Atlanta woman holds FIP awareness event each year to celebrate the life of her beloved cat

Christine Cook is an Atlanta resident on a mission to raise awareness of Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP) a devastating and deadly illness in the coronavirus family. There are treatments that may extend life, but so few cats survive that FIP is considered fatal.
Profile photo 2017
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats
Christine writes on her beloved cat Mr. Swanson, whom she lost at the age of 17 months:

“What can I say about Mr. Swanson? He was the sweetest soul I have ever met. He was my heart…my world…For some reason FIP kitties just seem to know their time here on earth will not be long. I think that’s why they try to make the most of every single moment. Mr Swanson’s family came to me through a foster program. He and his two sisters were little tiny balls of fur who were for the most part, feral. I didn’t even have Mr. Swanson for a year and a half before he began to show signs of illness. After many tests and a second vet opinion, I finally got the diagnosis of FIP on January 9th. It was the day I told Mr. Swanson goodbye and my world shattered. During that time I had a dream that Mr. Swanson was going away but I was to share his awesomeness with the world. It wasn’t until after his death, I realized what the dream meant.

I planned and organized Mr. Swanson’s Day on Facebook in 2011 three months after he passed to raise awareness of FIP and educate people of its dangers. Every year on April 9th, we have our annual Mr. Swanson’s Day. It’s very easy for folks to participate. All you do is on April 9th only, change your Facebook profile picture to the one I selected of Mr. Swanson. Then, when your friends ask about the beautiful little orange fluff ball in your profile picture, you can tell them about Mr. Swanson and tell them about the devastation and sadness caused by FIP. It’s one small way I can share his awesomeness with the world and try to raise FIP awareness and funds for FIP research.”

Christine with Mr. Swanson

There has been a Mr. Swanson’s Day every since except 2015 when Christine was involved in a near-fatal car accident. Her new Kia was totaled and Christine was listed as a fatality and not expected to live. She spent 12 days in ICU, followed by an extensive hospital stay. She only recently completed PT and is still unable to work following multiple surgeries, including extensive work on her mouth and jaw.

Christine has only recently been able to return to in time to join FIP Fighters on Facebook. Mr. Swanson’s life and enduring spirit is being celebrated April 9. His Mama would appreciate you making a donation of any amount to the Bria Fund on that special day. Check out Chris’ Auction (link below).

She and co-event creator Susan E. Gingrich (who lost her little Birman kitten to the disease in 2005) are hoping to see many, many photos of Mr. Swanson all over Facebook on Sunday when people are asked to post the main photo for this article as their profile photo for just one day. Susan worked with the Winn Feline Foundation to launch the Bria Fund using dollars specifically targeted for FIP research.

Mr. Swanson succumbed to FIP at 17 months
Former director of the Center for Companion Animal Health at the University of California School of Veterinary Medicine-Davis, Dr. Niels Pedersen, notes that FIP kills an estimated 1 in 100 to 1 in 300 of all cats under 5 years old. Kittens are the most likely to be stricken, and cats from breeders or shelters can have an infection rate of up to 10 times greater.
Michael (PoC) has written a number of articles on FIP, which can be accessed by clicking here.

Please join Christine as she celebrates Mr. Swanson on this special day.

Elisa
 

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Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

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