Thank you for helping save Moki
Moki's Story:
Every now and then, cat lovers come across a truly rare find. A kitten or cat, that
stands head and shoulders above the rest. Now that cat or kitten may not be the
healthiest, cleanest, or even the friendliest, but there is something extra special
about them, something that tugs at your heart strings, something that, well, just
melts your heart. For me, that kitten was Moki.

I first met Moki while volunteering at my local feline shelter. I had been
volunteering for a few months when Moki and his sister Java where admitted to
the shelter. It was kitten season and we had an influx of kittens in the shelter,
many of whom where feral. I like to think that someone must have been watching
out for Moki and his sister, since we found them on the doorstep of the shelter
one night, cold, scared and hungry.

Over the next few days I went about my business as usual at the shelter, but as
each day passed, Moki caught my attention more and more. Perhaps at first it
was because, we didn’t normally house kittens at the shelter, but then it became
something more. Moki and his sister Java were two of six kittens that we could
not place immediately into foster homes. Most of our foster homes wanted cute
cuddly kittens, not untamed wild ones. Looking back on it, I have to admit Moki
was probably the worse one of all. Whenever one of the shelter staff would try to
take him out of his cage, he would pitch a fit something awful. His ears would go
back and he would hiss as loud as he could. When that didn’t work, he would try
hiding under his bedding, in his litter box, behind his food and water bowls,
whatever would make it most difficult for you to get him out of his cage. His
attitude however, did not fool me. As days passed and I grew more attached to
his fitful ways, I began speaking with my boyfriend about bringing Moki home to
foster. We already had six cats so the decision to bring Moki home to live with us,
was one we had to give much consideration. After a few days, and some long
hard thought, we agreed that this extra special guy deserved an equally special
home, if only on a temporary basis…

The minute Moki meet my boyfriend was amazing. I will never forget it. Moki and
my boyfriend instantly bonded. It was as if Moki had never been feral. The next
few days and weeks went well. We had given Moki his very own bedroom filled
with toys, a scratching post, a queen-sized bed to sleep on and all the food he
could eat. He ran, jumped, played, purred and delighted in all the attention.
Unfortunately, little did we know, that was about to all change.
Moki had suffered from what at first appear to be a mild upper repository
infection ever since I had brought him home from the shelter. We didn’t believe it
to be anything major. Over the years I have had a number of cats with URI’s and
the shelter had treated hundreds of cases that appeared just like Moki’s at the
time. Neither of us had any reason to suspect that this would turn out to be
unlike anything either of us had every battled before.

We started Moki on a regular course of antibiotics all the while believing his
symptoms would clear up in a few days. When his symptoms got worse, instead
of better, we took him to the vet. By now Moki had gone from a little sneezing,
slight runny nose and watery eyes, to being lethargic, and refusing to eat or
drink. Along with the antibiotics, we began force-feeding Moki. We also started
him on a daily routine of sub-q-fluids, which I administered myself at home.
When Moki’s health continued to decline, and his head started shaking like a
diabetic when their insulin level gets to low, we took Moki back to the vet. This
time he stayed over night. I will never forget what happened next, the month was
July, the exact date was 7/27/2007.  Blood was drawn from Moki upon his arrival
at the hospital and the result of his blood test came back on the morning of 7/28.
The news wasn’t good. Moki’s had a temperature of 104.3 and a white blood cell
count of 0.7. The normal reference range for kitties given the test was 3.5 – 16.0.
The doctor told us at that time that Moki wasn’t going to make it. “His white blood
cell count was lower than a cat suffering from leukemia in their final stage.”  
Despite all the odds being against
Moki, I couldn’t give up hope, I
wouldn’t give up hope, so since the
office where he was currently being
held at, closed on Sundays, I picked
up Moki that afternoon and moved
him to an emergency vet.  After
taking a look at Moki and the
medical records I bought with us,
the emergency doctor on call
confirmed what the first doctor had
said. Before leaving Moki in her
care, she thought it was best that I
say “good bye” to the sweet little
guy, since it was unlikely he would
make it through the night. It was not without much crying, telling Moki to hang in
there and that I would be back to see him again tomorrow, that I let the doctor
take Moki to the back office for the night. If Moki made it through the night and didn’
t have a drastic turn around by morning, the doctor said she would have to
recommend putting Moki to sleep the following day. That night I just couldn’t
sleep. I cried and prayed and cried and prayed some more. Moki just had to pull
through this, despite the odds…
The next morning I received a call from a new doctor, who had taken over Moki’s
case. The new doctor asked if I could come in right away to see Moki. She
informed me that Moki’s health status looked nothing like what was described in
his medical records from the night before, and since she was not the doctor on
call when Moki was admitted, she asked that I come take a look at Moki to verify
that her findings where correct and that there hadn’t been some kind of mistake

