Scott Bowman lost his young cat Cincy to feline infectious peritonitis (F.I.P.) this winter, but by teaming up with the Cornell Feline Health Center, Scott is hoping to turn this sad story around. While Scott prepares to run in the Boston Marathon this April, he’s encouraging his family, friends, and colleagues to support him and F.I.P. research by making donations in his name to the Feline Health Center. Financial help from Scott and his backers will help support the Center’s Research Grants Program, a source of vital financial support for Cornell scientists and veterinarians investigating F.I.P and other issues that affect feline health.
Scott was in the crowd at the finish line in Boston last year when the first of two bombs exploded less than 20 feet away. The bombs killed three spectators and injured 264 others that day, including Scott, who suffers partial hearing loss from the explosion. The Boston Athletic Association, which administers the Boston Marathon, invited Scott to participate in this year’s race and waived the registration fee and qualifying time requirement. An avid marathon runner, Scott will run the race on April 21.
Bowman says the bombing was a terrible experience, but by January his life was back to normal and he was training for the upcoming marathon. Then his young cat Cincy got sick. A blue-eyed ragdoll, Cincy exhibited mild respiratory symptoms at first, but his condition quickly grew desperate. Less than three weeks after his symptoms began, Cincy’s veterinarian told Scott and his wife Aileen that Cincy most likely had F.I.P., a viral disease that is almost always fatal. Soon after they got the diagnosis, Scott and Aileen made the decision to end Cincy’s suffering and had him put down.
In honor of Cincy, and in the hopes of helping cats around the world, Scott has selected the Cornell Feline Health Center as his charitable cause while running in the Boston Marathon in April. By supporting research on F.I.P. diagnosis, treatment, and prevention, Scott is taking the sad events of last year’s marathon and Cincy’s passing and creating a new story of hope.
UPDATE: A follow-up story about Scott's run in the 2014 Boston Marathon was included in the July issue of the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine's quarterly magazine, 'Scopes.