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Our Featured Cat: Abel

An open letter from Camden Parks:

Abel is an easy-going, affectionate cat who enjoys stretching out and dozing on accommodating humans. He is about eleven years old and has a pellet under the skin on his head, from when someone apparently used him as a pellet-gun target. I first met him in late February of 2006, and he seems pretty much the same healthy, lovable guy now that he was then. Oh, and he is FIV-positive, like he was back on that day when I met him.

Abel is just one of the cats who disproves the idea that Big Sid's is "where all the sick cats are." All the cats at Big Sid's Sanctuary have tested positive for FIV or FeLV, two viruses that have the potential to suppress a cat's immune system. However, that positive test result does not necessarily mean a much shorter life for the cat. With some cats, their immune systems eliminate the viruses. Other cats live their whole lives with the viruses and never have a flare-up. While most cats with FIV or FeLV do eventually have suppressed immune systems, it can take many months or even years before that happens, and until then, the cats are not "sick".

Look, I'm not going to tell you that most FIV- or FeLV-positive cats are going to last a long time. Most of them won't live as long as uninfected cats, and that is just the truth of the matter. Then again, an uninfected cat might only live a month or a year after you adopt it: you just cannot tell.

I have been adopting FeLV-positive cats since that day in late February, 2006. I have adopted nine such cats from Big Sid's in that time, and two are still with me. One of them, Gunnar, I adopted in September of 2006, and he is still chugging along. The other, Sataya, has been chronically congested pretty much since she arrived at Big Sid's. Still, I brought her home in October of 2007, and she is still contentedly sniffling around, three years later.

Adopting a cat from Big Sid's is not something that just anyone can do. For those few who do choose to adopt one of them, though, it is a pretty wonderful experience. Big Sid's is a good place for these cats to live, but they do much better in a home: fewer cats and more opportunities for human affection mean lower stress, and that leads to a longer life for these cats.

Abel is a gentle, older cat. Being an older cat, you can be pretty sure about his temperament. He loves to be with people, curled up on their laps or laying in their arms like a baby. He would really benefit from being in a home he could call his own, even if he has to share it with a few other pets. He has survived a lot: living out on his own, being shot, a bout of diabetes (no sign of it for the last four years!), and being FIV-positive. He really deserves to spend the rest of his life in a home, with loving people.

If you are thinking of volunteering with us, you might want to consider spending some or all of your volunteer time at Big Sid's. Since there are fewer adoptions from Big Sid's, you get a better chance to really get to know the "Sidizens". I have found it very rewarding to volunteer at and adopt from Big Sid's. I bet you would too.

Camden Parks, September 2010

Current residents
Crash's: 124
Big Sid's: 126

Since opening in Oct. 2002
2202 Adoptions
(221 from Big Sid's!)