We Revisit Man’s Cat Playland and our Hearts Explode Again
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We Revisit Man’s Cat Playland and our Hearts Explode Again


(upbeat music) – We’ve been rescuing
cats for almost 30 years. Once I started adopting, it
kind of become an obsession and then it just kind of snowballed. (upbeat music) We currently have 22
cats, which sounds insane, and wasn’t planned. This is Smudge. And so there’s Poppyseed, Cheesecake, Chocolate, Secret, Donut,
Vanilla, Smoky, um, Minibean, Mikon, Climber,
I’m forgetting a whole bunch. I can’t remember anymore. (upbeat music) Hi, Pepper. If you’re a cat person, to
me, the moment that the cat trusts you, because cats are usually wary, I just find that aspect
of it to be amazing. (gentle music) I like to adopt cats
that are hard to place. You know, we take black cats,
because of superstition, are hard to place, and
I like to take shy cats, ’cause most people don’t want them. All cats are different. Some cats wanna be social,
some wanna be their own space, and we started building
catwalks about 25 years ago. The house is filled with walks, it’s filled with fountains,
both for the sound, and because the cats drink from them. The reward is that we have this zen-like experience
for us and the cats. 22 cats, they’re 22
different sentient beings. (gentle music) (eerie music) My first experience with
FIP was four years ago, we had adopted two kittens
and one of them, Peanut, was diagnosed with FIP and
I had never heard of it, and it’s this horrible
disease that usually attacks kittens and older cats. Peanut lasted five days
from diagnosis to the time we had to euthanize her. I was told it was really
rare, and I thought, I’ve been doing this for 25 years, first time I saw it,
I’ll never see it again. We adopted two more kittens,
Vanilla and Ms. Bean, and Ms. Bean was diagnosed with FIP, but through the magic of the internet and the fame of my cats, I was
put in touch with UC Davis. They were starting a drug trial, and Ms. Bean was accepted. Ultimately, she didn’t
make it, but they learned a great deal from studying her. I found Smoky, another FIP kitten. It was a little scary, knowing
what I had just gone through, that I was probably gonna
go through that again. But Smoky, unlike Ms. Bean, did respond, one of the rare ones that did. He went through 12 weeks of
twice daily painful shots. That was the protocol, and
he would never run away. He’s now completely recovered, and he is now one of the very few cats who survived FIP. (light jazzy music) He’s a pretty special cat. The researchers who
have been studying this, they’ve been studying it for 50 years, and only this year is the
first time they were actually able to cure a cat, and so that inspired us to
raise money for the researchers, to speed this drug. My main business is construction. I have a construction company,
which is how I could build all these catwalks. We never stopped building catwalks. We build them as money and time allows, and we’ve never built
one that they don’t use. And we try to invent new things. For years, people have asked me, can you do this in my house? And we’re selling the
catwalks in kit form, and the idea is that for
a very reasonable price, you’ll get a catwalk complete. It will be able to install
by basic carpentry skills, and they’ll be like ours,
they’ll be floating, and the proceeds of that will
be going towards ZenByCat, which goes towards FIP research. I belong to a lot of
social media sites that, these groups for FIP, both
private and open groups, and everyday, the story is the same. You see new members joining, and saying, you know, I adopted a
kitten for me or my kid, and they got a cold,
and suddenly, I’m told, I have to euthanize it,
and it’s so horrific. You’re so helpless. You’re told there’s nothing you can do. These people are heartbroken,
and they want to do something and we’re trying to give
them a constructive way to do something, that’s
my great hope for this. (light jazzy music)

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