Monday, November 10, 2014

Probability of FIV

About ten days ago, I saw a car pull up in front of dead Jack's place.   I was bored and curious (nosy) and went out to talk to the woman, peering through the front window blinds as best she could.

She's looking for a house and on foreclosure sites, she said.  She and her guy are buying a house.  She was really looking at the one at the end of the block as it is about to go up for bank auction, according to the websites she is on.

I told her all about Jack's house, everything I knew, even though it is not up for sale yet.   And we talked about him and his cats and how hard it was to find them homes due to their age.  She told me she was feeding an unfixed stray.  Immediately, my hackles raise.

I began preaching the spay neuter gospel.  My soapbox of choice.

I railed against the sins of irresponsibility via failure to spay/neuter and its offshoots, inflicting the victims with diseases that spread through cat communities.   Diseases like FIV.

Let your male free roam unfixed and he will fight and catch, eventually, FIV,  Feline Aids, when he gets bitten by another infected male.  Then he will also infect anybody he fights with and bites after that, I tell her.

This cat she feeds was left behind by someone else.  She took pity on him and only recently became friendly enough to them that she could bring him inside or pet him.  She's off the hook in my book.   But now she knew about FIV.   She wanted him fixed, because they are moving until they buy a house, living with a relative who also has cats.

Today is the day.  She decided if he's positive, when tested today, at Heartland, where he is now, he will be euthanized.  She is right in this decision.

It will take a month or two for him to not want to fight anymore. He's had so many abscesses from fighting his hips are wobbly mornings she said.  He'll also be under the stress of moving to a temp home, where there are other cats.  This will only inflame those hormones still in his system and he will want to fight.  That's how boys with testicles react to stress---and even some without them---they fight and they mark their area to maintain some security when they feel not so secure.
Tyson---I hope he's negative!

But if he fought and bit a relative's cat if he's positive, and that cat got FIV---well that can't happen.

I don't know yet either way.  Heartland will call to tell me if he's positive.  If I don't hear, I'll just pick up a freshly neutered vaccinated and wormed boy at 4:30 p.m.  I hope I hear nothing.  For Tyson's sake.

 It's not cool to let your boys free roam out there.  It's not safe for them, or then the other cats they encounter after they are infected.  Get them neutered or keep them in.

I remember when an old friend asked me to trap six cats she was feeding with another woman over in Adair.  So I did.  Three of the six tested positive for FIV.  The other three were young ferals and were negative and went to a barn home she'd found after they were fixed.  She had the female positive feral euthanized, before Odd Cat Out offered to take the positive tame wonderful boys.  So long hair gray Adair and massive kind-hearted loving Big Ben got a reprieve.  Adair lived three years longer as a house cat and Big Ben lived five years before cancer took him.
Big Ben atop a cat tree up at Odd Cat Out prior to his death from FIV related cancer.

FIV positive Adair, high on catnip, was a beloved house cat before he died of FIV related cancer.

My friend trapped three other males over a mile from where she had fed those six.  All were positive for FIV.  She took them all in and they are her cats now.  FIV positive kitties can live long happy lives if well cared for and free of stress.  Adair Village is over run in irresponsible people who don't fix their boys and this has resulted in an FIV hotspot.

Remember Valentino, the old messed up orange male I took in, when called about a "rabid" cat foaming at the mouth?  He was just drooling pus from horrendous teeth.  He was FIV positive.  He got a home from here after a year and is still alive up in Portland and named Ziggy!   She makes sweaters for him so he doesn't scratch at himself.   FIV can make a cats skin dry.

Ziggy, formerly known as Valentino
In other news, Miss D is bouncing back and I have been walking to try to get in shape.  I had to start slow since my feet are bad and would hurt terribly after just half a mile.   I quit wearing the tennis shoes.  They were the problem.  Now I just wear the old sandals.  I suppose I can't do that when its wet and freezing out, but for now I still can.

I walked too far the other day and ended up trying to find a bathroom and finally headed for the Mormon sisters house.  They were home and acted like I was long lost and took me directly to their cleanest bathroom!   After that, I rode with the one I've known best as she drove down to a foreclosure house where she feeds two strays left behind by the woman who had lived there.  I think she'd fed them at least two years.  One is fixed she knows because of his ear tip and I happen to be the guilty party.  I even remember exactly where I trapped him and the circumstance.  He has a distinctive Siamese face, much darker than most.  The other cat, a fluffy black with a half length tail I'm not so sure I know, since I've only seen the cat once, two nights ago, and it was dark.  But here's what he looked like from the car where I remained as she fed them, in the dark.
Foreclosure house abandoned kitty
She even saved the Siamese who got locked inside the empty house when some company came to check the house. Another neighbor was going to break a window to free him if need be.

But the two need homes before something happens with the house although this town is peppered with foreclosure houses and some sit vacant for a long long time.

I try to steer cat loving people I find looking to buy houses to foreclosure houses with abandoned cats because I know they'd care for them.  It's kind of overwhelming here, the numbers of cats who get abandoned.

And these are just two cats on a fence I passed when on my walk....

Good luck today Tyson.  I hope you get by the FIV test.

Update:  Tyson was very very positive for FIV.  Heartland said the dot for FIV positive appeared immediately, within one minute into the test, so they repeated the test with the same result.  His blood was afire with virus load.

R.I.P. Tyson.  I'm so sorry.  And to the rats who abandoned you like their fast food wrapper trash----may your bed be infested with bed bugs who eat you alive until you go crazy.   I hope one day you are gifted a beating human heart.  The woman who helped Tyson has one.  Those who abandoned him----probably not.


  1. Good luck for Tyson.
    And wonderful news about Valentino (Ziggy) and Miss D.

  2. Hi Strayer
    I'm glad you explained FIV to the househunting couple. Hope Tyson's negative on that. Glad to hear they may keep Tyson when they move.
    I hate when people leave pets behind when their house forecloses.
    Two or three years ago, I went to look at a nice rental up in Langloise, Oregon and when I asked what the pet policy was, the landowner explained that the last renters left their 2 cats when they moved out and they perished from dehydration, lack of food. (They were trapped inside the house). The landowners who are pet owners live in Southern CAlifornia were devastated when they finally came up to look at and clean the rental. They of course asked for references simply that I am a responsible pet owner and would never abandone my pets under any circumstance.
    I will never understand the abandonement. I've been low income most of my life, even when I worked full time.
    Oregon does seem like it has a lot of abandoned cats. I read the craigslist occasionally and it is sad, all the pets needing homes.
    I too have been walking a little more each week for the battle of the bulge or to eliminate my "spare tire".
    We've been having some good weather so far.
    Take care.

  3. So sorry for your loss, Tyson's loss and the nice woman who had been feeding Tyson. She must be ailing a broken heart.
    That 's just so frustrating to lose a cat like that. It's a hard lesson for the househunting lady to learn.
    I told all my cats this evening that are lucky to be safe and healthy and indoors and well loved. Life is precious.

  4. I am so glad that Miss D. is better!