I will post more on this tomorrow as I have alot to say and it is late tonite. For now I need to tell you the short version of the story.Ugly is a homeless cat that I have been allowing to sleep in my garage and giving food and water to for the past three weeks or so. I could not take him in for numerous reasons that I will list in my longer post tomorrow.Today we took Ugly to the vet and learned that he has AIDS (FIV). There is no vaccine available for this disease and it is both contagious and fatal.I have eight cats not including Ugly. His being here is putting their lives at risk. I spent $83.00 today on Ugly that I could not afford to spend. I also have three kittens (five months) and their mom needing spayed and/or neutered. Ugly is not neutered either. I am really tore up here and don't know what to do. Ugly only wants to be welcomed into a loving home where he can live out his remaining life, but as much as I would like to, I don't think I can offer him this. I hate to admit to even considering the financial aspects but for me it is a very real issue. I can't afford the eight I already had. But when I look into his sad eyes and see the pain and hurt there I can not bear to turn him away.Any suggestions would be very much appreciated, and like I said, more on this tomorrow.BTW, anyone around Springfield, MO willing to adopt Ugly?Thanks,Andrea
Ugly only wants to be welcomed into a loving home where he can live out his remaining life, but as much as I would like to, I don't think I can offer him this. I hate to admit to even considering the financial aspects but for me it is a very real issue. I can't afford the eight I already had. But when I look into his sad eyes and see the pain and hurt there I can not bear to turn him away.Oh Andrea. What a tough decision you must make. Money will have to be a factor in that decision. Unless you can find a home for him where he is the only cat and will not be exposed to other cats, I think you already know what you have to do.It's a horrible thing to say, but unless you can get all your cats vaccinated against FIV, if they don't, God Forbid, have it already, you can't risk exposing them to Ugly.I wish you the best of luck.DeannndaMy thoughts and prayers are with you.
Andrea:If I were in your situation I think I would talk to my Vet and see if he has another pet parent who has an FIV infected kitty, maybe such a person would take Ugly in. If your Vet. thinks that's possible you could also call other local Vets & see if you could put a note on their bulletin boards.I'd give it a little time (1 week, 2 weeks??) and if no home could be found I'd put the little guy out of his misery.If you turn him loose, he's going to infect other animals.I was in a similar situation with a battered and neglected "tom" cat. He kept showing up in my yard when he'd had a fight, would stick around until I had his cuts cleaned and on the mend and then he'd be off until he got hurt again (during one of his visits he helped a new kitty who had adopted me get pregnant). The last time he stopped by he was too far gone to heal & I had to call animal control. I felt that I'd given him a year or so more lifetime than he would have had on his own. Moral: take solace in what you've done to ease him on his way, Andrea.Good luck,Lucy
Oh, what a terrible situation. I am so sorry.We had a similar situation about 4 years ago when my favorite cat, Emma, was diagnosed with feline leukemia. I had 4 other cats at the time. I took her home from the vet's and ended up feeling guilty about keeping her there in the house with the other cats, but I did not want to find her another home where the owner might be irresponsible and let her outside to come into contact with other cats (not to mention that she might get out on accident).So, I chose to put her down. I remember her reaching out her little kitty paws to me because she was scared at the office, I held her and bawled through the procedure. I had no idea what it would be like, but they die so fast that you don't even get a last hug. We buried her in our rose garden. It was one of the worst experiences of my life. Ugh, this is depressing...Anyway, we got the other four vaccinated after that. It all ended up being rather expensive. Whatever you do, I wish you luck. It is a hard, hard thing...
I remember her reaching out her little kitty paws to me because she was scared at the office, I held her and bawled through the procedure.I can sympathize with your pain about little Emma, but you know, you did was was best for her and the others and, unlike some people I've known of, you were there with her right to the end.There are things we wish didn't happen, and things we wish we didn't have to do, but this was the right thing for Emma. My wonderful vet calls it 'the final kindness'.Geez Louise - this thread has me choked up!Beej
It's a horrible thing to say, but unless you can get all your cats vaccinated against FIV, if they don't, God Forbid, have it already, you can't risk exposing them to Ugly.Unfortunately, there is no vaccine for this and three of my cats that go outdoors have already been around him outside. The good news is that it is not easily transmitted. It is very much like the human AIDS; bodily fluids must be exchanged. At least, that is my understanding.But I agree that the best situation would be for him to be an only cat in a household.
