Friday, August 24, 2018

A Future for Raleigh

Raleigh’s surgery went well. There were no complications, though more was tended to than his neutering. His ears were cleaned out and he was de-wormed. His ragged coat was given a good brushing, and he was also given a micro-chip. His teeth are good. But there were two surprises from his hospital visit. One is his age: the doctor estimated it to be one and a half years, though he may be as old as two. And this was the fellow whose appearance made him look as if he were nearing his last days. Secondly, he has FIV.


This condition is perhaps not surprising to find in a stray, intact male. Nonetheless, it will make his adoption much more difficult, as most people won’t want an FIV-positive cat. When the doctor called me to tell me that a blood-test had revealed the disease, I was told that Raleigh should not be put back in the feral colony. The only alternative might have been euthanisation. But there was another option: I told the doctor that Raleigh would come to stay with me.

That was my intention, despite the nearly impossible situation that would create among the residents already in the cosy apartment. But later that day, I was called by a friend who informed me that after conversation with another acquaintance, the latter suggested that she foster Raleigh. She has a couple of FIV-positive cats already, and is well-experienced with felines. Raleigh will receive good food and clean water, affection, attention and medical care if needed, and his FIV will be taken into account in all things.


So Raleigh will have a good home. It’s a foster-home, and he may never know another. But his life of sleeping rough and hoping to get enough food to last him the day, is over. No more fighting with other cats, no more chance of spreading FIV. He is staying in my bathroom right now, though we hope to move him to his new abode tomorrow.

Raleigh is not feral. In the bathroom, he lets me stroke the top of his head, though he doesn’t seem happy about it. He doesn’t try to move away from me, nor does he hide. He seems rather apathetic right now. He seems less distrustful than simply resigned. If he is used to human touch enough not to fight mine, that means he had a home at one time, a family. He was lost or abandoned, had to fend for himself, and then infected with FIV - probably all before or about his first birthday.

Things look bleak to him now; after all, everything he knew - even if it was hard and unpleasant - is gone. Strange humans are trying to touch him, and stranger cats are sniffing at his door. But his difficult past is over, his confusing present is temporary, and his bright future is ahead of him. He’ll learn that soon.

29 comments:

  1. Raleigh! He is a looker, that's for sure, and it's good to know that he's at the beginning...rather than the end...of his journey. He'll adapt, once he's in his foster home, and his living-in-the-rough days are gone. Yay Raleigh! Yay John! Yay Foster Mom!

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    1. Yes, I think he will do fine. It's just sad not to be able to explain that things will get better.

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  2. DOOOOOOD!!!!!! we iz doin de trout towne shuffle heer for ewe; aka a happee danze.....ewe CAN live a long long long happee happee healthee life; FIV ore knot....we had lotz oh palz frum R catster dayz that waz past drivin a car age N a proachin vote inn age...that waz FIV +......st francis' blessingz two ewe now & in de yeerz ta come N God's blessingz two each N everee purrson who helped ewe get ta thiz point !!!! ♥♥♥♥♥♥
    { you especially John ~~~~~~~ } ☺

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    1. Thanks, guys. I am sure Raleigh will live a long and contented life, even with FIV.

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  3. Oh...Okay, I'm going to bawl now, because I'm so happy for him. I'm sending Raleigh all the universal Light I can muster, and the boys are sending their purrs. ♥

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    1. Thank you. He's been with me only since yesterday and I've noticed he's responding more to me. It's frustrating that he'll have another change tomorrow, but that will be the last for a while.

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  4. I wonder if that's why he was abandoned--his owners learned he had HIV and just couldn't be bothered to deal with it. Eternal pox on their heads, if so.

    This makes me extra thankful you rescued him. St. Francis really is looking out for this little guy.

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    1. It's possible, indeed. But now he'll be with people who will understand him.

