A Member’s Message: Lisbon 2024 & Ending FIP

Pet Jets has a message from one of our members who is looking to fly from Raleigh, North Carolina to Lisbon in October 2024. Our member, Maria is looking to fly with her cats (Natalie the calico cat, Perseus the black cat, Lupo the grey cat) and their dog sister, Luna to Lisbon in October 2024. Their goal is to fly on October 28th. They are open to flying out of other locations, but North Carolina is preferred. They are looking for others to join them on their journey over to Europe!

Not only is Maria looking to safely fly with her pets over to their new home in Europe, but she is also an animal advocate who has created her own foundation to raise money and spread awareness about ending FIP. Read more of Maria’s own words about FIP and about her flight to Lisbon in October 2024:


With the kind permission of Honey and Megan, I am posting to share with fellow members who are blessed with kitties in their lives one of the reasons why I decided to fly on a private plane when we relocate to Portugal next year.

Indeed, there are many reasons especially when a large dog is a family member as well and you simply do not want your dog to go on the cargo hold in a commercial airliner. Most airlines allow cats in the cabin but still, the stress of having to be in a loud and crowded cabin is something to consider and the process of having to go through security with the cat(s) can be very stressful for both the felines and their humans.

The calico cat featured in the image is our Natalie. She is a senior cat and doing very well at age 14, however, until recently she was actively infected with feline coronavirus (FCoV) which is the causal pathogen of feline infectious peritonitis (FIP). The virus itself is very common but the disease is considered rare with an estimated 5% – 10% of infected cats at one point in their lives developing FIP.

The pathogenesis (development of a disease) of FIP is complicated: the reductionist view is that it is entirely due to mutation of the virus. Whilst this internal mutation theory is the most widely accepted, no consistent mutation has been identified. The holistic approach is that FIP occurs as a result of several factors, including viral load, the immune status, and the general health of the cat. Even after decades of research, the pathogenesis of FIP remains poorly understood and while the development of FIP remains an enigma, several elements likely contribute to situations where FIP occurs and one of them is STRESS.

A few background details, Natalie got infected by Luca (featured on my profile pic) who was lost to the dry form of FIP on October 5, 2013. I had cats all my life and never knew feline coronavirus and FIP existed until it was too late and I paid the ultimate price for my ignorance. Luca fought the dry and neurological form of FIP for twenty-five days with fortitude and dignity but in the end, the virus won.

During the few weeks Luca was sick I realized that there was a tremendous lack of information about FIP and its causal pathogen among the veterinary professionals. I also realized that there was a wall of shame around the virus among the rescuers and pet parents. It seemed that no one wanted to discuss this disease and that conspiracy of silence allowed it to become the monster so many of us needed to face with no tools to fight it properly. There were many things unknown to me back in 2013 but the one thing I knew is that Luca’s untimely and abrupt passing was not going to be in vain and five years later both the EndFIP® Global Initiative and the Luca Fund for FIP Research were launched.

Our mission is to bring awareness, raise funds for ethical and humane FIP research, and provide resources to establish and maintain a feline coronavirus-free environment and population in multi-cat households and rescue centers (both domestic and wild cats). NO FCoV = NO FIP!

This coming week, as our 5th anniversary approaches, EndFIP® is launching the Five Cats – Five Days Challenge, and I am especially pleased to share that thanks to the generosity of some exceptional friends, EndFIP® and the Luca Fund will benefit from a $10,000 challenge match opportunity that is available only through Friday 6 October.

Please help us continue our mission by donating to the Luca Fund for FIP Research. Your donation will be matched $5 x $1 up to $10,000 if you give before midnight on October 6, 2023. Together, we will make a difference for all cats at a scale that matters – before it’s too late.

🙏DONATE online 👉 www.endfip.com/donate | www.LucaFundforFIP.com

Want to learn more about FIP?👉  www.endfip.com

✈️ Want to JOIN OUR FLIGHT TO LISBON? Paw-lease reach out to Honey and/or Megan”

Contact us here to receive more information about the October 2024 flight to Lisbon: Book Now

Scroll to Top