Compassion and civility, please.

I lost my Nessy to FIP.

Like many others, I felt the pain of watching my beautiful, darling cat reach the end of the road in her fight against this terrible disease.
We were, in a way lucky, at least for a while. Nessy was officially diagnosed with dry FIP in November 2017, but I believe she had been sick for some time – she just hid her condition very well. My vet suggested we treat her with a combination that had shown anecdotal success: a systemic immunosuppressant and a low, anti-inflammatory dose of prednisone.

Right from the start, I knew we were on borrowed time. But my Nessy was a free spirit and a real fighter, and somehow, she responded well to the treatment. You have to remember that with FIP successful treatment means that your cat gets to live another day, and another one after that, and so on, until the days turn to weeks, weeks turn to months, and before you know it, eighteen months go by… and then, just like that, it’s over. The miracle that held my cat alive for 540 days came to an end. She started to decline, and I knew her time on earth was winding down.

Coming to terms with the inevitable.

I was devastated and had trouble coming to terms with what was happening. I reached out for support on Facebook. As a result of my post, I received unsolicited offers to buy GS-441524, a black market substance marketed as “the cure for FIP.” Let’s just say that the offers were rather persistent, to the point of being pushy. I knew about GS-441524. It was not for us, for many reasons. I had long discussions with knowledgeable people, including my vet, who gave me their opinion based on facts, not emotions, without any pressure or judgment. I also considered my responsibility towards Nessy. She was under my care and doing what is best for her meant respecting her will. Three weeks before her passing, she refused her regular treatment and made it clear to me she had had enough. What kind of person would I be if I did not acknowledge that? What right did I have to let despair push me to make a selfish decision?

The choice is made.

I had seen enough videos and read enough posts from people who are using GS-441 for their cat to know how much the injections hurt and burn. Even if it had been legal, it still wouldn’t be an option for her – or me. Nessy would never have tolerated that much pain. Yet the pressure from the GS advocates was intense; they preyed on my feelings of despair and added to my grief by trying to make me feel guilty for refusing “the cure.” It was not welcome at a time when I needed emotional support. I did not decide lightly to let my Nessy go. I cry every day, and I will for a long time. But deep down, I am at peace with my decision because it was both her choice and mine. No one has the right to judge me or berate me for it. No one. Anyone who has to go through the grief of losing their cherished cat deserves compassion and civility.

People at their absolute worst.

But there is at least one person who believes he is entitled to assault me verbally. I have received a series of messages that are insulting, violent, and demeaning from one of the GS people who took it upon themselves to contact me. That horrible man spewed his venom at me, only days after I had lost my beautiful princess. Read it. It’s unreal.

What gives this man the right to talk to me like this? Just because I disagree with him, he thinks it is OK to treat me like I am some piece of human garbage? Who in hell believes he can insult those who do not see eye to eye with him? Is this how you are treated, when you dare decline to use a black market drug? Why? Do you only get consideration and respect when you are a prospective buyer, and discarded as soon as it becomes clear no one is going to make money off of you?
The reason why I am writing this column is that I believe I am not the first to receive such treatment, nor will I be the last one. This kind of behavior is reprehensible and shameful. If you have been a victim of bullying by anyone trying to force your hand at buying GS-441524 (which is an illegal substance, by the way), speak up. It’s not OK.

One of the “official GS distributors” included in the thread failed to intervene or express any regret for the way that man bullied me. Complacent is the same as complicit, and just as shameful.