No, that’s a real cat! He’s not an internet meme! He really sits like that, just for fun! And he’s up for adoption!
You haven’t met unique until you’ve met Fernando. Yes, he’s a big boy, and he’s as mellow as you’d expect, purrs when you talk to him, has incredible compassion for your need to sleep. And he’s very entertaining.
He is also what we call a “double positive”, and while he does have a doubly positive outlook on life that’s not what it refers to. He tested positive for both Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) and Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV). More about both conditions below, but each of them has its own way of interfering with his immune system. He is healthy and asymptomatic right now, and may be into his teen years, but eventually things will catch up with him. That just means keeping up with yearly vet exams and watching to make sure he doesn’t pick up any infections.
“Isn’t it great that ABBA named a song after me? Now those of you of a certain age can have that song running through your heads and you know you want to adopt me because of it.” Well, then there’s that.
Here’s what his foster person has to say:
Internet, meet Fernando (also known as Cheesepuff). Fernando is a friendly big boy that is looking for a home. He is one of a kind, a larger than life kind of cat. He likes to entertain his foster family by sitting in odd positions, like a human propped up against some furniture! He has many hobbies he enjoys, watching squirrel videos on youtube, sleeping in the sun, and lounging around with the humans. He purrs up a storm when people talk to him and loves to be petted and brushed. Fernando is super polite and unlike most cats, waits for his foster to wake up before asking for breakfast. He dislikes being picked up, snowy days and people calling him a fat cat. (He insists that he is just big boned, NOT fat!)
One big thing you should know about him is that he has FeLV, feline leukemia, and because of it, Fernando should not be with other cats, unless they are also positive. Don’t worry — he is only contagious to other cats, not you, your dog or your kids. (Oh, and he also has FIV, too, but FeLV is the big whammy.) Have no fear, he’s a happy healthy guy right now. Do you have a busy home with plenty of hands to pet him? Would you give a great guy like Fernando a chance? Contact Pittsburgh CAT and ask about him! He’d really love to meet you! http://tinyurl.com/pghcatapp
(FeLV, otherwise known as feline leukemia, is a virus that impairs the cat’s immune system and can shorten their lives; FIV also impairs a cat’s immune system. During the early stages of infection, cats often exhibit no symptoms and no signs of disease at all. Over time, however, the cat’s health may deteriorate. We do not recommend that FeLV+ kitties live with FeLV- kitties. Cats infected with FeLV and FIV can live for years in relative good health, but their health should be vigorously monitored. Fernando will best thrive in a loving, low-key home where he’s fed a high-quality diet, and checked regularly by a veterinarian supportive of maintaining and treating an FeLV+ cat. Controlling secondary infections and treating other illnesses as they arise is key, so Fernando will require a committed and loving adopter. In return, he will give much love and joy, and many snuggles and purrs!)
Like all Pittsburgh C.A.T. cats, Fernando is spayed, microchipped, dewormed, flea-treated, and up-to-date on all of his vaccinations!
FIV and FeLV
While Fernando does have two incurable diseases that will likely shorten his life, the thing to remember right now is that he is healthy and he is happy, he is very social and wants to live with a family just like any other cat, and just like any other cat he should be able to do that for however many years he has left.
Most FIV+ cats do not show symptoms and have a normal life expectancy, although they can be prone to secondary infections. FIV cats can live happily in a stable household with other kitties both FIV+ and FIV-. This Cornell University Feline Health Center article describes the condition and reports that FIV-positive and negative cats in a stable group can live together without infection, and there is no risk of transmission to other pets or humans. A Pittsburgh C.A.T. adoption counselor will be glad to discuss any of your questions about FIV.
FeLV is a chronic illness, but the way it acts can vary widely depending on the cat. The disease attacks the cat’s immune system in the way that leukemia does and in time, months to years, the cat’s health will deteriorate. Kittens and young cats without a mature immune system will succumb more quickly, sometimes shortly after they’ve been diagnosed. But the older a cat is when it comes in contact with FeLV, the more its immune system can put up a fight. FeLV doesn’t have any really specific symptoms, mostly lethargy and a poor appetite, but the cat may suffer from anemia, diarrhea and a poor coat condition and the only treatment is just to treat the symptoms. FeLV+ cats should always live apart from FeLV- cats. An adult cat like Fernando will carry the disease but with a good diet and vigilant health checks could live for years with no problems. Read this Cornell University Health Center article on the disease, diagnosis and lifestyle for a cat living with FeLV.
Adopting from Pittsburgh C.A.T.
All Pittsburgh C.A.T. adoptions begin with our application. After it’s reviewed you’ll be contacted about meeting your cat or kitten. All cats have been fostered in homes and are healthy, spayed or neutered, up to date on vaccines.
Also look for more adoptable cats on Pittsburgh C.A.T.’s Petfinder page.
Can’t adopt? Foster! Can’t foster? Donate or volunteer.
There are so many ways you can help cats who need homes and care. You may not have room to adopt another cat, but can foster a cat or kitten for a few weeks. If not that, you can volunteer at a shelter or with a rescue, or donate. You do this because you love your cat, and by doing so you help all cats. No matter which of these actions you take, you help to save a life, and make life better for all cats.
- Adopt one of the cats I’ve posted here, or from any shelter or rescue near you, or from Petfinder, to open up a space for another cat to be rescued and fostered.
- Offer to foster cats or kittens for a shelter or rescue near you.
- Volunteer at a shelter or rescue.
- Find a group of volunteers who work with homeless cats and help them with their efforts.
- Donate to a shelter or rescue near you.
If you can foster kittens or adults cats to help prepare them for a forever home, please run to your nearest shelter and find a cat who needs you! Anyone can help with this effort at any level, even if all you do is donate to a shelter or rescue so they can help to pay for the food or medications needed for their foster, or the spay/neuter/veterinary care during a clinic.
Need to know more? Read Fostering for Your Shelter and Fostering Saves Lives
Gifts featuring cats you know! Visit Portraits of Animals
Great Rescues Day Book:
Portraits, Rescue Stories, Holidays and Events, Essential Feline Information, All in One Book
Each month features one of my commissioned portraits of a feline or felines and their rescue story along with a kitty quote on the left page, and on the right page the month name with enough lines for all possible dates, with standard holidays and animal-themed observances and events. Great Rescues also includes a mini cat-care book illustrated with my drawings including information on finding strays or orphaned kittens, adopting for the first time or caring for a geriatric cat, a list of household toxins and toxic plants, or helping stray and feral cats and beginning with TNR.
Each book includes also 10 sheets of my “22 Cats” decorative notepaper with a collage of all the portraits in black and white so you can make your own notes or write special notes to friends.
The portraits in this book, collected as a series, won both a Certificate of Excellence and a Muse Medallion in the 2011 Cat Writers’ Association Annual Communication Contest, as well as the 22 Cats Notepaper mentioned below.
All images and text used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission, although links to your site are more than welcome and are shared. Please ask if you are interested in using and image or story in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of an image or a product including it, check my animal and nature website Portraits of Animals to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit Ordering Custom Artwork for more information on a custom greeting card, print or other item.
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Weekly schedule of features:
Tuesday: Rescue Stories
Thursday: New Merchandise
And sometimes, I just throw my hands in the air and have fun!