In Which Things Get Complicated

On Monday, November 22, 2010, a man walked in the door of the vet clinic.  He said that he had trapped a cat, and could we please tell him if it’s a boy or a girl?  He stated that he worked for a hunting club in the area, and there are feral cats in the vicinity, but only male cats were allowed, because of course female cats are good at math, their particular specialty being multiplication. 

I was dubious as to how we were to actually get a clear shot at the animal’s hindquarters, especially since feral cats ball up into a wad of stubborn anger when they are trapped.  I asked the man if the cat could be handled, and he replied that he had touched the cat.  I suggested that he bring the cat inside to an exam room so that we could assess the situation.

I must say that I was surprised that he brought the cat to the vet clinic and not taken the cat to the animal shelter where it would most likely be euthanized.  I was equally surprised when the cat in the trap was a young thing who seemed shy, not feral.  In the exam room, the vet, the man, and I discussed how this would all play out, for we found that the cat was female, about 3 or 4 months old. 

I offered to pay for the spay surgery and vaccinations, and to take her home to foster her while trying to place her in a permanent home.  It’s an inconvenience to have a cat in a 31′ RV.  The litter box issues alone can be enough to blow the windows out, but I determined to be a good housekeeper and keep things as clean as possible.  This seemed like a good solution, and the man said if I couldn’t get a home for her, he would take her back to the hunting plantation to be released, and that he would pay for her expenses.  This sounded like a win/win.  The vet elected to spay her the next day, in order for her to have time to be de-wormed and to get a couple good meals and vitamins for strength. 

After the surgery on Tuesday, I took her home.  She was already much less shy, although she hid some, several times getting completely up in the dashboard on the driver’s side.  I stood on my head to look up into the dashboard and saw nothing but wires and such automotive-type stuff, but I could hear her inside.  I worried that she would continue to hide and get trapped inside somehow, and I have to call for reinforcements to take the front end of the RV apart to free the cat.  After a few days, she was comfortable enough to establish her position on the driver’s chair, although a few times she looked longingly at the dashboard, perhaps remembering the good old days when she used to play hide-and-seek. 

On Friday, we had a substitute vet, and I elected to take the cat to the vet for a re-check, and it just so happened that Karen at Maranatha Farm dropped in with a dog that had been in a dog fight.  I showed the cat to her, explained the situation, and she offered to take the cat to an adoption fair in a few days at a retirement community where she would be the only kitten and would probably have a very good chance at an adoption.  Another win/win. 

I told Karen that the cat had not been tested for feline aids or feline leukemia, but I felt sure that the tests would be a formality and that she would be negative for both.  For shelters that test for these diseases, a positive result can insure euthanasia. 

The substitute vet and I drew enough blood to run the test.  This particular test needs only 3 drops of blood.  The test for feline aids was negative, and the test for feline leukemia was… positive.  This was not a win/win.

I took little Alice back to the RV wonderland, and debated what to do.  Feline leuk is a “friendly” disease, and is passed in fluids that are shared by cats, like a shared litter box, shared water bowl, shared food bowl, sneezes, and grooming.  I read into the night about what to do about feline leuk positive cats.  The only conclusion that I developed was that I had no conclusion.  I’ll keep her inside away from the other cats and retest her in 6 months to see if she’s negative, although she probably won’t be.  And I’ll try to remember to scoop the box every day.

So you’re wondering was a feline leuk cat looks like?  Hope you’re ready for the pictures of this wild animal.


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5 Responses to “In Which Things Get Complicated”

  1. Leo Says:

    This could turn into the siege of Fort Pitt if you’re not careful.


  2. Linda Smith Says:

    Wow, she really is a fierce lookin’ critter…I would be really afraid if I were you!!!


  3. Becky Says:

    Drats, all those “win/wins” and then that shoe dropped. 😦 She kinda looks like our outside cat “Stripey” who has never returned from missing in October. Here’s to hoping the test is negative in 6 months!

    Liked by 1 person

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