You'll remember when Zelda came home in early January that she was not originally intended for Teeny Tiny Tabby Town. She took the place of a lovely little family who could not come to live here because the mama was FIV positive and couldn't come live in our house with an Abby who was prone to upper respiratory infections.
The name of this family?
Yes, this Madison family
Mama tested positive for FIV, or Feline Immunodeficiency Virus, when we took her out of the shelter in January. Since her babies were too young and could not be reliably tested at the time, we left that for later.
To explain it simply, an FIV+ test result means that the cat has a weakened immune system. It is the feline equivalent to HIV. A cat with FIV is more susceptible to illness than it's less immuno-suppressed counterparts. They also could have a harder time recovering from any illness they contract.
This does not mean that FIV+ cats are damaged or less desirable as pets. They do, however, need a bit more care to maintain their health. Studies show that good nutrition, along with keeping a cat indoors and protected from the illnesses of other animals, can keep even an FIV+ cat healthy for a dozen years or more. With an attentive family, an FIV+ cat can lead as wonderful a life as any other cat on the block.
We will launch into an adoption and education campaign next week, posting more detailed profiles of each family member as well as the requirements that we would be looking for in an adoptive home. If you would like to read more about FIV in the meantime, please check here for more information.
Our babies are now eight weeks old. They are fat, happy, and healthy. Their FIV status is currently unknown and we will not be entertaining applications for adoptive homes until we know their true status and needs. We are making appointments for vaccinations and testing next week. We will also be setting the date for Mama to be spayed (and therefore the date on which she will be saying goodbye to her babies).
No matter what the test results, this mama and her babies will make tremendous family pets and are incredibly deserving of the right forever home. We will be accepting all prayers, good wishes, crossed fingers and toes for good results next week.
I'll note here that Aidan's main contribution to today's post was research, photos, and providing the links (things he has to be able to do for his merit badge). He also edited and made sure that all of the information was correct. He will be writing one more blog post of his very own next week. One that will most assuredly be more fun than today.