It may be Black Friday (in the US, at least), and there may be a lot of attention on bloated tummies and massive sales. Not at Tabby’s Place (except maybe the slightest loosening of waistbands). Fridays are days, just like every day, for focusing attention on cats.
The FIV+ crew think they deserve extra special attention every day. They aren’t wrong. But this isn’t about all of the time that all of the stupendous staff and vibrant volunteers spend with individual cats. [Fergie insists that it is ALWAYS about the individual cats. It’s always especially about Fergie, especially when Fergie is feeling especially feisty and especially playful.] But, it is Black Friday, and many of us Americans – and maybe some of our friends from around the world (Solidarity is lovely!) – are overstuffed on starches [How many kinds of potatoes? Yams with what on top? Plus stuffing? And, pie? Wait, there’s more pie? What kind of pie is THAT? Oh, my. Pie!]. This is the time when we’re wiped out from excesses of family time and shopping time, and the gravy boats have been washed an put back in the china cabinet. So, what better time could there be to sop up some information about Tabby’s Place and FIV?
An FIV+ diagnosis is not quite the Halloween-sized, super big, horror movie scary that it used to be. As time has progressed, knowledge has expanded (No waistline jokes, please!). We know it is best for the cats to be treated with greater care in terms of avoiding the introduction of other viruses and infections. FIV+ kitties are immune compromised, so it is often harder for them to fight off such illnesses than it is for the general population. That’s why there are suites at Tabby’s Place that are home especially to those who are FIV+.
Of course, another thing we know is that FIV is actually much harder to spread than was formerly understood. It takes a direct exchange of bodily fluids, such as can happen with bites wounds, rather than casual bowl sharing and grooming (FeLV is a whole different story!). Because it isn’t very easy to share, there are times when it is best for an FIV+ kitty that has other challenges to be housed with other cats. Remember our sweet Lynette? Because diabetes was a big challenge for her and she was exceptionally gentle, she lived in the Lounge. There she attempted to overstuff herself whenever she thought she could sneak a bagel, a donut, some cream cheese…the chicken from my salad (“No! No, Lynette!“). Each day was Lynette’s personal Thanksgiving.
Following in Lynette’s footsteps, Chicken Nugget, also FIV+/diabetic, and a gentle, half-giant in need of much love and attention, is living the good life in the Lounge. Taylor Ham, the veritable football with feet, FIV+/diabetic, has joined him there. Despite sharing the space, fellow resident Baby has a very low likelihood of becoming infected with FIV. So, all of these sweetly dispositioned fellows live in the diabetics’ den, where they can be medicated and fed more attentively to their primary needs, their diabetes. This friendly crew definitely get up to shenanigans (Cats!), but those mostly have to do with biting into tasty morsels of treats (diabetic safe, and not too many, of course).
However, most of the FIV+ population at Tabby’s Place are not diabetic (most are also very gentle with either other cats, humans, or both). They really make the most of their living arrangements.
Rawlings and Mr. Mustache are a deliciously attached duo, who are embracing the recently-introduced Josephine. They are all healthy. They are happy. And, they each are going to live to be about 80,000 years old (cat math is wonky). The dynamic duo and their new plus one are a dream team, and they aren’t alone in that.
For her part, Polly is living the dream! Even without eyes, she can see that FIV is no reason to hold back on living at full force. It took her very little time to adjust to the suite life after being relocated from an office. There, she is holding her own, playing with toys and enjoying lots attention…and squeeze treats. What’s more, watching Polly play is engaging and enriching for Fergie. Together in their suite, these lively lady cats are thriving.
The bottom line for the toy mice Fergie and Polly play with: they are a little worse for wear.
The bottom line for the FIV+ cats at Tabby’s Place: they are living lushly and lavishly.
There is no red in the account ledgers.
Their diagnoses may be positive, but their prognoses are definitively positive on this Black Friday as well as every other Friday.
The only way to improve on the outlook for any of these wonderful, Tabby’s Place FIV+ cats would be for each of them to have window seats of their very own in loving forever homes. What a wonderful way to turn every FIV+ Friday into a FriYAY!