Domino was only four weeks old - too young to be taken from his mama - so I bottle-fed him for a couple weeks. I was getting married in a month, so he actually attended the wedding and the honeymoon, which was at my ex-husband's cottage in Deep Creek, MD. The above photo was taken on our honeymoon. I think if it weren't for him and his antics, we would have been bored to death because it was freezing that week in July 2000.
As a result of the bottle feeding, Domino became a suckler. He would get under the covers with me and snuggle into my arms, and suckle on the inside of my elbow. He is now 8 years old and still does this from time to time. He is still my "little kittles."
When Dommie was about 5 years old, he developed a bald spot on his shoulder. I thought it was from the Fontline I used on him. But then he started to develop bald spots all over and eventually lot almost all of his hair. In the meantime, he was also losing weight. The vet ran tests and told me he had Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP), which is a deadly and unfortunately, highly contagious, disease. He said Domino would live maybe a couple months at best.
I was devastated, not only for Domino, who is my baby, but for my other 13 cats who had now been exposed to this horrible disease. I cried for two weeks. Of course, I quarantined Dommie in my "sick room" which is my spare bedroom. Every day I would go in and sit with him for a couple hours and hold him while reading a book, or just rock him in the rocking chair. I cried and cried. The vet told me to give him subcutaneous fluids and keep his water freshened a couple times a day. The fluids were a joke. I had four people trying to hold down this 6-pound cat so I could get a needle in him, and he would have none of it. It was impossible. I just figured I would make him as comfortable as possible.
One day I was in his room eating a banana popsicle, and Domino started licking the other side. He loved it and ate almost the whole thing! After that I took him banana popsicles every day.
One day I was researching his disease on the Internet, and I ran across an article about someone who had given their cat apple cider vinegar to help with kidney failure, which was one of the symptoms of FIP. What can it hurt, I thought. I started putting a dropperful of apple cider vinegar into Dommie's water bowl every time I changed it. Within a couple weeks, I noticed his hair growing back in. Then I noticed he was putting on weight. I kept up with the vinegar therapy, and after a month or two, Domino was back to his normal weight and looked fantastic. Jubilant, I let him out of the sick room. Boy, was his girlfriend Peek-A-Boo glad to see him.
That was three years ago, and Domino is still doing fine. The only symptom he has is that his third eyelids are always a little bit up, which is a sign of illness in cats, and one eye has a chronic redness problem which I give him eye salve for. But absolutely no sign of kidney failure or FIP, and none of the other cats have gotten sick.
Do I believe in apple cider vinegar? You bet I do! It saved Domino's life.