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Christmas 2019, Special Tails
- Loving Home Kitty
So many people love cats and work to help them. When we see someone with a big heart, we want to help them as they try to help a homeless kitty. A whole neighborhood, and especially one woman, tried to help Thomas. No one could take him into their home when he was abandoned outside but he was fed, watched and worried about. There were fast moving 4 lane roads right there. One day his main friend saw he was ill probably from eating something contaminated .She took him to her dog’s vet and felt he could not continue to live outside. Having gotten our name from somewhere, she called us. “Could you take in a cat that had lived outside for several years” she asked. “He was friendly but very unsettled,” she said. We said we would take him and asked her to get him tested for Feline Leukemia, FeLV and the Feline Immunological Virus, FIV. She cried and cried when he tested positive for FIV, since she thought we wouldn’t take him. What would she and Thomas do?
Another odd and unpleasant part of Thomas’ story is that some anonymous person in his neighborhood would take him, and other outside cats, and shave them down. We kid you not. Poor Thomas was shaved, and shaved again. He certainly would have been cold in the winter. His friend put a collar on him saying, “Please do not shave this cat.” It didn’t help. The shelter could not help either. No one could figure out who was doing it or why.
We surprised her saying “It is all right, we’ll take him”. We have taken many FIV cats into foster care. Scientific studies are finding that in many cases, FIV cats live just as long as other cats. In the early years of FIV, positive cats and kittens were euthanized. Now the disease is better understood. The majority of FIV + cats can live a normal life. In fact many of our FIV+ adopters have had other cats in their homes at the same time.
Thomas’ hair was growing back from being shaved when he came to us. He immediately gained weight, had a bath, and showed us what an amazing lovebug he was. We all fell in love with him. But it is true that it takes longer to find a great home for a FIV+ cat. We had Thomas around to love for many months. Eventually someone contacted us that knew Thomas was to be her cat. She’d actually had a FIV+ cat that had lived a long, healthy life and was willing to love another one, Thomas.
Almost two weeks after they adopted him, she called and told his foster mom how much they loved him. At the end of the call she mentioned that he had not used his litterbox once since they brought him home. She cleaned the poop and pee out of the rug every day and she was willing to continue to do so. Forever. “WHAT !!!!!!! He was perfect at his foster home”. Then Thomas’s foster mom got smart and said, “Wait a minute, tell me about his litterbox.” She said, “Well, It’s a new covered box with a swinging door and it is filled with those white litter pearls”. Aha! “OK. He doesn’t recognize that you have given him a litterbox. It is too unfamiliar. Take the top off the box, pour out the litter pearls, and fill it with some dust free, unscented, clumping clay litter.” He was happy (relieved, as he relieved himself?) and he has used it perfectly ever since. Sigh. Such an amazing, loving family; so willing to accommodate him, even if he never used his litter box.
It took quite a few humans to help this lovely boy during at least three difficult, somewhat dangerous, years but it all worked out and Thomas has a loving forever home. His new family is very happy with him, and feels so lucky to have been able to adopt him. Adopters really are our partners, partners in loving and caring for our fosters. We pass kitties on to our adopters and like a tag team they take over for the next stage – a happy life in their new loving forever home. Everyone wins.