In 2007 I was visiting my Mom in Fort Walton Beach and she mentioned seeing a photo of two adorable kittens in the paper about week prior to my visit. They were up for adoption and had Feline AIDS. I worked in a Vet clinic before so I knew that animals with FIV often lived healthy lives for years after contracting it. On a whim I dug the paper out of the recycling bin and as soon as I saw the photo I was in love. This isn't the photo from the paper (and what I wouldn't give to have the original ad!) but this is one of the earliest photos I have of my babies.
My then boyfriend and I had talked about getting a pet together but I couldn't even wait to ask him what he thought before calling the woman who posted the ad. I was sure they had been adopted out already since the paper had come out almost 2 weeks ago. When I asked if they were still up for adoption she said "Honey, you're the only person who's even called about them." An hour later I was at her house meeting my future fur babies. She had found them cuddling together alone in an ally when they were about 4 months old. Her little boy's were feeding them spaghetti and one came in while carrying Salem upside down. Salems brother, my sweet little Prince, passed away at 18 months from complications of FIV. He was also born with congenital joint defects and went through a period from about 8-15 months where he could hardly move. We started him on cosequin (glucosamine for cats) and he improved significantly! A few months later he had a small scratch get infected and, just like people with HIV, his body was unable to fight off the infection and he deteriorated rapidly.
Salem's 7th birthday is coming up next month and I'm already working on party ideas. If you read my blog last year he had a pretty incredible 6th birthday party! I know I go totally overboard with him but I have no shame. This kid's been with me through 3 serious relationships, 5 different houses and provided me with thousands of hours of quality cuddle time. Given most FIV positive cats have a life expectancy of 5 to 7 years I know I'm starting to run out of time with my neurotic Vampire Kitty and I hope I've been able to make him half as happy as he makes me.
Have you adopted an animal from a shelter before?
How did your Fur Baby come into your life?