Working in animal rescue is enormously rewarding, but too often we run into obstacles that just break our hearts. Some of the most frustrating are the general public’s response to superficial traits that they think make our fur friends “less adoptable” or “undesirable”.
For some kitties, aesthetics are a superficial factor: from a missing tooth or a coarse coat, to a missing leg or visual disability. Other kitties may have a manageable but often misunderstood condition like FIV, a heart murmur, or diabetes. In all of these cases, the animals have the same potential to live full lives as their “normal” brothers and sisters.
Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) affects only cats, and is a slow-acting virus that is not easily transmitted to other felines. But, because of its association with a [similar] virus in humans, cats with FIV are too often unfairly ostracized and left behind by potential adopters.
TEAM Cat Rescue wishes to remind our supporters that FIV is far from being a feline death sentence! Symptoms are manageable, and these special kitties are more likely to pass on from old age than from the virus!
As our latest Happy Tails story can attest, FIV+ cats are lovable and adoptable. They can live a full life that’s as long and mischievous as any average cat, and would make a great addition to any furry family!
“We have a young family with two children under four, so when the time came to adopt a cat, we knew that personality was, hands-down, the most important factor. The second most important factor was that whichever kitty we chose was going to be named “Cupcake”, as per my 3 year old daughter’s instructions!
“We browsed countless cat profiles on numerous adoption websites, and we visited several shelters, until one day we came across a male named “Orange Crush” on TEAM Cat Rescue’s adoption page. There was something about him that caught my eye. His biography described him as being extremely easy going, and I knew we needed to meet him.
“The rest, as they say, is history!
“Cupcake snuggled with us in our bed the very first night we brought him home! This was incredibly unexpected because my last cat hid under the bed for the first month! He is the king of head-butts and loves to be involved in absolutely everything – the closer the contact, the better.
“Every parent looks forward to the day when they can actually use the bathroom in privacy again… but I don’t think this will happen for a very long time now that we have Cupcake! Plus, he happily greets every single booger-nosed child that comes into our home, is always available for a pet, and is never flustered by anything.
“Cupcake is FIV+ and I think about it from time-to-time since I want to keep him as healthy as possible for as long as possible, but it doesn't really change anything in our day-to-day lives. We feed him well, we supplement his food with a very inexpensive supplement, and we keep him strictly indoors.
“FIV has not negatively affected his life or ours, in any way! He runs and plays and snuggles and begs for food just like any other healthy cat I have ever encountered. My vet told me that her FIV+ cat lived until he was 18. I’m hoping we get that many years with our sweet little Cupcake!”