Crunchy Goodness

Crunchy Goodness

EsmeraldaNo, I’m not posting about granola.

“Crunchy” just so happens to have been the Tabby’s Place nickname for a rather darling cat, Esmeralda. Our vet bestowed the nickname on this fluffy girl upon seeing her crumpled-over ears. (An Executive Director who shall not be named, whose name rhymes with Zonathan, unsuccessfully lobbied to keep “Crunchy” as Esmeralda’s real name. ;))

A forever home would typically be no surprise for a cat with Ezzie’s considerable charms. This fluffy one becomes a happy ragdoll in any loving arms, gracing her human admirers with a purr that could melt the heart of a dictator. Then there’s her, well, adorableness; between her floofy fluff and those crunchy ears, Esmeralda could almost pass as a Maine Coon-Scottish Fold mix.

But Esmeralda also has what some adopters would consider a major stumbling block: she’s FIV+. Due to a combination of Esmeraldamisconceptions and folks’ understandable fears of having their hearts broken, our FIV+ cats are adopted at a much slower rate than their “normal” counterparts. That’s why it’s so delicious that, this past Saturday, Esmeralda joined the happy ranks of FIV+ adoptees Penelope, George and Rusty by finding a (very smitten) family of her own.

I have sympathy for the folks with misconceptions about FIV (feline immunodeficiency virus). There are a lot of ideas swirling around about this disease, and it’s frequently mistaken for the much more lethal and contagious FeLV (feline leukemia virus) or FIP (feline infectious peritonitis). That’s enough acronyms to twist anyone’s tail in knots.

But I love gently dispelling those misconceptions. When people visit and gaze sadly into our FIV+ suite, remarking, “oh, they don’t live very long”, or, “aren’t they sick all the time?”, it’s a treat to point out dainty Nickey, going strong at age 20, or the unsinkable Fuzzy, happy-go-lucky guy and YouTube star extraordinaire. That said, FIV+ kitties like Esmeralda are “Special Needs,” and despite the fact that she doesn’t require any medication right now, Ezzie will need a lifetime of extra TLC and vigilance to keep her healthy and happy.

It gives me peace to know that there are folks with so much love to give the Esmeraldas and all the “imperfect” creatures of this world. Here’s to forever homes found and stumbling blocks crunched. 😀

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