Unfortunately, there is no vaccine for thisThere is no vaccine to cure it, but there is a vaccine to prevent it. Check with your vet about having your others tested and vaccinated if they haven't already contracted it. They can also get it through the feces of other cats, not nec. just through bodily fluids. This is what I was told when the first cat Terry and I ever had was diag. with FIV. The vet wanted to put her down immediately (she was only 12 weeks old), I said no, not until I knew the facts. Once I found out what I was dealing with, I realized she still had a chance at life since she was our only cat and would not be exposed to other cats at any time. We were traveling at the time and CSRPITA (Chicken S*** Royal Pain in the @ss) was a huge success with my employees on the road and helped save more than one photo session in the studio.She had 1 1/2 years of fun, fulfilling life, she was a part of our wedding and when she died, she died in my arms in El Paso, Texas. She ended up with a urinary blockage and $3,000 later, she died peacefully, without pain. I still cry when I think of her and the joy she brought into my life. She was also Terry's very first pet, he had no idea what he was getting into.Remind me some day to tell the story of the very first 4 hours with her and how she got her name.DeanndaTime to get the Fool Network going to help find Ugly a home! TONY! ALERT! ALERT! RUSSIAN! JEDI! SPAM THE NETWORK! And chance I can get a picture of Ugly to post?
First, Andrea, I'm very sorry about the poor cat and it was very generous of you to take him to the vet and find out what the problem is. Using "The Cornell Book of Cats" let me stick in some information. You state he has FIV, Feline AIDS. Right, FIV is feline AIDS, and no vaccine exists to help keep your other cats from getting it. This is in contrast to FeLV, feline leukemia. There is a vaccine for this but its use is controversial. The symptoms of the two illnesses can be identical, and the way to tell the difference is to run a test, which is clearly what your vet did. Now, quoting from the Cornell Book,2nd edition, p. 287, "The primary mode of FIV transmission is through bite wounds. Casual, nonaggressive contact amoung cats rarely results in the spread of FIV....Spread of FIV through sexual contact is theoretically possible but does not occur frequently during either experimental or natural infections." It also describes transmission by a pregnant queen to her kittens during birth process, through infected milk or colostrum. Since Ugly is a male, that isn't a problem. On page 288: "Pets kept indoors and away from free-roaming cats are highly unlikely to contract FIV infection." Anyway, your cats aren't likely to have been infected by Ugly, and while he is around, clearly you won't let yours out. It is better not to let cats out in any case. Now, what you do with him is another subject. If he could have a home in an only-pet household, that would be ideal. You are giving him food and water, and you must have taken him to the vet because he seemed sick, which he is. If he isn't in contact with other cats, he isn't doing anybody any harm being in the garage. If he is in constant pain and has no quality of life, to put him down would be kind. I wanted to clear up the distinction between FeLV and FIV. They are quite different. I'm sure you will do the right thing. Chris
I wanted to clear up the distinction between FeLV and FIV. They are quite different.I'm sure you will do the right thing. Chris Okay, I was confusing them. D'uh! Like I said over at FFF, good thing I never claimed to be smart.DeanndaSorry for the mix up :) Where is my peroxide? ;-)
I wanted to clear up the distinction between FeLV and FIV. They are quite different. -- CrosenfieldThanks for clarifying that for folks. It really does make a huge difference in Ugly's fate since FIV is not nearly as contagious as FeLV. I don't feel that the risk to my other cats is very high since Ugly is not an aggressive cat. Of course, that may only be because he is under the weather as he is covered with battle scars. Then again, he could have gotten torn up by an opussum or a dog or any number of creatures. Just because he is all tore up doesn't make him a fighter. He seems to be a very affectionate, mild-mannered cat who has no problem with other cats. The vet tested Ugly for both conditions and he was negative for FeLV.Time to get the Fool Network going to help find Ugly a home! Any chance I can get a picture of Ugly to post? -- DeanndaThere is no picture of Ugly at this time. I don't have a digital camera or a scanner but I will see if I can borrow one and let you know in the next day or two. I appreciate the offer and think it sounds like just the ticket. I will warn you that Ugly is very unattractive. He has scars all over him; his ears are both cauliflowered and he is filthy. I bathed him once (now I have scars) and the bath water turned black. He was still dirty afterwards. It looks as if he is covered in motor oil. The vet said not to try to clean him right now because it is too stressful for him. He is taking vitamins and antibiotics. They wanted to put him on some kind of immune booster drug but I can't afford it right now. There is a chance of him living a long and decent life with proper care so putting him down seems wrong to me. Just because it is inconvenient for me that he showed up in my life is no excuse for prematurely taking his life. It seems he has had enough difficulties and deserves a chance.We found feathers in the garage today so apparently Ugly caught his dinner. Maybe he is not as sick as I had thought. One reason we took him to the vet is because he was not eating the cat food very well, and of course because he just looks awful. Perhaps he simply prefers fresh food.
