By Elisa Black-Taylor
When I wrote the article about the tragic Newtown shooting back in December, it gave me a chance to get to know Robin Olson. Click this link to go to the story.
Robin runs a rescue called Kitten Associates, and her program Kittens For Kids recently helped families of the Newtown, Connecticut tragedy heal from the loss of 20 young children and six brave adults who lost their lives in the Sandy Hook shooting.
At the forefront of the Kittens For Kids program was Fred, who along with his brother Barney gave these traumatized families a way to escape their grief, even if only for a short time. Robin opened her home and allowed Fred and Barney to provide the therapy.
It is with deep regret that I have to report that Fred, poster cat for the Kittens For Kids program, has succumbed to FIP.
He died on Thursday at the very tender age of 10 months. Robin and her companion Sam officially adopted Fred into their family on May 8, knowing he didn’t have much time left. He’d been with them awhile in foster care before deciding to adopt.
Fred had been sick for a few months, and had been tested for FIV and FeLV. It was heartbreaking to learn he had FIP, which is still considered a death sentence to cats. There’s a lot of expensive groundbreaking research and therapies now available, but it usually just buys a little time rather than cure the cat.
I’m writing this article in memory of Fred, and to help Robin deal with her grief. She has a blog at http://coveredincathair.com/content/dear-fred where she talks about her dear boy. She also questions how she handled his care these past few months.
Robin wonders if she could have done more. Did she cause the FIP, and several other questions those of us involved in the care of cats eventually ask ourselves when we lose a cat to illness. Robin is really one of us at PoC. She just hasn’t officially joined our family here yet.
Right now she’s hurting with the loss of Fred, who is now flying free with the children who died in the Sandy Hook massacre. Perhaps those children needed Fred more than Robin needed him. It’s just a thought. I wrote Robin, along with many of her other friends, and told her there was nothing she could have done to save him. I remember when I lost my only FIP cat in 1993. I faced Tramps illness, thinking I’d have the one cat in existence who would survive the illness. I was wrong and Tramp died in my arms at the age of nine months. He only lasted a few days after diagnosis.
I hope all of the readers here will reach out to Robin. Not just for Fred, but for the work she’s done providing therapy for the young victims in her town.