An Investment in Feline Health

Anni Bond is a dedicated cat person.  In fact, she has invested in their future.  And therein lies a story.

Shortly after moving to a new home in 2012, she and her husband realized that their six-year-old cat, Wash, had become ill.  After experiencing some GI problems, Wash began experiencing what Anni calls “a weird lethargy.” Concerned, the Bonds contacted a local veterinarian, but the symptoms did not seem severe enough to constitute an emergency and it was the weekend, so the decision was to simply monitor the situation.  By Sunday evening, Anni says, Wash “came up to my husband and I individually and cuddled us briefly before spending the entire night trying to tunnel under the sink. He rejected food and water. When we woke up for work, he was panting and having trouble breathing.”

Without hesitation, they rushed Wash to a local hospital, where it was quickly determined that he needed to undergo emergency surgery for a urinary tract blockage.  He was in the operating room by 10:30 a.m. Around 1:00 the Bonds got a call saying that Wash was out of surgery and doing well, but while in recovery he went into cardiac arrest, and at 1:30 there was another call reporting that he was gone.

Anni and her husband were in shock.  Literally overnight, their playful companion had been taken from them. It seemed unreal. Anni wondered if she should have noticed that something was wrong sooner, and she couldn’t help feeling guilty about it.

Fast forward to 2015.  Anni was, at that point, a grad student at NC State with a focus on technical communications.  While perusing Reddit one day, she came across a “thread about a feline arthritis study that NC State was doing” at the College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM).  It was a clinical trial to test various treatment options.  The Bonds still were cat owners, and Anni says that “after reading through the symptoms” of feline arthritis, “I realized my cat, Gremlin, was suffering from a lot of them — she had trouble moving, she no longer jumped on the bed, she no longer played with her toys, she no longer greeted me at the door.”  Remembering how Wash’s symptoms had not been regarded as too serious at first, Anni didn’t want to see the same mistake made twice.  In fact, she says, “I didn’t want to fail as a pet owner again. I imagined Wash in silent pain and couldn’t handle the thought of Grim also suffering without getting any help. So I called, she qualified, and we enrolled in the study.”

I am extremely grateful to Dr. Adrian and Lyndy for their work in helping my cat, but also for their work in advancing the understanding of feline medical needs and problems…”

It couldn’t have turned out better.  Indeed, it went so well that it inspired a desire in Anni to pledge her support to research designed to advance feline health.  In fact, let her tell the story, herself:

“While she [Gremlin] was in the study, she made such vast improvement there was no doubt in my mind she was receiving the drug being tested.” Anni reports. “She ran downstairs to greet me after class the way she used to! She got on the bed and sunned with the other cat instead of on the floor. She seemed happier. After the study, we elected to continue a treatment for her, and she continues to be happy. I am extremely grateful to Dr. Adrian and Lyndy for their work in helping my cat, but also for their work in advancing the understanding of feline medical needs and problems. There is a lot of support for canine wellness, and maybe if feline wellness research continues the same way, someone else in the future won’t be as in the dark as we were about Wash’s health.”

The Bonds’ contribution to the All Gifts Great and Small Fund in memory of their cat, Wash, helps support those areas of greatest need at the CVM by combining with the funds from other donors to support research, obtain vital equipment, and provide the world-class medical care that clients expect from NC State.  Donations from individuals are a major source of funding for the NC State Veterinary Hospital, and pet memorial gifts like the one from the Bonds are a great way to honor the memory of a beloved companion while investing in the future of animal health.

~Steve Volstad/NC State Veterinary Medicine