When I got to the hospital, I to was surprised. Moki, who had been standing at
death’s door only a matter of hours ago, was now alert and aware of his
surroundings. I made the 40 min trek to visit Moki everyday, over the next few
days. While alive and obviously alert, Moki had suffered some neurological
damage. At first we where not sure if he would ever be able to sit up or eat on his
own, was our little guy doomed to a bed ridden life?

On the third day, Moki managed to sit up on his own, although it was only for
short periods of time, before he would end up falling over on his side.  His head
still shook uncontrollably and he was still unable to stand. Here stood a
shadow, of the proud fierce kitten I had brought home just weeks before. The
little guy, who was ready to take on the world, now couldn’t even manage to
crawl inside his own litter box.

On the upside, the vet techs discovered that Moki could indeed eat on his own,
but only when a plate was held up to his face, and only wet food. Of course Moki
still needed help to sit up for extended periods of time while trying to eat, but the
fact remained that Moki was making progress!

By the end of the third day, the doctor sent Moki home. At that time she informed
us that she believed Moki had a condition known as cerebellar hypoplasia.
Although Moki tested negative for feline distemper, the doctor said it was
possible that Moki’s mother may have suffered from the disease at the time Moki
was conceived. The severity of the condition the doctor informed us varies widely
among cats. She could not tell us to which extent Moki may recover, but she did
inform us, that Moki would never get any worse as a result of the disease.

To be honest, I could have cared less about whatever accommodations we
would have to make on account of Moki’s new found disability. I was just happy
the little guy was alive and home at last, for I had promised Moki on that dreadful
day when I first brought him to the emergency vet, that if he where to pull through
this, he would have a forever home with me.

Moki’s first week at home was pretty eventful. When the doctor called to check in
on Moki a week and a half after his release from the emergency hospital we
where proud to report that after much work and lots of struggle, Moki was taking
his first few steps on his own, since recovering from the illness. He was now
also able to eat on his own from a dish placed on the ground.
As days turned into weeks and weeks turned into months, Moki continued to
improve. Before we knew it, four months had passed and we where able to take
Moki completely, off the medicine prescribed by the emergency vet. Within a very
short period of time, after having stopped the medication prescribed by the
emergency vet, Moki had developed a urinary tract infection.  It was now mid Nov.
to be more exact.

Our regular vet started Moki on a
series of antibiotics to treat the UTI.
When the UTI didn’t clear up we
brought Moki back to the vet. This
time Moki’s doctor decided to take
an x-ray of Moki’s bladder and to
run another blood test. While
waiting for the results of Moki’s
blood work to come back, Moki’s
doctor obtained all of his medical
history from the other doctors who
had treated Moki in the past. In the
meantime, I brought in some video
footage of Moki walking around at
home, that I had recorded in the
past, to show the doctor. When the results of the new blood test came back,
Moki’s doctor found a startling surprise. Moki’s blood work showed that Moki
was FIP positive. After examining Moki’s prior blood test, the doctor also
discovered that Moki had been testing FIP positive all along. The good news
was that with each new blood test, Moki’s FIP titers where going down. The bad
news came when the doctor examined the videos of Moki I brought in.

After examining the video of Moki, the doctor concluded that Moki did not have
cerebellar hypoplasia. Cats suffering from CH all have the same tale-tale sign
and that is a flagpole tag.  Moki’s tail instead of standing straight up in the air
when he walked, fell limply behind him.  Moki was no CH kitty after all. So what
was Moki suffering from?

