Jerry Battled A Genetic Condition, FIV+ Stigmas & Being Returned After Adoption; But He Never Gave Up!

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Jerry had led a rough life. This is clearly evident in the felines sweet but battered face. Not only was he born with a painful genetic condition, he has to fight the outdated stereotypes that plague FIV+ cats. And Jerry had to do this all while “living” on the streets as a stray/semi-feral cat. Eventually, he found his way off the streets and into a shelter though–thankfully! Because without the love, support and medical attention of the staff there, Jerry may have given up on life completely.

But as soon as Jerry stepped off the streets, he was gifted with a second–then third–chance at happiness.

First, he had to content with the genetic condition that plagued him. Thankfully, he was brought to the Friends of the Exeter Animals in Exeter, Rhode Island. After their vet examined him, it was determined that Jerry was suffering from Entropion. 

Entropion is a genetic condition in which a portion of the eyelid is inverted or folded inward against the eyeball. This results in irritation and scratches to the cornea — the front surface of the eye. [It can lead] to corneal ulceration, or corneal perforation. These factors may cause a loss or decrease in vision.

They began fundraising for him and were soon able to cover the costs for the surgery required to correct his eyelids. Jerry was still trying to get used to humans throughout this entire process. But for a semi-feral cat who’s been in pain for likely YEARS, they understood completely. 

Jerry recently had the surgery for both his eyes. This picture was taken right after surgery. He still doesn’t look great just yet but we know he’s feeling much better and in time will look like a new cat!

Jerry’s sight seems better and while he is still a bit down, we are optimistic that there are better days ahead for Jerry. No more fending for himself outside and no more suffering from eye lashes and lids turned inward.

Jerry was given plenty of time, patience, understanding and love during his recovery process.

And about 5 months later, the 3-year-old was ready to find a forever home. It was July 8th when the Friends of the Exeter Animals post went up on their Facebook page. That post was eventually shared by more than 18,000 people! The shelter was happy to spread knowledge on the updated FACTS of FIV+ cats. They can live with FIV- cats, but it’s best if they do not fight as deep wounds is how FIV is primarily spread.

But in Jerry’s case, his difficult life had, understandably, made him a bit gruff on the inside too. So they felt it would be best if he was an only cat.

Many, many kind folks have expressed an interest in adopting Jerry. Living rough on his own and with his painful sight problems from eyelashes/lids turned inward, Jerry probably experienced a cat fight or two and has tested FIV positive.

Jerry has had corrective surgery on his eyelids and is much more comfortable. That said, Jerry is standoffish and hisses – he hasn’t had an easy time in his short life. At this point he is not a lap cat. Given his history this should come as no surprise. We are hopeful with kindness and patience, Jerry may become a content kitty.

By the following week, Jerry had been adopted by a sweet woman who had fallen in love with his scraggly face.

Sadly, that adoption only lasted about two months, and Jerry was returned to the shelter mid-September

Remember, every single adoption isn’t a perfect fit. That’s no one’s fault. But what’s important to support and applaud, is that Jerry was returned to the shelter. He wasn’t thrown out on the streets, left to fend for himself–again. It takes a LOT to admit to yourself that you aren’t capable of handling something you thought you could. And when it’s another life at stake, we’re happy that Jerry would have another opportunity to find a happy home. 

So the shelter re-posted Jerry’s still scarred but sweet face on their social media sites on September 19th.

Jerry is about 3 years old and is a very large kitty – just look at that paw! He deserves an easy kind of life after enduring so much just to exist at an early age. He is standoffish and can hiss a little. But when the volunteer brings him chicken bites he comes right to the front to take his treats!

A large crate similar to a dog crate with his bed and litter box might make a good home in the beginning instead of hiding under a bed! In a crate he can see all the activity and get accustomed to his new life. Later, the door can stay open and he can choose his spots. The shelter staff can give you other tips and ideas to help care for Jerry.

The deserving feline had lots of visitors during his stay and the applications came pouring in again.

But Jerry decided this time, he was going to make the most important decision of his life HIMSELF. 

They were thrilled to post a happy update on September 25th about Jerry’s adoption process. 

Shelter staff tell us they had many applications, phone calls and folks wanting to give him a home after our post. They also said Jerry made the decision for them by picking his new mom!

When she came to visit him she would sit on the floor and talk to Jerry until he started to feel comfortable with her. They witnessed Jerry reaching his paw out to gently touch her ❤

We along with shelter staff believe he has gone off to the best home where he’ll be loved and cared for! ?We wish Jerry and his mom a long, happy life together and we want to thank her for giving this special shelter cat a loving home! ❤?

Now, Jerry’s new mom Andrea Entwistle Tokuhira, is happy to share photos of Jerry’s progress in his (fingers and paws crossed!) forever home! 

Here is Jerry in his new digs with all the creature comforts! His mom tells us he’s still getting acclimated. She opted for this big crate so Jerry can see out the window, enjoy the goings-on inside the home and still feel safe. Often a new cat will hide under the bed and she wanted a better beginning for Jerry. With time and patience, his mom hopes he will want to venture around his home.

After only one more week in a safe home space, Jerry is coming out of his “caged life” more and more. 

Jerry has enjoyed the smells and breeze of an open window. His mom tells us he’s been sitting up and washing up in his crate.

Today he wandered out of his crate and looked around a bit and even rested his chin on her hand! These are real advances. He is feeling better and enjoying a cat’s simple pleasures. Thank you Andrea for adopting Jerry!?

All Images from Facebook/Friends of the Exeter Animals


Related Story: Former Feral Torti Waits 772 Days To Be Adopted! Coaxed Out Of Hiding By Friendly Sight-Challenged CatRelated Story: Once Feral Cat Who Refused Love At First Due To Unknown Handicaps, Now A Gorgeous Happy Family Cat!

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