Goldie, the crag cat hangs out while we rock climb
Goldie, the crag kitteh

Pet People

Rose and I love our pets. They are more than animals that keep us company – they tend to quickly become full-on members of our family. During our time in Europe, Mama and Yoda came with us. Mama wanted all the cuddles and Yoda did her best to control Eppstein’s field-mouse population – often bringing home “presents”.

Due to our van life plans in 2019, we had some very adoring friends (shout out to Craig and Emily!) watching Mama and Yoda for us. They got on so well with Mama and Yoda that they ended up getting attached to them and Craig told me “You either need to come get Mama and Yoda in the next few weeks, or, because we’re getting so attached, you need to let us adopt them.” We had a few more trips planned with friends and after some tears and lots of discussion, we decided to let Craig and Emily adopt Mama and Yoda.

This sat well with us because we knew that Yoda and Mama were going to a great home and we were not quite ready to settle down. We had read that getting two full-grown cats accustomed to life on the road would not go well for both owner and cat.

We still had a cat-sized-hole in our lives.

Enter: Goldie

About two weeks after we adopted Goldie in mid-Winter 2020, we noticed something wasn’t right. She was sleeping all the time, she was bloated, and she had become an intermittent litter box user.

A trip to the vet confirmed what we feared: FIP. FIP is a rare and 100% fatal* (*more on this below) immune response that some kittens have to a common benign virus that 99% of cats carry. She had about three weeks to live.

We had already become attached to our tiny, snuggly new member of our family. We had to do something!

Through internet research, we found an experimental, black-market treatment that is extremely efficacious in curing cats of FIP. This was not a death-sentence for her! We took some money we had set aside for a new kitchen floor, sent it to a Chinese PayPal account, and four days later had some syringes and vials of clear liquid that we would need to inject into Goldie every day for the next three months (since this is not an approved treatment, the vet could/would not do it for us).

Rose became an expert in subduing Goldie, while learned how to inject a squirming Goldie with an acidic (read: painful) liquid. Every evening. For three months!

Three days into her treatment, Goldie started to play! She would still cuddle with us in the evenings, but her belly returned to a normal size, and her blood work returned to normal!

We started taking her on walks and playing with her in the back yard daily.

She was a trooper throughout the treatment period and has become a super playful, very active cat!

Traveling With Goldie

We still do lots of trips in our Van, even though we have established a home-base in Boulder. From weekend trips to climb at Shelf Road, or month-long trips to visit family in Las Vegas, Rose and I decided to get Goldie accustomed to trips with us in the van!

happy cat in a van next to a woman

So long as there are no off-leash doggos around, Goldie is happy exploring with us on walks:

cat walks along a gravel road
Goldie exploring with us around Escalante Canyon
cat walks along a gravel road
Going on a walk in south-central Colorado

Goldie has made friends with Alta (Connie’s pup) and Teddy (Mary’s pup, Mary is Rose’s Mom):

We look forward to bringing Goldie with us on all of our upcoming trips! We are currently in the process of getting her certification to travel to Europe with us later this summer!

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