases…

So I ended up emailing the rescue and learned about Harley, a sweet longhaired black and white Selkirk, and Lightning, a chubby mellow Selkirk Rex, that loves attention. I wanted Harley- but his personality was sweet, but shy. My son needed an outgoing kitty, which would be Lightning.

We compromised- I decided to adopt both. Yet, we still needed transport since they were in Northern California and round-trip, it would be an 18 hour drive. With the persistence of wonderful friends, I found a ride for our curly hitchhikers...

We rolled into Arcadia late in the evening and as soon as we unpacked at our hotel, we drove to pick up ‘the boys’ as I called them. Lightning was already trying to charm with his jelly-rolls of love (he is a big boy- shall we say ‘Garfield’ with curls?), but Harley was shy as to be expected. I was so thankful for Kitti for driving the boys down to me!

At the hotel, I had the perfect set-up. I had a downstairs master suite with a door- so I situated the boys with me and the kids had the other kitties upstairs with them. Lightning did not take any time to decide he wanted attention; Harley, at midnight, was up at the foot of my bed, purring and wanting attention. I had to sigh in happiness- Harley would definitely come around easier then I thought.

We came home and the boys went into quarantine. I bathed first Lightning and then waited a day or two and bathed Harley. He was so patient and so sweet, but that’s when I noticed that his tummy was very round… I thought perhaps worms since the rescue vet had just deformed him, but I emailed his rescuer immediately and she told me that he had always had a pot belly- so I tried not to worry.

But I needed to take the boys into the vet for a check-up anyways and Harley seemed dispirited. His coat was also very harsh and broken up- nothing like a Selkirk’s.

Today, one week from adopting ‘the boys’, I put Harley to sleep… He had full blown wet FIP- although I know only a necropsy can truly diagnose it- his entire abdomen was filled with yellow thick viscous fluid, he had a horrible heart murmur, and he was suffering.

FIP is a horrible disease; there is currently no cure. It is caused by the basic cold virus in cats that mutates into FIP; there is no rhyme nor reason for FIP and rescues, shelters, and breeders cannot guarantee against this horrible disease. Harley's rescuer did nothing 'wrong'; chances are- he had a vet exam the day before we adopted him. Stress probably pushed the wet FIP into full blown production and that is why his tummy went from 'kinda pot bellied' to extremely bloated in a matter of days.

Together, as cat lovers, we must encourage more research and learn about as much as we can about FIP. We will vanquish this disease- just not in time for Harley and many, many others...

So for our sweet Harley, hello, sweet boy, and goodbye… May you live happily at the Bridge and I am glad you are suffering no more...


  1. I'm glad if Harley had to go to any home, it was yours.
    FIP is beyond horrible.
    It was one of the many diseases that claimed my 007, the stray that was to be our 7th kitty last fall.
    Poor Harley, at least he is no longer suffering.
    This is just too many.

  2. Wow,that is really scary. Gosh, how sad for you. But at least he had a nice week with you and he isn't hurting any more. I certainly will look into what is being done and what can be done about research about that FIP. Hugs to you.

  3. How sad and scary! I'm so sorry. But I am glad he had a week with you. That was much kinder, he was loved <3

  4. I am so sorry. Rest in peace, Harley.

  5. I think it is true. I have had it happen that sometimes cats seem to come to me so that they can have a happy home for a bit before crossing the Bridge. Harley had that with you. Someone who treasured and cherished him. For Harley that was a truly blessed gift.

  6. I am so sorry. How very sad for Harley, but at least he had love and care for the last week of his life. That's all anyone can ask for, is to be loved. Bless you and for all you do.

  7. Oh no Trish... I am so sorry for Poor Little Harley... Yes, FIP is really Nasty, one horrible disease that really should have a lot more attention put into it. Many many purrs and hugs, and sorry for your loss...
    Hope Lightning is ok, and if he has the Corona Virus, it never, ever mutates....
    Happy Cat Family

  8. How sad for both Harley and you, but at least he had a week of love.

  9. We are so very sad for you and Harley. We are glad he had your love if only for a very short time.

  10. I cant stop crying for you. FIP just plain sucks - my stray Fatty had that in the end too. Soar high sweet Harley, you will always be loved and remembered.

    Mom Laure

  11. We are so sorry to hear this sad ending to what should have been a happy story. We are glad he had you to love him in his last week. We know he will watch over you from Rainbow Bridge.
    Luv Hannah, Lucy and mum Sue xx xx xx