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  5. Thank you for updating us about Raleigh. FIV+ cats can live long and relatively normal lives, and since FIV is transmitted by bite wounds, FIV+ cats can live with FIV- cats as long as they are not fighting. And since Raleigh does not seem to be aggressive, there should be no problem if he lives with an FIV- cat. Unfortunately, there is a lot of mis-information about FIV going around. Even some vets are not aware of the new studies that can be found on the web. But meanwhile, Raleigh will have a great home, and I'm sure he will soon realize his rough life on the street is behind him. I'm so glad you were able to help him, John.

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    1. Yes, even some vets still think euthanasia is the natural next step when a cat is found to be FIV positive. Cats like Raleigh will show them otherwise.

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  6. Is there any chance in the wide world that the blood rest could have been wrong?
    He is truly a beautiful boy; and love thanks to your rescue. Saying you would take this boy made me tear up with gratitude.
    I can't find a stronger way to say thank you for what you do and what you did to reuse this boy. I wish I could. I admire you greatly.

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    1. There is a chance, but I think it is much less likely than, say, a false positive for feline leukemia. Unfortunately, stray males are often FIV positive. But thank you for your kind words. It's people such as yourself who give cats like Raleigh the chance they deserve.

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    2. I apologize for the typos- but seeing them now, I would have known you could read what I meant. I am still over the moon with joy at his rescue and your love and carefor him.

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  7. I am happy to hear Raleigh is not feral and will be placed in a foster home. He will hopefully soon learn the comforts and positives of being an indoor kitty.

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    1. Change is tough for a cat, but I too think he will soon learn the right decision was made for him.

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  8. The FIV news is not good, but the rest is pretty wonderful for Raleigh. It does my heart good to know that you and your cat rescue friends care so deeply for these homeless ones and are doing what you can to help them have a happy future. Thank you.

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    1. And thank you. While the FIV reading is discouraging, the fact that Raleigh will be with people who will take good care of him outweighs it. He will thrive.

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  9. That is a surprise that he is so young. I am so pleased that he will live as a foster with someone used to caring for cats with FIV. His life will be so much better now.

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    1. I was surprised too, but the jowls of an intact male, and the rough life he lived made him look quite a bit older.

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  10. John, what wonderful developments for Raleigh. Your rescue group is make up of some wonderful people. He is such a handsome fellow and I am sure with time he will settle well into the pampered life of a house cat.

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    1. I think he will benefit from having other cats around. He is used to that. I hope he will find a good feline friend.

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  11. All things considered it sounds like dear Raleigh will be more comfortable and cared for from here on out, the poor boy. You are wonderful for all your caring, concern and kindness.

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    1. It may take him a while to realise he's now into a good thing, but I think he will come around. Thank you for your kind words.

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  12. Definite tears in order here. So grateful that you were able to capture Raleigh and find a good home for him in short order. I suspect too, he was abandoned for one reason or another, perhaps the diagnosis of FIV, though that may have occurred after he found the feral community. It would seem to me that anyone who would not neuter him would also not take him to the vet.

    Purrs from the kitties!
    Eileen

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    1. I agree that anyone who wouldn't neuter a cat wouldn't bother with much else about their health, sad to write.

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  13. Good news indeed! Eternally grateful to you, the new foster family and your organization! I hope you will be able to give us updates on Raleigh's new life. Live long and happy, dear Raleigh!

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    1. An update has just been published. It isn't the happiest but we'll get over it.

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  14. A foster home can offer as much love and comfort to a cat as a permanent home. You are a prime example of that. We are thrilled that Raleigh his being given a new home, a fresh start and someone to care for him. We love his name too!
    I have FIV cats mixed into my general population. Their FIV was noted later when they developed stomatitis. All lived to 17+ years , one to 22 . (My newest FIV is a heavenly Bombay who is the sweetest, gentlest cat.) All were obviously someone’s cherished pet at sometime. All had fallen on hard times. How does that happen?
    God bless you for offering to take him in. And one never knows which cat will be accepted by an established cat family and which one won’t. It’s never the one you think. It’s one of the great mysteries of life.

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    1. Raleigh is submissive to the point of seeming to have been abused. But we'll cure him of such fear and make sure he knows he is loved. Twenty-two years is an excellent life-span for a completely healthy cat, never mind one with FIV. You are clearly doing something right by your furry family.

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