Adopted by Rebecca, John & Christine
Born ~2013- 2014, M, Brown-Spotted Tabby & White Maine Coon Mix
This has certainly been a year of strange stories. This one starts out fairly normally. Three years ago a cranky senior woman decided she didn’t want her cat and locked him out of the house. He crossed a very busy road and started a new life in a neighborhood where the folks liked him, fed him, worried about him. One in particular, a very kind woman, tried to help him though she could not keep him. He came and went and she fed him when she saw him. A couple months ago he seemed ill, vomiting and diarrhea, and she took him to a vet who said “What has he found to eat?” The vet put him on a sensitive stomach diet and his human friend kept him inside for a couple months. Ultimately she found me and asked “Could I find him a home?” I always like to help people who are helping cats so I said I would try.
She said he is a Maine Coon and he usually has long hair, big furry cheeks, a wonderful lush coat. And then here is where the story gets weird: She said ” There is an anonymous person in the neighborhood who has a thing about shaving cats. Four neighborhood cats have periodically shown up shaved. Neighbors have put up posters seeking info about the shaver. No luck. They talked to Animal Services which was too busy with many other things. (And what could they do after all?) . Poor Thomas has been shaved 3 or 4 times a year for the last couple years. The shaver never touches the tail but he or she does shave all around the neck and cheeks, not usually the whiskers. The woman helping this kitty even put a sign on his collar saying “Please don’t shave this cat”. It didn’t help. So this is very odd and not very nice. This shouldn’t be done to any cat not your own but especially during the wet and cold months this is not a kind thing to do to an outside only cat.
So here we have Thomas with the world’s longest bushiest tail and his shaved coat growing in everywhere else. He has very lush, beautiful spotted fur currently about an inch long. He has magnificent ear hair and you can see his snowy ruff growing back. You, as I, have to imagine how his coat will look on him when it grows to the length of his tail. And yes, he is a beautiful boy no matter what the length of his hair.
Thomas is a very big boy. He has a long body, long legs, a long neck and a wonderful long plume of a tail. He took a week to settle into his foster home. He was polite but a bit remote. Probably he was depressed to be away from his friend who visited him. He has settled in and we are now his friends too.He is a wonderful ,affectionate companion.He gets along with at least one dog and has been friends with cats.
He is neutered, microchipped, and vaccinated etc. He is off his special diet and his GI tract is fine. We asked his kind rescuer to stop at her vet and get him combo tested before she brought him. That is a two part test for Feline Leukemia (FeLV ) and Feline Immunological Virus (FIV). FeLV is a bad disease and Purebreds regretfully will not take in FeLV+ kitties. FIV+ is not really a big problem and I have taken in many FIV positive cats and happily found them homes. Thomas tested negative for FeLV but positive for FIV.
Thirty years ago, FIV was poorly understood and a FIV+ diagnosis generally equaled euthanasia. Now more modern research has resulted in a newer understanding of what FIV is and has given us a much more positive outlook on this illness. They are saying now that 4 % of the cats in the US are FIV+ and the vast majority of their owners do not know this about their cats because their kitties generally look and act normal. As more research results come in FIV+ is now, in many circles, being viewed as not so very serious. It is a much weaker virus than the human form, HIV, is for humans and it is not transmittable to humans, dogs or other animals. The newest long term study from Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine found that FIV+ cats with proper care typically live as long as non FIV cats and it found that they do not infect their kitty housemates. This is the web link: http://www.catster.com/
Thomas needs exactly the same care that any cat needs- to be kept safe inside, to be fed high quality food, to be given tons of love and to receive good vet care. All this is done to keep kitties happy and their immune system strong. This virus causes the messenger part of the immune system to weaken as the kitty ages. This causes the immune system’s response to an infection, for example, to be a little bit slower. That’s it. This isn’t good but it isn’t terrible.
This is a diagnosis you know about. Life gives no guarantees and you could just as easily adopt a cat with more serious invisible problems like heart disease or a propensity towards kidney troubles. It is just that FIV is so easy to test and you can know about it. If the FIV+ status worries you read up on it on the web. As mentioned above research is showing FIV+ cats generally live as long as other cats. However, you will find lots of disagreement about FIV on the web. You will need to make your own decisions. My sense is that we are in transition since the old kill-the -cat idea is falling away as studies show a newer more positive understanding. Some shelters and rescues no longer test for FIV thinking it is still so widely misunderstood. One organization says “FIV has not killed many cats but the humans who have misunderstood it have killed tens of thousands.”
Purebreds has adopted out many FIV+ cats. Many are adopted as companions to other cats since their adopters now believe the new info that cats can live safely with other spay/ neutered cats. FIV is most commonly transmitted when two un-neutered tomcats fight over a female in heat. It is so dangerous for young un-neutered teenage kitties to try to answer Mother Nature’s call with a female kitty. When challenged by fighting seasoned alley cats they get bitten deeply and the virus is passed on. This probably happened to Thomas. Or he was desperately hungry, fighting for food. You can see he is in glorious health and he will likely live a long happy life. FIV is not a good thing but fortunately it is not so bad – not, for example, compared with heart disease and kidney disease and liver trouble and irritable bowel syndrome.
This great big boy will be some lucky family’s entertaining companion. He is comfortable inside, and loves beds. He wants a deep bond with a human family and lots of love and a reliable source of food. He goes nuts chasing a feather. Maine Coons are such good companions in general and they are good cats for families because they can handle more commotion than some cat breeds.
His adopter will have to promise to email me photos of him when his coat comes in.
Thomas eats wet and dry food and is litterbox perfect.
His foster mom is Harriet in Santa Cruz.
For more information, contact Harriet, at (831) 336-2983 or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions, or send an Adoption Application. If you are unable to reach Harriet by phone or email, email us at Info@purebredsplus.org.
NOTE: We prefer families with children bring them to the adoption appointment. Why? This allows interaction between the children and the cat. This helps ensure they will be a good fit for each other. A mismatch between a child and a cat is not in anyone’s best interest!