Some cats spend their life fighting against adversity. This furry family of 3 is up against just that.
This is the County Crew; Mama June, Faith Hill and Toby.
The adorable trio was THANKFULLY saved from a high kill shelter in Southern California. They were thriving with a foster family and were almost ready to be put up for adoption.
Fixed, micro-chipped and vaccinated, they were ready for the last test before being put on the adoption floor. They had survived a high kill shelter and nothing would stop them from moving on to a long, happy life now!
But then the foster family was given some unfortunate news.
Mama June tested positive for FIV, the Feline Immunodeficiency Virus.
With the outdated policies the family was doomed to the undeserving fate. According to the shelters policy, THE WHOLE LITTER MUST BE EUTHANIZED!!!
When kittens are tested under 6 months of age, many times they are given false results due to still having their mothers antibodies. So kittens can show positive and negative falsely.
In the case of Marmalade, from Cole and Marmalade, he tested negative at 2 months. When he was diagnosed with lymphoma at a year and a half old, they discovered he was in fact FIV+. Cole is still FIV- to this day and they both live in harmony.
FIV is inaccurately referred to as “Feline AIDS” adding very scary and negative connotations to the disease. It is NOT a death sentence, but can lead to other issues in life that need to be monitored. Dental routines and healthy diets should be a priority.
The primary methods of transmission are through deep bite wounds and blood or passed from mother to kittens. The former is why FIV+ cats should not be left feral or allowed to roam outside, chancing passing the virus to others. The latter is usually during the passage of the kittens through the birth canal or if they ingest infected milk.
We later found out that Marmalade’s mom was also FIV+ and likely the cause of the virus at his young age.
Sharing food and water bowls, bedding and toys WILL NOT cause contamination and infect other cats. The most recent research carried out at Glasgow University’s Companion Animal Diagnostics indicates that the chances of FIV being passed from one cat to another in the same household is approx 1-2%.
So why was this poor family going to be murdered just because mom tested positive? Because the public needs to be re-educated and it is very difficult to change the beliefs when scare tactics have plagued these cats for decades.
The myths scare people away but again, the facts are simple: FIV cats rarely pass the virus on to their offspring and the virus is only spread via deep puncture wounds. That’s why it’s most prevalent in the feral populations where cats fight over territory.
Toby says he wants to help educate everyone!
Luckily, the County Crew had foster purrents that refused to accept this fate. Their beloved fosters would not survive a high kill shelter in the middle of kitten season, only to lose their lives now! They contacted Love Your Feral Felines, a rescue group in Southern California for help.
When LYFF received the call, they couldn’t refuse the plea.
“We were beyond capacity, over full, tapped out, volunteers exhausted from the brutalities of kitten season but how could we say no? This family did nothing wrong. FIV is such a misunderstood virus and we knew we couldn’t turn our back on a family with a virus.”
“We begged and pleaded for a foster, a miracle happened and a foster stepped up! The family was saved!“
But their stories don’t end there. Now it is up to all of us to help them write the next chapter.
The loving and affectionate cats need to find a new foster home and eventually the purrfect furever home. Although they were able to pull the family from the shelter a 2nd time to save their lives, the foster had squeezed them in to her home, already overflowing with other rescued fosters.
Love Your Feral Felines is hoping this gorgeous family will be scooped up soon but are also willing to foster to adopt, meaning someone can get to know the kitties first and then foster “triumph”, keeping them purrmanently.
The goal is to help these cats survive and spread knowledge about the myths of FIV to stop the misinformation.
If you are in the Southern California area, email Love Your Feral Felines at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how you could foster, adopt, or foster to adopt one or both kittens or even both the kittens and their sweet mamma.
Spay and Neuter your pets and always Adopt, Don’t Shop!