The new unconfirmed diagnosis was neurological FIP. Since our regular vet
could not confirm his suspected diagnosis, he thought it best, if I wanted to
pursue the issue, to refer me to a specialist at UC Davis. The Veterinarian
Teaching Hospital at UC Davis, he informed me could do a liver biopsy to confirm
the diagnosis of FIP. The doctor went on to tell me that a FIP positive result on a
blood test only indicates that cat has been exposed to one of many coronavirsus.
Most cats will actually be exposed to a strand of a coronavirsus in their lifetime,
but few will ever come into contact with the strand that actually mutates into FIP.
Given Moki’s neurological problems, the age at which his symptoms appeared
and the positive FIP results on his blood work, the doctor felt it best to have Moki
examined further. So off to UC Davis we went. If Moki was willing to continue to
fight the battle, who was I to stop him…?

Moki’s his first appointment at U.C. Davis was back in Dec. There they did an
ultrasound, and ruled out obvious liver disease as a cause of Moki’s neurological
symptoms. They also confirmed that Moki’s bladder was ok, and that he was
responding to the antibiotics being used to treat his UTI. Fortunately, while they
couldn’t rule in or out FIP, they felt that Moki was not displaying all the normal
signs and symptoms, which often accompany the disease.  So now we where
back to square one. UC Davis informed us that Moki was a rare case. The
doctors there had not seen many cases quite like Moki’s so they where uncertain
what was causing Moki’s symptoms. Since Moki had even the neurologist at UC
Davis puzzled, they recommended two separate courses of action. Their first
recommendation was to have an MRI and CSF tap preformed.  The problem they
informed us in doing the MRI and the CSF tap lied in the fact that since they had
no idea of what they where dealing with, both of these test might turn up no
results. The two tests where also very expensive and there was no guarantee
that either test would give us a positive answer. Both of the tests would be used
as a way of ruling out possibilities. The underline hope would be that one of the
two tests turned up an answer. The second course of action would be to meet
regularly with one of the two neurologists that had seen Moki to record his
progress. By recording Moki’s progress and or regression over a period of time,
the two neurologists who saw Moki, might have a better idea of what they are
dealing with.
It is now Feb 6. Moki’s UTI
has cleared up. He is doing
well. He still suffers from
neurological damage, but it
doesn’t seem to get him
down. In fact he has recently
started running a little, about
four or five steps before he
falls over, and taking small
jumps while he is playing.  
We decided not to put Moki
through all the additional
testing recommended by UC
Davis and instead to meet
with a neurologist on a
regular basis, that is until
such a time that we can raise
the additional money to cover
Moki’s tests. In the
meantime, Moki has an
appointment set up with the
neurologist at UC Davis on
March 6 to continue to record
his progress.

Moki’s love for life goes
beyond anything words can
describe. He has thought us
that there is nothing we cant
over come, with the help of a
friend, a little support and lots
of love. It is with this in mind
that I have become Moki’s
voice, to share with all of you,
what he cannot, the story of
his life…
If you enjoyed reading Moki’s story and
would like to help in this fight, we ask
that you please make a small donation to
a fund we have set up through Paypal.
All donations will be used to cover the on
going costs of medical care and testing
needed for Moki.
Stop by and meet some of Moki's
friends. Here you will also find
pictures of and get to meet, Moki's
fur family, all 6 of them!
Moki knows first hand what it is like
to be sick. He knows the high
costs that can be associated with
numerous vet visits. He is familiar
with the need to have costly
medical test and procedures done.
Moki also knows that sometimes,
there may not be a cure or
treatment for a disease or illness
in one country, but it may exists in
another, as was the case of Attila.
Therefore Moki would like to bring
your attention to these “Other Cats
In Need.”
This page is dedicated to the
memory of Bud, who recently lost
his battle with squamous cell
carcinoma. May Bud be joined by
his family and friends who
passed before him at the rainbow
PetSmart - Cat
Drs. Foster and Smith Inc.