Nov 01, 2016 07:11AM ● Published by North Hills Monthly magazine
Animal Friends is committed to doing everything possible to find loving homes for each and every dog, cat and rabbit that comes through our doors. This means making every effort to provide individualized care that certain animals may need while showcasing what makes each of them unique.
Among the most unique residents at Animal Friends are the cats that have feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV). Cats with FIV cope with a slightly weakened immune system and because of this, can be more susceptible to certain illnesses and infections—many of which are very treatable. Although these cats require a little more care from time to time, they’re just like any other cat; they simply need some extra help finding a good home.
Here’s a letter that was written by Carol, a cat lover who has adopted numerous FIV cats from Animal Friends over the years.
“Sadly, in April and May of this year I lost two dear friends, Andy and Sully. They had lived long, relatively healthy lives, which was especially wonderful because they were each affected with FIV. After Andy and Sully had passed away, I found myself with my one remaining cat, Little Bear, who also has FIV. Since he is a very social cat, I was worried about Little Bear being alone. Fortunately, the Saturday after we said goodbye to Sully was a gloomy, rainy day – perfect for finding a new feline companion to adopt. I visited Animal Friends and met with two adoption counselors and let them know that I was looking for another FIV cat that would get along with Little Bear. We spent some time getting to know some of the cats in the free-roam room where the FIV+ residents live and I fell in love with a pretty black and tan tabby. I adopted her and she is now known as Desi.
“For Little Bear and me, good fortune had struck. Not only has Desi’s integration into our home been seamless, but she and Little Bear have quickly become best friends. To Little Bear, the best bed is one with another cat in it and lucky for him, she has the same sentiment. Now, Desi livens up my days with her beautiful soprano voice, chirping and trilling when she has something to say. She’s fascinated by TV, and like me, enjoys binge-watching sci-fi shows. As I write this, Little Bear is snoozing on the desk and Desi is inspecting my office supplies – yes, as a matter of fact, I do store my pens on the floor.
“So why do I adopt cats who have FIV? Because for the most part they’re perfectly normal cats and with proper care, they can lead happy, healthy lives. These cats are often overlooked by adopters, because of health concerns. But I’ve learned from working with them (and adopting four of my own) that outwardly, FIV+ cats are really no different than any other cat – and they have just as much love (maybe even more!) to give.”
Right now, there are more than a dozen sweet and wonderful cats with FIV waiting at Animal Friends for the right family to come and scoop them up. While they cannot go to homes with other cats who are not FIV+ because of the possible risk of spreading the virus, there is no risk of them transmitting it to humans or other pets. If you have the right type of home for one of these special cats and have plenty of room in your heart, go to ThinkingOutsideTheCage.org/Cats or stop by Animal Friends to learn more about how you change the life of an animal that needs it the most.