January 11 2011 – At the time I worked at the East Bay SPCA in Oakland
Yesterday I took my lunch at Taco Bell (it’s very close to work and they have vegan “options”). While I was eating I saw a stray / feral kitten walking around in the parking lot. I quickly went out to try to catch her. I could only get within 6 feet and she would run. I pursued her across the street but she got away. Five minutes later she was in the parking lot again, so I dropped my lunch, tried again and failed. After I finished my food I ran and grabbed a net at work, found the kitten again, got the net on her but she got away. I tried again an hour later, got the net on her but she got away yet again. I set two traps that remained empty when I went home. I was thrilled this morning to see that I caught my kitten and a very pissed off adult.
I named the kitten Vegan and sent them both to be spayed / neutered. Vegan turned out to be a very underweight, hungry female and the adult is male. Tomorrow I’ll release the male where I caught him. (Video of me releasing the feral Tom Cat right where I found him.) We’ll get Vegan healthy and socialized and then adopt her out. I know this is just a normal day in the life but I was very determined to catch and help her. You connect with some, more than others.
January 22 2011
I certainly wasn’t looking for another cat but I couldn’t stop thinking about her and the growing connection and responsibility I felt toward her. I decided to go ahead and adopt her. I went out and bought supplies and then went to pick her up on my day off. Before taking her home I needed to go through the formality of a combo test, to be sure there was no risk to Sabrina (my current cat).
Heartbreaking news – Vegan is Feline leukemia virus (FeLV) positive.
Obviously I did not take her home. This is something I had to give a lot of thought. FeLV positive cats are euthanized.
She certainly was not a healthy cat when I found her: fleas, hair loss, mange mites, worms, diarrhea, very underweight and mild URI. Life on the streets was tough but I felt she could make it through all of that. She is very affectionate and crying out for attention and love. Rather than her being euthanized I decided to adopt her, keep her separate from Sabrina, and give her the best life I can until she gets sick and is suffering. There is a chance that she could clear the disease and be completely okay. (I’ll retest her in a few months.)
She came home with me on January 19 2011. I have her comfortably set up in a bathroom and in a large walk-in closet, with two large doors with windows so she can see us and we can see her. She seems very happy in her new home and is doing better each day.
January 19 2012
Today is the one year anniversary of the day I brought Vegan home. She seems to be very healthy and she’s very happy! She loves to play catch ha! She was such a mess – her fur was filthy and full of flea dirt. She was mangy and had hair loss. Now she has the softest fur that you can imagine. She loves to cuddle up by my neck and face when we sleep and we both purr ha!