In the early days, Amarelo (whose name meaning “yellow” would end up having such significance at the end of his life) was a small and fragile little boy who came from a tough upbringing.
Being malnourished and underdeveloped, we made it our mission to let him enjoy the finer things in life such as his favorite soft food and dental cleaning treats. It was from this that we decided to call him Chunks. As he grew over the next year, he quickly learned that he couldn’t necessarily fit behind the space under our bed anymore, but he fell in love with simply enjoying his time. He spent his time learning, watching, and even teaching us lessons we may or may not have understood fully at the time. But most of all he loved spending his time with us. Chunks also found joy in spending hours quietly staring out his favorite window almost as if he was philosophizing and pondering life’s greatest questions. We never realized it at the time, but the moments he spent thinking make us believe that he knew he had a greater purpose to fulfill in this world. He also befriended a Blue Jay and a Red Cardinal through that same window, who continue to visit our family often to this day. When we look back at his Halloween photo posed next to the pumpkins, or the Christmas picture where he somehow found his way deep into the center of our Christmas tree for an afternoon nap, it feels that he was meant to live a lifetime of love and memories all within the short amount of time he was with us. We are forever grateful we had the chance to show him that love and be the place he called his forever home.
We had only heard about FIP and the horrors of the disease during the final days of Chunks’ life, at which point it sadly was passed the window of being even remotely treatable. But that didn’t stop us from trying. We met so many incredible people along the way and did everything in our power to find a way to help our baby boy. The issue is that there are currently no FDA approved treatments, and the knowledge around FIP and its treatment and prevention are scarce at best. Sadly, even with all of our best efforts, the disease began to affect his internal organs as well as his cognitive abilities, and right before his passing caused his entire body to turn a shade of yellow that no one had ever seen before, and none of us will ever be able to forget. Chunks passed away from FIP on November 1, 2021.