When we returned from our recent trip to the Midwest, we were shocked at YellowCat's appearance - he had lost weight and was lethargic. With his FIV+ status we took him in to the vet and they put him on IVs and did a battery of tests. He had a bad tooth, but nothing extraordinary - didn't eat on his own there either - they were syringe feeding him there for the 4 days he spent there. We considered putting him down then, but decided to return him to friendlier confines for a while, so took him home...
YellowCat came to us 6 years ago - a feral cat that showed up at the food bowl out front - always with a worried look on his face - as shown at left. While shy, he showed promise and we took him to the vet to get neutered and tested before exposing him to our other cats. The bad news is that he was FIV+. He could infect our other cats if they got in fights, so it was important to prevent that. He seemed pretty docile though, and we developed the crate method of introducing new cats to the others. Set up a dog crate in the middle of the living room - a little cat house where the newcomer can live while being exposed to the other cats. We've done this with all our new cats, and except for another FIV+ cat Spitz last year, has always worked well. At right, YellowCat gets a respite from the crate while the other cats are out of the room.
He was a quiet boy, but a great cat. There were some trust issues when he was in the crate, but after getting used to life in the Kitty Resort, for the longest time he wouldn't even go into the back yard! He often joined us on the couch looking for attention, but only in his low-key way, never begging for it, but close enough to accept donations.
Getting back to the narrative, at home he seemed to improve. He ate food regularly, but he declined slowly again. Another trip to the vet and they gave him some fluids, shrugging their shoulders what his diagnosis might be. We had scheduled a dental surgery for today, but alas, he couldn't keep his appointment... He stopped eating last Friday and I started syringe feeding him. That went ok, but he continued to slide - picked up a strange limp, his hips splaying out occasionally. Finally last night he lost control of his hips and it was time to call the emergency vet to see about those final arrangements we'd been considering all along. Of course, all this happened about Midnight, but he is finally at peace. His 6 years spent with us were great ones - certainly he wouldn't have lasted long with his FIV status on the street, so glad we helped out with that. But it is so hard to say goodbye to a friend and always will be.