A Dying Cause

Sometimes people have cat problems, and they ask me for help.

Like a woman I worked with who had a cat that had gotten uncontrollable. She was afraid of him. She had gotten him and his brother as small kittens. On the day that they were to be neutered, she was able to crate the brother Tom, but Jerry saw what was going on and he ran. She was never able to catch him again.

Last year she asked me if I would take him. I told her that he would have to be fixed and that he would live outside with the colony. She wanted me to take him inside and hold him like a baby and tell him that I loved him. I told her that there are other cats who are free to come and go, and I don’t restrain any of them. Hold him like a baby? Nope.

Why do people want me to do things that they will not do themselves? I don’t have a magic wand. When she described the cat to me, he sounded wild and feral, and her description scared me. I said no.

Now Jerry had become a large adult cat, and was getting into neighborhood fights. His owner, my work friend, asked me for help. I suggested taking him to be fixed first and foremost.

She didn’t have a crate or a trap. She could not bear the thought of him going into a trap, but she thought her husband could get him into a crate. I loaned her a crate.

It took two days, but her husband got him into a crate.

I transferred him into a trap. He had to be at the Animal Shelter for drop off by 7:45 am or he would miss the transport to the spay/neuter clinic. The particular shelter was 45 minutes away, and then work was another 1/2 hour from there. I had arranged to be late for work, just to drop off this problem cat for someone else who couldn’t resolve the issue, and many times that is the way it is with people that need help. Someone else has to rearrange their life to help another in need.

I was afraid of being late, what with a wild cat in my car and not wanting to be stuck with him for an undetermined amount if time. I was easily 15 minutes early. The gates were open; the building was not. I put the trapped cat on the sidewalk by the door.

This shelter has free roaming cats that are soft ferals. Several went up to the trap to meet Jerry. He just gave me a bad look.

The shelter opened. The paperwork was filled out.

I got a called later that day that Jerry had tested positive for feline HIV. He was euthanized while still sedated for testing.

That evening I had to talk to my friend about feline HIV and that Jerry was deceased. She knew nothing about the disease. There is no vaccine, and it is transmitted through bite wounds like when a cat is fighting or mating.

Good-night, Jerry. You should have had a different ending.

4 Responses to “A Dying Cause”

  1. Luanne Says:

    Ticks me off.


  2. Lenore Says:

    That’s really a pity that they killed him. Didn’t have to. Cats can live quite a long time with FIV (symptom free) probably about as long as an outdoor cat lives and neutering a cat removes most of the reason they get infected fighting, most of the cat fights are over mating. They tests cannot differentiate between the anti-bodies from vaccination against the disease and anti-bodies because of the disease… So sorry you had to go through this for someone who couldn’t deal with it themselves.


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