"We found feathers in the garage today so apparently Ugly caught his dinner. Maybe he is not as sick as I had thought." Good! Not for the bird of course. Sounds like he could stand the stress of a bath. Besides, cats groom themselves and if he got covered with motor oil you don't really want him ingesting all that oil. Not if you care enough about him to give antibiotics and vitamins. There are all kinds of humorous bits of advice on how to give a cat a bath. It doesn't have to be that bad; before every show my cats get a bath, and I seldom get scratched although you wouldn't say the cats give informed consent. First, cut the toenails. Easier on the bather later. With 8 cats already you probably have a pair of cat nail clippers. If not they are about $5 at PetSmart. You can use human clippers but the ones for cats are the right shape. I do it with cat on my lap, one of my ankles on my other thigh to make a hole. Cat goes in hole, belly up, facing me. Take one paw at a time and do all nails. Front paws are easier, do first. You may need someone to help hold while doing back. You cut off the curved part. If you cut the quick the cat will never forget and you or subsequent owner will always have a tough time getting cat to cooperate. There is a pink vein in the center, don't cut that far. Cutting nails will not prevent him from climbing trees or subsequently catching dinner. Next, you need shampoo. Baby shampoo is better. Cat shampoo is best of course, but more expensive and you aren't texturizing the coat for a judge. Don't get it in his eyes. Water temperature is important. A cat has a warmer body temperature than you do. If you have temperature right the level of cooperation from cat will be better. You must control the cat. Do the bath at a height where YOU are comfortable. Kitchen sink should be good. Bathtub is too low. Laundry tub may be OK if height is good for you, for me it is too low. I use kitchen sink, and I have a sprayer on the sink. Clear everything else away and have a thick towel ready. You wear a long sleeved sweat shirt. Put your non-dominant hand under cat's body. One front leg goes between your thumb and forefinger, the other between 4th and 5th fingers, and hold tight. Your arm goes between the back legs. Use your dominant hand to soap cat with shampoo. Then spray cat with warm water, or use the faucet if you don't have sprayer. Careful not to get soap and water in cat's eyes. Rinse thoroughly. Then repeat as necessary. When finished, wrap cat in towel and rub dry. Cuddle awhile if he will let you. We will be interested in knowing what color he is when you get the gunk off. Anybody else got a better procedure for bathing cats, I'm interested, but usually a couple times a month I bathe 2 to 4 and scratches are rare, and my cats are strong and healthy. Years ago I had an outdoor cat. He always seemed to have fleas. I'd put him in laundry tub and let the water level slowly rise. As it did, the fleas ran up his legs to avoid the water. The water level rose until only the cat's face was out of the water. The fleas ran there and I kept picking them off and drowning them in a glass of water. Later I learned, don't pop the belly of the flea, it is full of eggs and spills flea eggs all over. Anyway that cat quickly learned that after the bath he wasn't being bitten anymore, and he got so good that he'd stand in half a tub of water without anybody holding on to him if I had to go get something. We'd had him for years when a lab was around kidnapping cats, and he disappeared. Another reason not to let cats roam outside. Ever since he disappeared all my cats have been strictly inside cats. Now my cats have never seen a flea, and the level of cooperation about baths isn't that great, but the job gets done. This is long, but hopefully useful. Anybody have a different technique for bathing cats? Never mind the suit of armor or the putting cat in toilet and flush; Andrea has a seriously filthy cat she would like to adopt to a good home, and would like the bath to be as without trauma as possible. Chris
Bless your heart and Ugly's too!Other posters have already made some good suggestions (checking with vet for FIV owners, etc.), so all I can offer is sympathy.Like others, I have had to face the same thing with an semi-feral silver tabby tom (Ajax), just last year. It took six weeks before he would let me pet him, but once he did, he stayed in the yard every day until we had our after-breakfast visit with lots of chin scratching and ear rubbing.Ajax wouldn't let me pick him up, though, so I had to trap him before I could get him to the vet for shots (he had probably never had any) and to be neutered. He went totally bonkers in the vet's office and they had to give him happy-gas to be able to examine him at all. While there, the blood test showed he was FIV-positive. Since I knew he would probably never let me trap him again, I burst into tears and gave the go-ahead to have him put to sleep so that he wouldn't infect other cats in the neighborhood.No matter what you have to decide on his behalf, Ugly is so fortunate to have found you and come to know a good person's love and affection. May the light shine on you both.
This is long, but hopefully useful. Anybody have a different technique for bathing cats? Never mind the suit of armor or the putting cat in toilet and flush; Andrea has a seriously filthy cat she would like to adopt to a good home, and would like the bath to be as without trauma as possible.This is the best advice on grooming/bathing I've seen. So one of the recs is from me.The only thing I can add (and it isn't much) is that if the cat is turning into Taz from Looney Tunes, the other option is to take him to the vet to be sedated and bathe him that way, or else get a pill (from your vet) and a cat piller (works like a long hypodermic needle's reservoir) and sedate Ugly that way. When he's woozy, then bathe him.But you're right: I had to bathe Boomer, who is an energetic cat. I press-ganged an assistant into helping me, but didn't end up needing one.Beej
This is so hard and brings back memories, both good and bad. When we first moved here, 300 miles away from everyone else, my daughter was 4. The first 6 months we lived here was the only time in my entire life I didn't have a cat. The apartment we lived in wouldn't allow pets. One month when I went to pay the rent, there was a big, fat cat in the manager's office window. Needless to say, a kitty found us in short order. My daughter named him Kisses. He was gray and white. He was in the apartment when we were home, but had to stay on the fenced porch when we weren't. We went away for a 3-day weekend, and even with the neighbor feeding him, when we came home, Kisses was gone. Kristel was devastated. She went all over the complex calling for Kisses and asking everyone if they'd seen a little gray and white cat. A knock came at the door and a little girl stood there with a tiny gray and white furball in her hand. She said, "I found your kitty," and handed me this tiny thing. Problem was, this little kitty was a girl! Within an hour, Kristel found Kisses, and he and Katy got along famously. When she got a little older, Kristel would always apologize to Kisses for naming him such a sissy name..."but I was only 4!"Fast forward about 10 years. Kisses is starting to look ratty and lose weight. We noticed a small sore on his lip. Within a few weeks, he had some other sores on his body. Looking at him, I asked my now-14-year-old, "What do you think is wrong with him?" She said, "He looks like he has AIDS!" We took him to the vet, and sure enough, that's what he had. By now we had 6 cats. I had all the others tested - they were fine. The vet said to take him home and keep an eye on him, if he stopped eating, we would have to put him down. He lasted another two weeks until, one morning, he had trouble walking. That afternoon, when Kristel got home from school, we took Kisses to the vet. She apologized one last time for naming him such a sissy name. She couldn't stay in the room so I held him while the vet gave him a shot and he died purring in my arms. I gently removed his collar and bawled all the way home.And from then on, on my blue-haired, punk-rocker's black leather jacket there's been a silver zipper pull that looks suspiciously like a cat tag with a sissy name engraved on it: Kisses. Judiyou do the best you can
And from then on, on my blue-haired, punk-rocker's black leather jacket there's been a silver zipper pull that looks suspiciously like a cat tag with a sissy name engraved on it: Kisses. Judiyou do the best you can Judi,That is a beautiful story. Thank you so much for sharing it.Bless your daughter for giving him such a sissy name, I bet he didn't mind one bit!DeanndaCrying all over again.
To all the current or late pudding-cats who have suffered through sissy names and loved us anyway...
And from then on, on my blue-haired, punk-rocker's black leather jacket there's been a silver zipper pull that looks suspiciously like a cat tag with a sissy name engraved on it: Kisses. That is a beautiful story. Thank you so much for sharing it.DeanndaCrying all over again. Me, too (sniff, sniff)!You're right, Judi, we just have to do the best we can. All we can do is love them as hard as we can while we have them (and hope the hurt isn't overwhelming when we lose them).Cori
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