After Six Years in Shelter, Pennsylvania Cat with Special Needs Finds Forever Home

Remember when HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) was associated with a death sentence and immorality; hence, anyone diagnosed with it underwent stigmatization? Although things have changed since then, there is some stigma surrounding it despite the intense sensitization and awareness efforts. Unfortunately, that happens to cats who are FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus) positive, a condition very similar to HIV. Although they don’t get to be associated with bad morals, cats that end up in shelters barely find anyone who wants to adopt them. Therefore it is such great news that after six years in a shelter, a Pennsylvania cat with special needs found his forever home. Funny enough, he was the shelter’s favorite yet kept being overlooked, so the couple that adopted him is lucky to end up with him. Here’s more regarding the cat’s journey to the shelter as we enlighten you on how on FIV.

He Was a Stray

They say that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel, so we should not give up, and the expression has come to pass for Tyson. Tyson is an eight-year-old cat that has finally found his forever home after being in a shelter for six years. He ended up in the Helen O. Krause Animal Foundation, Inc. shelter when he was two after being picked up as a stray in Dillsburg. Fortunately for him, the shelter does not practice euthanasia giving Tyson more than enough time to find his forever humans. It is hard to believe that Tyson did not get anyone to take him home considering how handsome he is; the ginger cat has white fur around the paws and neck resembling mittens and a bib. Since he tested positive for FIV upon arriving at the shelter, it could be that he was abandoned after the owner discovered he was sick and would remain infected for life.

According to Daily Paws, the shelter’s manager Alexandra Holden disclosed there is a lot of stigma around the disease, with owners believing they will have to dig very deep into their pockets for medical expenses. Others believe FIV-positive cats have short lifespans, but both assumptions are false. Like HIV, FIV can be managed, and cats can live fulfilling lives. Despite this, some humans remain cruel, adopting even healthy cats at their young age and returning them to the shelter when they grow old. Luckily for Tyson, he will not have to undergo this rejection because the couple that adopted him is ready to do everything possible to give him a comfortable life.

Love at First Sight

When Janelle James browsed PetFinder, she was not interested in adopting a cat, but then again, fate works in mysterious ways. Since she and her husband Zach have always been drawn to ginger cats, Janelle kept clicking on different pictures, but the moment she came across Tyson’s profile, she decided maybe they wanted a cat. Perhaps they just had not found the right one, but it was staring her in the face, so she sent Zach a picture of Tyson to hear his thoughts. The lovebirds made up their mind that so long as Tyson was available for adoption, they would adopt him.

According to York Daily Record, Tyson is asymptomatic, but the best way of maintaining that is to be proactive. Therefore, the couple will be taking him to the vet at least twice a year for some checkups. At home, they were worried Tyson would take time to adjust. Holden had warned them after being in a shelter for six years, Tyson could take a while to familiarize himself with the new surroundings.

Being the caring furry parent, Janelle surfed the net, looking for ways to set up a special room for Tyson until he was ready to interact with the couple. Strangely enough, the cat showered the couple with love when he was released from his cage. He purred as he brushed against them and never stopped even when using the litter box as if telling his new adoptive parents how grateful he was for choosing him to be their furry son. Although he will be dearly missed by the shelter staff that had come to love him as though he will never leave, they were all excited that he found humans worthy of him because Tyson is a sweet furbaby full of joy.

What You Need to Know about FIV

According to Cat Chat, most cat owners confuse FIV with FeLV, yet FeLV is feline leukemia and is more life-threatening than FIV. Due to its similarity with HIV, some people refer to FIV as “Feline AIDS,” which causes more stigmatization to cat owners who have FIV-positive cats. Since the virus is present in the blood and saliva of an infected cat, the primary mode of transmission is through biting. However, it is important to note that an infected cat biting an uninfected one is more likely to infect it than if the uninfected kitty bites the infected cat. There is usually a very brief window for the virus to survive outside the body, and it cannot be transmitted indirectly, such as through cats sharing food, unlike with FeLV. Cats are asymptomatic before developing AIDS.

Since FIV attacks slowly, cats can take years to show any signs. However, others show sporadic symptoms, and you cannot be sure until you run the tests. The most common signs include swollen lymph nodes that occur between six and eight weeks after infection. The sporadic symptoms could be diarrhea lasting weeks or days then disappear, and you might assume your cat is healthy. You should note that since the disease compromises the cats’ immunity by depleting the white blood cells, the signs are mainly secondary infections after the felines become susceptible to illnesses. Other symptoms include swollen eyes, a lack of appetite, non-healing wounds, and unkempt hair. The only way to prevent infection is by controlling your cat’s movement to avoid interaction with other infected acts.

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