4Paws Rescue Team Adopt,Volunteer News,Volunteer Spotlight Volunteer Spotlight: Jodi Friedman

Volunteer Spotlight: Jodi Friedman

I used to be just a dog person. I had 3 dogs at the time, and never had a cat. This was until four years ago when I had a tenant who began feeding the strays cats outside my home and once she left, I felt so bad to see them go hungry that I continued to feed them. 

Well as you know, one cat turned in to 2 which then became 10 and could no longer afford to feed the whole neighborhood. So, after doing some investigating, I found an out-of-control feral colony at the Car Dealership near my home and with the help of 4Paws volunteer Flo, began to Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR). I would trap and release the feisty ones, but there were friendly ones and kittens in the mix which I started to foster and adopt out with 4 Paws help.  

As new colonies were identified in my area, Flo asked for some assistance in helping TNR them and again, I ended up fostering the friendly ones and the kittens. One of the locations I was trapping at had 50 + cats and the last 3 were kittens and I took them in. One of the kittens was a sweet grey baby boy who was just so adorable and had the cutest wobble when he walked, I fell in love with him. After some time with me he became sick with Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP), and I adopted him as I was so fond of him. I was told that FIP was basically a death sentence and to seriously consider euthanizing him. However, I was not going to consider that. 

After doing some research, I found some FIP-research being conducted by a well-known vet Dr. Niels C. Pedersen. He had been treating FIP cats successfully with a medicine GS-441524 since 2014. I found a group on Facebook FIP Warriors and procured the medication as quickly as I could and began the arduous task of 84 days of shots, given at the same time daily to my boy Terminator. Unfortunately, Terminator was too sick, and I was too late getting him on this regiment, and he passed away after about a week. 

This tore me to shreds.  I felt that I failed him in not noticing his symptoms in time and not getting him on the FIP meds in time. Not long after, Flo called me to say that 4Paws had another case of FIP. Due to my past FIP experience, she asked me to consider fostering and treating this cat, Timmy. At first I was hesitant after the emotional toll of losing Terminator, but I did not want FIP to beat me and I agreed to try again. I told her I’d try my best, but not to expect any miracles since I failed at saving Terminator, Well Timmy, thank God, was put on the meds immediately and after 84 days of shots and another 84 days in observation, Timmy became a FIP survivor and warrior.   

I am now on my 3rd FIP cat, Zen, who came to me a little over a month ago, and since starting his protocol, he has made great strides as well, and after his first 30 day blood work, his labs are looking great! Thankfully I have helped in getting other FIP cats in 4Paws started on the FIP regiment as well, even when I could not foster them. 

It’s important to know that FIP is not contagious to other cats in the home, as I had 8 others during the time I had Terminator and Timmy and none contracted it. For more information about FIP, you can visit this website. http://www.sockfip.org/fip-q-a/.