One evening last week my neighbor and I were chatting away while getting in a good power walk when we heard a loud “meow.” We turned around to find a little gray tabby running after us. He was thin and covered in fleas. We gave him food, but what he wanted most was love. This kitten was starving for affection.
What were we to do? I am a DogMom and ill-equipped to care for a cat, yet it was decided I would take him in until the veterinarian’s office opened the next morning. I placed the little kitty in an extra-large doggy travel crate, complete with a homemade litter box, canned cat food I surprisingly had on hand, a bowl of water and a fleece blanket. The next morning I wrapped him in that blanket and carried him to the car. He slept quietly on my lap all the way to the vet hospital.
This handsome kitty deserved a name and William seemed fitting. The vet estimated William’s age to be approximately 10 weeks. He seemed pretty healthy for a stray kitten, but a test for feline leukemia proved he wasn’t as well as we had hoped.
Feline leukemia (FeLV) is a contagious and incurable virus that weakens a cat’s immune system. It is spread through saliva, nasal secretions, urine, feces and milk from infected cats. The lifetime expectancy of a cat diagnosed with FeLV varies and is difficult to determine. The good news is that owners can have their cats vaccinated against FeLV. The bad news is that too many cats, like William, never get that opportunity.
Poor William was born into this world without proper care, love or attention. I don’t want it to end like that for him. I want William to have a chance at life. He should get to play with string, catnip and fluffy toys with feathers. He should get to bask in the warm sunshine beaming through a large window on a cold winter’s day.
William may have tested positive for FeLV, but he is not showing symptoms. This gentle, friendly and affectionate cat has lots of love to give and he deserves to have someone who will return that love. Someone who has no other cats (unless those cats are also FeLV positive). Someone who will commit to keeping him indoors. Someone who will spend time with him and care for him no matter how short or long his life may be.
I imagine sweet William sitting on his new friend’s lap, purring, bringing a smile to that person’s face. Maybe you know of this person. Maybe this person is you.
William is staying at Good Shepherd Veterinary Hospital in Kanawha City. Give them a call at 304-925-7387(PETS) or stop by to see for yourself what a special kitten William is.
For more information about feline leukemia, contact your veterinarian or visit one of these online sources: