Early this morning one of our cats was very ill. As soon as I could call the vet for an appointment, I did so. Digging the vehicle from beneath a snowdrift, we ventured out in the cold, traveling thirty-five miles.
A check-up, an IV, and three injections later, we returned home. Two hours after receiving his treatment our feline family member began squeaking for food. Fantastic–another recovery. Why is the so special? Most people would have put him to sleep when they received the news we did when we first gave Shadow a home. Initial blood tests showed that he is FIV-positive, similar to HIV in humans. We brought him home, read up on FIV felines and discovered he could still live a long and happy life, given proper care. So he is here to stay.
Let my introduce you to our current family of four-legged creatures:
Oliver (AKA Ollie)
Oliver is from England, twelve years old and a loner. He probably was a feral kitten that someone couldn’t handle and passed him to us, knowing we had experience raising feral felines.
Hope (AKA Dosy)
Hope is about six now. She came to us a couple of years ago from a no-kill shelter. Always seems to be off in a world of her own, but a very loving addition to the family.
Lola (AKA Little One)
Lola came to us from a vet. She had been found in a dumpster, with a bloody ear and a dislocated hip. The vet took care of her medical needs and we took care of her home. Of out current crop of felines, she gets bored easily and will pick on the others for amusement. Sometimes that works and other times, fur flies! Lola is around four.
Shadow (AKA Squeaky)
Destined for the pound, a friend who already has five cats told us about Shadow (unnamed at the time). He joined us December 2014. Other information about him begins this post.
Flora (AKA Lady Flora Fluff Bum)
Flora apparently accompanied Shadow to the pound. Couldn’t leave her behind to a sad fate, so she’s part of out family, too. Both are around two years old.
Charley (AKA Pumpkin Boy
The end of January 2014 was bitter, with nearly two feet of snow on the ground. We heard a commotion at one of the deck doors. Outside, clawing to come indoors, was a handsome stray cat. We hadn’t seem him before and living where we do, there was no possibility of him belonging to a neighbor, unless he traveled a long distance to find us. Never saw a “missing” poster and he’s now one of the family. Very skittish, hates loud noises, but plays well with others. According to the vet, he’ll be around two years old.
Tyson is the only canine in our family. He joined us in October 2013, a few weeks after our thirteen-year old German Shepherd, Minnie, passed away.
Tyson had been turned over to the same no-kill shelter as Hope. He apparently wasn’t good with young children, but we don’t know for sure. Tyson, who brought his name with him, celebrated his seventh birthday earlier this month, on the sixth. A great addition to the family, he breaks up any quarrels between the others, but is soft as anything. Saying that, there is no way a stranger would get in the house, but once he knows someone, they’re good to go!
Hope you’ve enjoyed meeting out family!
18 thoughts on “Our Four-Legged Family”
It seems you didn’t choose your pets, but they chose you – and the choice was a goodie, since it’s all worked out to everyone’s advantage. Glad Shadow has recovered. Love your marmalade cat, we once had one called Marmaduke.
You’re correct–they choose us, even if we think it’s the other way around:)
Oh goodness what a great animal family you have. I was scrolling down reading thinking to myself around they should do have a whole lot of cats. 😀 But that’s just great! At one point my husband & I had 4 cats, 1 German Shepherd dog, a bunny, & 2 mice. The more the merrier! Great post. 🙂
Omg! Your cats are super cute! I love cats….I’m sure you can’t tell 😉
Many thanks! Most times they’re a great joy. Can certainly keep us entertained.
Thanks for taking the time to put this post together. Our animals are family. Yours looks pretty p
Oh, they are beautiful! We have two dogs, both from shelters, and love them to pieces!
love your blog… I have six indoor cats and between 9 and 14 outside (feral) cats. They are all more or less feral. The no-kill people came and took mine and my neighbors cats last year…neutered them and returned them to us, which is what we wanted them to do. There were numerous kittens that either came back or were adopted. I love cats. Right now we have a good size cat shelter outside on our deck, with good warm houses and lots of tarps and straw, and a huge umbrella. (I can’t afford a roof on the deck right now.) I write about these guys a lot on my blog, http://mumbletymuse.com. Please visit when you get a chance and search “cats & animals.” 🙂
Glad to see there are like-minded individuals:) Will check out your blog about the cats. Forgot to mention that ours are indoor/outdoor cats (but round them all up for the evening). They have the full run of the house, including a large basement, where we have chairs, sofas, litter trays, food & water, etc., for them.
great! my outsiders dash inside whenever they have a chance…one of them was invited to move in two years ago when it was so cold…he slept on my bed for two nights then decided he was an outside cat after all. 🙂
Charlie (the one who was clawing to get inside) spends most of his time in the basement when he comes in. When we first began feeding him, I opened the walkout door to the basement and put the food just outside as he wouldn’t come in. Eventually he did and seems to consider the basement his home.
I have one named Dottie, who is Sister’s daughter. Sister has taken to sneaking outside, and I keep catching Dottie IN the house. They look just alike. 🙂
And I am sure you have no rats in your family:)
No way:) Even the mice and voles don’t last long around here. Fortunately they’re not too lucky catching the birds.
Nice post. My sister has been looking after a feral cat with FIV for several years now. As with HIV, it isn’t an instant death sentence, but something the cat can live with for some time and still have quality of life. Good on you for keeping up the fight, for protecting and embracing and loving other creatures with which we share our world.
Many thanks Paul.
We found an article about someone who had two FIV cats. Apparently they were going downhill. At the bottom of the article it stated the cats were 17! So, there is plenty of hope. Shadow seems to be back to his normal self. He wants out again despite the cold. We’ll keep him in for a couple of more days first. He finished the last of the medication from the vet, but he’s also on a drug called interferon-alpha. It’s used to treat HIV patients to help boost the immune system.