I keep seeing these two black cats in my Facebook newsfeed, probably because they are black and they are up for adoption, and Facebook is trying to match me up with them. I have enough black cats right now, thank you, and am not open to adopt any at all. They are not up for adoption together, not with the same foster home or even the same cat rescue. In fact they aren’t even near each other aside from both being somewhere north of Pittsburgh, but there is a reason I’d wanted to feature them, and feature them together.
Lester and Oliver are both FIV positive, and aside from their fur color, which reduces their chances for adoption right there, their FIV status reduces their chances even more. But each of them is a sweet, friendly cat, loving people and other cats and dogs, and probably any other critter who came along. I get the idea they are just happy to have been rescued, and happy to be alive and healthy.
FIV, or Feline Immunodeficiency Virus, is similar to human HIV but infected cats can live a long and healthy life with the virus without any need for treatment, only having a slightly depressed immune system. A few of the cats I’ve featured here have been FIV+ cats where the illness didn’t seem to affect them at all, like Tommy, who just survived and recovered from a saddle thrombus, Boyfriend, former stray cat living in a colony now inside because of a diagnosis of diabetes and just an awesome sweet and happy cat, Nomad, the big, battered polydactyl ex-tom who gets along with cats and dogs and loves his people and his home and runs off strange animals from the property, and Willie, trapped as a feral but now living as a shop supervisor for his rescue family.
FIV+ cats can also live with other cats without infecting them—because FIV is most easily transmitted via saliva through deep bites, spaying and neutering and keeping the cat indoors so that it doesn’t fight with other cats has been found to be the most effective way to stop transmission. It’s not contagious to dogs or people in any way. The reduced immunity means the cat should be somewhat sheltered from new cats coming in and what they may carry, and they should eat a high quality diet to help keep their immune system as strong as possible.
The other thing that pairs up these two for me is that they are both about the same age, two to three years old, and about the same size, 10 to 12 pounds. It would be super nice to adopt either one, but to adopt both and start a family of very special rescued housepanthers would be a really wonderful thing to do, as long as they were introduced to each other properly.
Lester is available through Pittsburgh CAT, while Oliver is available through Judges Park Small Animal Rescue and you can find out more about his rescue and recovery on their site.
And a few more housepanthers who need help
Look at those faces! In reading about Lester and Oliver I also read about “Toothless” and Raven, two kittens who, along with their mom, took up residence under a porch and were elusive but were eventually caught, all tested FIV+. All get along fine and are generally very well, but Toothless is showing anemia and no one is sure why. He seems to be recovering now, but the expenses were huge and their person is asking for help. I thought I’d share it.
Amazon Wish Lists
Many rescuers pay out of pocket for veterinary care and food but the costs of raising even the average litter of four healthy kittens is more than many people have, and many rescues have greater needs. Pittsburgh CAT has a number of wish lists that include foods for feeding neo-natal kittens like KMR, and other lists that include the best kitten foods, adult cat foods, food and materials for feral cats, and preferred toys and litter.
Pittsburgh CAT Wish List: http://www.amazon.com/registry/wishlist/2IUQ0FQOL2I51
2015 Foster Cat/Kitten Wish List: http://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/wishlist/1A1HUNQ7J3DL/ref=cm_wl_rlist_go_v?
Winter Kitten Wish List! http://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/wishlist/3CZ6IYCKS2A7N/ref=cm_wl_rlist_go_v?
Fall Wishlist for Fosters/Ferals! http://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/wishlist/2TD3TQBOEMT1E/ref=cm_wl_rlist_go_v?
Food For Foster Kittens: http://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/wishlist/OJQIYGC91289/ref=cm_wl_rlist_go_v?
Our Groups Foster Kittens! http://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/wishlist/1D226142CCGZX/ref=cm_wl_rlist_go_v?
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
Browse some rescued cats and kittens—browse here or visit PittsburghCAT!
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