A birthdate marks a very special day in each of our lives. Not only does it add a year to our current age, but also reminds us of the special day that we came into this world. To mark this special day most people, prefer to spend their time with family and friends. They put up some décor, prepare some good food and drinks, get a cake and most importantly, have fun. Humans are not the only ones who celebrate birthday parties, even animals do. According to how stuff works, animals are capable of a wide range of emotions including sadness, happiness, empathy, grief and curiosity among others. Hence on special days such as birthdays, if their human parents get to put up a party for them, animals are very much likely to pick up the change in atmosphere and express happiness. In such parties they can play with toys, interact with people, get undivided attention and also eat their favorite meals.
Sadly, this was not the case for a cat named Monique. The cat, who lives at a London shelte, Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, was thrown for a party by the shelter’s staff. They had organized the party with the hope that visitors would come and get learn to learn more about Monique. She had stayed at the shelter for over 115 days with no one showing interest in adopting her. This is 5 times longer than most cats at Battersea. So, the staff adopted a move to find Monique a nice home as she had overstayed at the shelter.
The Birthday Party
The shelter put a up a ‘Happy Birthday’ sign and even brought a table with a couple of treats to mark Monique’s special day. However, no one seemed to notice the party mood as the cat did not get a single visitor. This was quite disappointing considering the cat was so young and had so much to offer as a pet – it was only her second birthday. Nikki Cummins, the Battersea cats and Dogs spokesperson, expressed her disappointment at the lack of public interest on such a promising cat. Nevertheless, that did not deter the staff from celebrating with the cat and showering her with the love she so much needed. Monique got lots of cheek rubs on that day, and it didn’t stop there, they also decided to share the story of her birthday party on social media. Surprisingly, the cat received overwhelming love and support from people in different parts of the world. The popularity and attention also came with a number of inquiries about the cat. Though she has not been adopted yet, very soon Monique may be on her way to a new blissful home.
A Slight Setback
However, the shelter shares that Monique suffers from Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV). According to FETCH by WebMD, Cats who suffer from this medical condition have a severely weakened immune system hence susceptible to various secondary infections. However, cats who receive proper medical care and are well taken care of can live comfortably for months or even years before the disease becomes chronic. Cats contract the disease either from their mothers or other cats through deep bite wounds that are usually acquired after intense cat fights. To adopt cats with FIV, one is required not to own other pets and also should be living in a home with enclosed gardens that allows the cat to have outdoor freedom without coming into contact with other cats and spreading the disease.
The medical condition and the terms that come with adopting FIV positive cats has kept people away from adopting Monique. However, the shelter assures potential owners that they have nothing to worry about. To begin with FIV, is not transmittable to humans and also the shelter provides detailed advice on how to cat-proof a garden. Additionally, they have a Veterinarian who will provide all the details potential owners need to know about FIV. Besides, Monique is a wonderful cat who is sure worth the trouble. According to Monique’s adoption page, she is described as a cat with a gentle nature and lots of affection to give. She also delights in a good head and Chin rub and enjoys playing with her human friends. To support this, there is a video showing Monique playing with her favorite string toy. The cat is simply adorable!
Once adopted, she may need a short time to get used to the new environment and settle in. She will also need understanding hosts and children who will respect her space whenever she needs it. But, once she gets used to her new environment and human friends, the cat is pure joy to hang around. The shelter hopes to find an owner for Monique soon enough, and hopefully her next birthday will find her in a new and lovely home.
How to Care for a Cat with FIV
Cats with FIV mostly demonstrate symptoms including a fever, Anemia, weight loss, Disheveled Coat, Diarrhea, inflammation of the gums, gingivitis, skin redness or hair loss, sneezing, discharge from the eyes or nose, frequent urination, poor appetite and enlarged Lymphnodes. However, such symptoms may not show up for years, but when they do, the cat’s health may continually worsen with time. According to RSPCA, though there is no known cure for the disease, Cats with FIV can have the same life expectancy as those without. Owners only need to take good care of them.
- Ensure they take a balanced diet. Dairy products and raw foods should be avoided as they are reported to worsen the condition in immunosuppressed individuals.
- Keep FIV positive cats in an environment with no other cats around.
- Take them to a vet for annual checkup and to also keep tabs of the cat’s health reports.
- Provide required preventative Healthcare such as anti-parasitic treatment.
- Discuss the condition with potential pet insurance companies.
Following the above measures, FIV positive cats get to live a long, happy and rewarding life.