Nine years ago when I was living in Baltimore, I saw an ad online about a litter of kittens a woman was trying to adopt out. I emailed the woman and she gave me her address. She lived on Lombard Street in downtown Baltimore. She told me she had gotten dozens and dozens of emails about the kittens, and if I wanted one I had to be quick. I left immediately and went to her house. There were four kittens in all. There was an orange one, a brown one, and two grey kittens. I told her I wanted the orange kitten and the smaller of the two grey kittens. She said: “Are you sure? He’s the runt. I’ve gotten emails about all of them except for him cuz he’s so small.” I told her, god dang, I want that runt. She brought him over to me and I put him on my shoulder. He was seven weeks old and fit in the palm of my hand. I named him Dante.

Dante and I have been good friends ever since that day. That dude is my little buddy. I tell people all the time, I say, “You could stab me or burn everything I own and I wouldn’t care so long as Dante was OK.” I care about Dante more than anything else in my whole dumb life. If I didn’t have Dante I don’t know what the heck I’d do.

About a week ago Dante started to get sick. He was throwing up multiple times a day and skulking around and hiding. I drove him to the vet near my house and they took his temperature, checked his ears and gums, and on and on. On the outside he was perfectly healthy. He didn’t even have a fever. They sent me home with meds which didn’t really do anything for him. Dante kept feeling sick.

I have taken Dante back to the vet three times since then. Once for another checkup, then to have blood work done, and finally I took him yesterday to have an ultrasound done.

Dante’s blood work was completely normal, but his ultrasound revealed that his intestinal lining has thickened, which is what’s making it difficult for him to process food. The vet said that this sort of thing generally only happens for one of two reasons: either the cat has developed intestinal bowel disease (IBD), which is very common, or the cat is in the early stages of intestinal lymphoma, which is also common.

Tons of cats have IBD. I think I read that half of cats over the age of 9 develop it sooner or later. My sister’s cat had it. It’s very treatable and is generally only an inconvenience that shows up every now and then.

Lymphoma is obviously a type of cancer. The prognosis for intestinal lymphoma in cats is good, but it’s much more expensive to treat, and it’s also cancer.

There is only one way to truly know which one a cat is suffering from, and that is to perform an intestinal biopsy, which is a minor surgery. Otherwise you’re blindly medicating a cat for an illness they may not even have. If they have lymphoma and you’re treating them for IBD, that’s bad news for everyone.

An intestinal biopsy is extremely expensive. It costs about $1,200. I’m going to have to come up with the money in the next few days so I can treat Dante and make sure he’s on the right medication.

This is what I’m looking at:

I feel ashamed about this next part, but here it is anyway:

My parents and a few of my friends have offered to pitch in and help Dante, and I’m going to spend every last dime I have on this surgery. But because I’ve already spent $700+ just in vet visits alone, I’m strapped as heck right now.

Man, I kinda need some help!

I send this message out into the darkness of space and time: Please! If you can hear me, and you’ve got a couple bucks layin around, and you wanna help out some poor old fool and his beautiful cat-friend Dante Starsailor, I would really appreciate it! I would be so happy! Heck, man. Even $5 would put me in a good spot.

I have a


and I got that

Square Cash

Should you decide to help me out, please know that every single cent will go towards Dante’s medical bills. I’m already looking around my room thinking, you know, what can I sell to make some money. And I’m taking on as many freelance projects as I can. And I’m gonna do some outpatient clinical trials and get another job, and on and on. Listen! I gotta take care of this dude!

I’m also launching my store tomorrow, so if you wanna help me out by paying for some of the little books I’ve written, there’s that route too. In fact that feels cleaner to me, and makes me feel less ashamed. I’ll post a link when it launches~

For real! I appreciate your help! And for even reading this in the first place! I love Dante more than anything else in the whole world, and if I could trade places with him and feel all his pain for him, I would. But for now all I can do is stare at this astronomically high vet bill and think that, when you really get down to it, having a physical body is a godawful thing.

Poor little Dante. My friend! My runt! All I want is for his little body to feel better.

Thank you, everyone~ ☆彡