What are a grungy adult kitty's chances of getting adopted if he might have an incurable, eventually terminal illness? Does a bushy tail help? And the sweetest personality ever packaged into a tough little gangsta body with a rough piratey thug face? Surely there is someone out there that would love to care for this cat with his heart of pure melted chocolatey sweetness. Wouldn't you want to be the one to give him his happily ever after? Years of being a stray struggling in the streets and, upon rescue the discovery of horrendous blood test results pointing towards FIV or FELV. Some animals just can't get a break. How wonderful it would be if all rescues turned out perfectly.
My friend AC, fellow animal rescuer, fosterer, and welfare advocate, found Dorian Grunge by the roadside outside her home. He was going through the garbage looking for things to eat. He was painfully thin, filthy, and looked terribly ill. AC rushed back into her home for some cat food and her carrier. She placed the cat food inside the carrier and Dorian calmly walked in for his meal. AC brought him to the vet for treatment and boarding. Blood test results showed dismal platelet levels and elevated white blood cell count. Dorian seemed to be fighting some sort of infection and also appeared to have feline aids or leukemia. Booooooooo!!! The tests that specifically look for FIV and FELV are very expensive here.. Not something that we can afford at this point.. So Dorian is on a course of antibiotics to fight whatever infection it is he has and then the plan was to test his blood again a week later.
AC had to go out of town for a while so I agreed to take over Dorian's care for a while. He has been with me for about 10 days now and he is the sweetest, most affectionate cat i have EVER met in my life. He reminds me of Holly Golightly's cat in Breakfast at Tiffany's. Since Dorian is ill and possibly FIV or FELV positive I have been keeping him in my guest bathroom. The poor guy is pretty bored and lonely though because I can't spend all my time in there with him. Whenever I check on him he is thrilled to see me and immediately flops over on my feet, stretching and rubbing his face on me affectionately. He rubs so hard that sometimes he flips over or falls down but that doesn't stop him from purring like mad and continuing where he left off. Dorian is such a sweetheart. He also uses the litter box like a champ and hasn't messed up a single thing in the bathroom. Nothing is ever out of place when I go in there. While he keeps his environment neat, his personal hygiene leaves much to be desired. He's had baths before but he is so so so dirty. I don't think he ever grooms himself. Everytime i see him he is smudged and sticky and grey. He always has streaks of dirt on his face and body. All four paws are always dark with grime. I don't know how he gets that way though... There is nothing for him to get so messed up on in the bathroom. I am always wiping him with damp towels but within hours he is always filthy again. Very mysterious how this happens..
The first night I had Dorian, I tried to give him his antibiotics by stuffing it down his throat, which is what I do with my own cats and other fosters with no problem. But Dorian wasn't having that with me, he was pissed off and I failed several times to get him to swallow that yucky pill. When I finally did succeed, he had bitten me soooooo hard my right index finger was punctured and dripping blood. Yikes. By the way folks, NO you can't get FIV from a cat and FIV does not turn into HIV and kill you. If that were the case, rescuers and fosterers would be dropping like flies. Anyways I didn't want to get bitten anymore so after that I made wet foot meat balls and stuffed the pills into them. Soooo much better for both of us. I brought Dorian for his follow-up blood test a few days ago and while his white blood cells level is still very elevated, indicating he still has some sort of infection, his platelet level has improved. Honestly we weren't expecting that. Could AC and I be the goddesses of doom of gloom? Hahahaa just kidding AC.
So, what's going to happen to Dorian Grunge? I don't know... Can we find him a home with a loving owner that already has another FIV or FELV positive kitty? Or perhaps he could be adopted by a cat lover that has no cats right now.. but seriously what are the odds of that? People who love cats would normally already have a few of them. AC and I both have kitties of our own so we can't permanently adopt Dorian. If he lived with either of us he'd have to be isolated from all the rest all the time. Poor guy can't just spend the rest of his life alone in my guest bathroom. That would be cruel and drive him mad. This cat needs to be loved. Another option is, dare i say it, euthanasia.. but Dorian is so happy and affectionate right now and his appetite still rocks. Dorian's rescuer AC will be back in town soon and then I think it will be time to make some decisions about Dorian's future.
Any advice from fellow rescuers and fosterers? What would you do?