Charlie the cat appeared one day out of the blue. He must've known that our house was cat-friendly and that he wouldn't be lonesome if he hung out around here. Chris said he looked like a Cougar, so we dubbed him Charlie. I don't know where he came from or why he was here, but he was loving, talkitive and very friendly - and hungry. If I see a starving cat, I will help it out. Charlie ate with gusto and stayed.
Now, I don't like kitties outdoors. There are scary things outside like racoons, possoms, other mean cats and cars, so I asked Charlie if he wanted to be an indoor cat. He looked at me with his big head and seemed to say yes, so I made a vet appointment.
I always wish cats could talk so I could find out where they came from, what they had been through and what their life had been like. Charlie was such a sweet, well-mannered cat that someone must've loved him once. Well, we went to the vet and Charlie didn't like being in the cat "suitcase" so I opened the top a bit to reassure him. Charlie climbed right out and into my lap. He looked at me with his big grey eyes and started purring. Charlie liked the car!
By the time we get to the vet, Charlie has gone up a few notches in my book. He's a very special boy! The vet takes a look at Charlie, tells me his fang is broken but that he's about 4 years old. He suggests that we give him some tests for the major cat diseases - Feline Lukemia and Feline HIV. I wait in the waiting room.
The Vet comes and and says bad news - Charlie has tested positive for Feline HIV. I know nothing about feline HIV but I know the human version isn't good. Basicially, he can't have contact with any other cats. HIV is spread through blood, urine and saliva. Indoors with other cats is not the place to be for Charlie.
We have to get another blood test in a month. There is a 30% chance that he's been exposed but will fight it off. But, there's still a 70% chance that he will have HIV until he dies.
So, we have one month to decide what to do. The best scieniero would be to find a loving home for Charlie where he is kept indoors and is the only cat in the house. There's no telling how long he will live - it could be quite a while. The other scieniero is that we put him to sleep so he doesn't infect other cats in the neighborhood.
I'm so glad we have a least a month to work things out. Meanwhile, Charlie is most comfortable on a fuzzy bed on our front porch. He really is a wonderful cat and it just breaks my heart that we may have to make an awful decision. Time will tell, I'm sure. Meanwhile, Charlie is being well loved by us.