mr. mittens (akmed) wrote,
mr. mittens

catch cat at 4

i haven't really mentioned it in any depth but the last cat i adopted, lucy, tested positive for FIV aka kitty AIDS. what this means is either she has feline immunodeficiency virus or she was vaccinated for it- both can result in a positive. because her history is murky, i have no way of knowing which it is. i took her in during a shelter emergency in order to save a group of cats who were due to be euthanized. because she's FIV positive no one would adopt lucy. by taking in the least adoptable cat, space was opened up for cats in jeopardy. i had agreed to take in one of the more hopeless cases and thus lucy entered my life.

i didn't know all that much about FIV cats save that they are routinely euthanized as a matter of policy in kill shelters. most rescues separate them out from negative cats but this is generally unnecessary. like AIDS in humans, it's well known how the virus is spread and it's difficult to do so. deep puncture wounds with an exchange of blood or blood transfusions are pretty much the only ways . unless my girls are going to take up blood sports or violent sex play the likelihood of lucy posing a danger to the rest is extremely low. i was at first really skeptical of taking lucy in because people, including many vets, are hysterical about FIV . i didn't want to put my ladies in any medical jeopardy. but i took one look into those big yellow eyes that had clearly known so much rejection and knew i had to take her home. she seemed so sweet but so sad, so depressed. i just couldn't leave her there. i couldn't bare being the next person to let her down.

besides her apparent despair the other reason i adopted lucy was because of my experiences in the 80s with my friends who were HIV positive most of whom eventually died of AIDS. these were the times when people whispered, barely dared to speak about ' gay flu' and ' gay cancer' and, eventually 'GRID'. HIV wasn't ' discovered' until 1983/4 so while my generation wasn't the one primarily afflicted we were coming of age at the tail end of the disease having no name and no known origin. dating and sex with a death sentence is quite a coming out. the paranoia of the times , coming from all angles, is hard to imagine now that people still have unprotected sex with strangers with nary a thought. people who you thought of as your friends wouldn't touch you anymore, wouldn't even kiss you on the cheek if they thought you were infected. it was grotesque and brutal and ignorant. when i thought back to the people who were shocked i would still enthusiastically hug them and still would use their kitchen utensils and glasses or sit and hold their hands, i knew that treating lucy like she was the Plague when no such thing was scientifically true was very very wrong.

lucy is already 11 and is quite healthy but if it's suspected they have FIV it could mean their immune system is or will be compromised in some way so anytime any sort of secondary symptom comes up it's a good idea to bring them in to the vet. of course, this is my official holiday hell time- i haven't had a day off in several weeks and am at work an average of 12 + hours at a time- so of course lucy started having the eye funk. at first i thought she might have just scratched one eye but when the other eye started getting runny and squinty i decided i had to bring her in.


it took me half an hour-after having been up nearly 20 hours- to get her into the cat carrier. this process was in in no way helped by her army of black and calico colored minions who appeared to be running interference for her. she would hide- the rest of the cats would rally around her so when i moved whatever was covering them, they'd scatter in 5 directions so i couldn't tell what fucking cat was which. when i'd finally get lucy in hand, the rest would crowd around the door of the cat carrier so i couldn't stuff her in there. the feral girls were particularly pissed off at me and being both colored like lucy they made the most of faking me out. when i finally got miss thing in the carrier and into HAL we both were completely out of breath and i was covered in scratches. poor lucy probably thought i was yanking her away from yet another home- she was so furious at me. but the vet was nice and she just has conjunctivitis with no fever probably due to being stressed out because i haven't been home all that much. latter that day, after we were home and i was passed out from exhaustion she finally agreed to forgive me by cuddling up next to my head.

taking that chance with lucy has made such a difference in my life. she is so full of love and life- so happy to finally have a home that's hers. and the thing is that where ever my girls are- that's home for me- with my tribe of rejects and ferals and unadoptable black cats.

neneh cherry i got u under my skin

latour people are still having sex


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