It was a cool, rainy day in April when a kind hearted person in Gilroy discovered a stray cat huddled on her porch. As she stepped closer, the woman noticed tiny bundles of wiggling fur sheltered beneath the cat…..a litter of five tiny kittens. We received an SOS call for help with this little cat family and they were transferred to our Morgan Hill shelter. Our shelter staff named the mother cat Cupcake and her kittens were dubbed Sunshine, Freckles, Nellie, Huey and Winston. All incoming cats receive a thorough veterinary intake exam upon arrival at Town Cats. During the intake examination, our veterinarian, Dr. Bing, discovered that Cupcake and all five kittens tested positive for FIV (feline immunodeficiency virus).
In many animal shelters, an FIV diagnosis is a death sentence for cats. But Town Cats believes that FIV + cats can make wonderful pets. Although they require careful oversight and regular veterinary care, FIV+ cats can, and usually do, live pretty normal cat lives. In fact, there is quite a bit of anecdotal evidence that FIV+ cats are often among the friendliest and sweetest cats around! Town Cats believes that all cats deserve a chance at life and we have always been a proponent of FIV+ cats. For many years, the veterinary community counseled owners to isolate FIV+ cats from other cats, believing that FIV could be spread through casual contact between cats. The latest research, however, indicates that FIV is not a problem with casual contact in multi-cat households.
What does this mean for Cupcake, Sunshine, Freckles, Nellie, Huey and Winston? They are being fostered by a loving family while they await adoptive homes. Their foster family reports that Cupcake is an absolute love bug who wants to snuggle all the time and lay on people’s heads while they sleep. She is an amazing mother. In fact, she tries to mother any baby animal she encounters. The kittens each have unique personalities. Sunshine is a professional bug killer and goes after spiders and moths like it’s her job! Freckles has a weakness for any type of human food, loves dogs and toy mice. Nellie likes sitting by the window all day gazing out at the world and soaking up the sun. Huey likes to watch television and is riveted when a show is playing featuring cats and dogs. Winston is the couch potato of the family, preferring belly rubs and cuddling to running around.
Town Cats will re-test Cupcake’s kittens for FIV when they are 4 months and 6 months old, because sometimes kittens falsely test positive for FIV due to maternal antibodies. Town Cats is committed to caring for this little family and finding loving permanent homes for each one of them. Town Cats believes in the value of all cat lives, and we are committed to providing excellent care to every cat in our program. Cats in our care stay with us as long as it takes to find their forever home. Cupcake and her kittens may be more difficult to place because many people are wary of adopting an FIV+ cat. But Town Cats has successfully adopted out FIV+ cats since our inception in 1997. We believe in the individual worth of each and every Town Cat.