My time at the cat pens is still with me, so many memories of dear feline souls.
One deserves a special mention, and he is Fudge, a creamy ginger boy with glowing green eyes, innate wisdom within.
A gentle placid soul, he enjoyed his time getting his turn in the outer corridor of the cat shelter. However it soon became apparent that his head was tilting to one side, so off to the vet he went and a tumour was found in his throat. The vet we used operated and gave much care for the next few days, but poor Fudge died.
Before he was operated on, I got an email from the shelter supervisor with an update. This advised us that Fudge would be tested for feline diseases FIV+ (Feline AIDS) and FeLV (Feline Leukaemia Virus) as part of a pre-operative check. If positive for either he would be put to sleep with no operation. Although I had not had a cat for many years, and had no intention of getting another one after my previous beautiful black cat died very suddenly from fluid in her lungs, the minute I heard this I knew that I had to offer him a home if he was indeed FIV+.
This is because my black cat was an FIV+ cat, who had been found as a stray and rehomed as an indoor cat to me to prevent spread of the disease. I believe that FIV cats should be given a second chance, as, unlike the more aggressive FeLV virus, FIV is harder to spread, usually in blood from cat bites seen in fighting. It is likely that there will always be a small percentage of the cat population with this virus, so technically any cat with outdoor access has a low risk of encountering an FIV cat, therefore it seems unfair just to euthanise the ones who have had the misfortune to be rescued by an animal charity which tests for FIV and FeLV.
I am writing a childrens novel with my old cat as the central character – a celebration of her life, and the short time we enjoyed together.
Thanks to Fudge for opening my heart, I gave a home to the next cat to come to his pen. She has brought me much happiness and I am so lucky to have such a lovely cat.
I am giving myself a goal to finish my childrens novel by end of September, when I will find a competition to enter it in to.
Fudge was a beautiful soul. May he rest in peace.
I look forward to reading your childrens novel !!
The idea for it came to me in 2008 at an advanced creative writing class – about time I got it all down!!