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February 24, 2005

UNCLE JOE

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One night last winter a call came in from Stan, a caregiver to a feral colony of 10 cats in his backyard. It was a colony we were very familiar with, having worked for over a year trapping feral adults, getting them spayed or neutered and returning them to Stan’s care. We had also removed and socialized many kittens - having kittens was once a favorite pastime at Stan’s place – there was even a female with the well-earned name of “Fertile Myrtle”.

Stan said a new cat had shown up a few months before, a young, handsome tomcat he christened Uncle Joe. Stan had seen the cat limping a little, but now he was dragging a hind leg and not eating well.

The weather forecast predicted a snowstorm, and in fact, it had already started snowing – it was best, it seemed, to pack up a trap and just go get the injured cat.

Once at the vet’s, Uncle Joe was sedated while still in the trap - they found a hole the diameter of a nickel going completely through his foot – the wound was flushed out, he was neutered and eartipped, and then I got to take him home for a week of antibiotics before his release back into Stan’s yard.

Three days into his recovery, Uncle Joe stepped up to the front of his cage, placed his front paws squarely on my shoulders, and gave me a nice, slow blink.

Just like that, Uncle Joe became the newest member of the Friends of Felines foster program, and quickly became one of my favorites. He was adopted by Susan a short time later – and here’s how life turned out for this once homeless cat -

MY NEW FAMILY MEMBER ~ UNCLE JOE:

It was a happy coincidence when my co-worker saw a sign about cat adoptions at a pet store near my office. She knew that I was looking to adopt another cat since my previous pet had died a couple of months before. So I drove over after work – just to look – and met my future adopted Uncle Joe.

I was looking for a cat that would like being an ‘only child’ with no competition for attention or food. Janine’s description of Uncle Joe as a ‘goofball’ immediately caught my interest, as my pets have always been a little quirky. So the choice was made.

After a period of several days spent under my bed, Uncle Joe ventured out and has exponentially become an integral part of my life. I come home after work and he greets me at the door. We watch TV on the couch together; he curls up against my leg, throws the occasional glance in my direction and lets out a quiet ‘meow’ with a slow blink of his eyes. This is one of the surprises, he is incredibly vocal now. Initially silent, he is continually meowing and chirping at me. A total character, Uncle Joe’s favorite past-times include stalking me and jumping out unexpectedly, like the Kato character in the Peter Sellers’ pink panther movies.

He has an alter-ego (which I have named Fang) who races around the apartment, skewing rugs and furniture. Usually at about 3 in the morning.

Uncle Joe continues to introduce himself to me. I can only wait for what the future brings.

Posted by Becky at 05:45 PM

Facts about FiV

A cat who is FiV positive can live a long and healthy life. They can also live with other cats who are FiV negative. FiV stands for Feline Immunodeficiency Virus.

The Best Friends Animal Sanctuary has a number of good articles on FiV. Click FiV Info (http://www.bestfriends.org/theanimals/petcare/cats_fiv.cfm) for more information. Or go to their website at www.bestfriends.org (http://www.bestfriends.org)

Also, the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine's website has a frequently asked questions article. Click on Cornell Feline Health Center (http://www.vet.cornell.edu/fhc/resources/brochure/fiv.html) to get more information.

Posted by Becky at 05:14 PM

Toxoplasmosis

There are two high-risk groups for this disease: pregnant women and immuno-deficient individuals. However, this does not mean that people in these high-risk groups cannot keep their cats. They need to take special care in certain every-day activites, including some activities related to cat care.

The American Veterinary Medical Association has a brochure on Toxoplasmosis. Please click here. Or go to their website at http://www.avma.org/

Posted by Becky at 05:13 PM

FeLV - Feline Leukemia Virus

For a very informative compilation of facts relating to FeLV, please visit the Feline Leukemia Virus FAQ from Cornell University at www.vet.cornell.edu/fhc/resources/brochure/felv.html

Posted by Becky at 05:11 PM

Toxoplasmosis

The American Veterinary Medical Association has just printed a brochure on Toxoplasmosis. Please click on AVMA (http://www.avma.org/communications/brochures/toxoplasmosis/toxoplasmosis_faq.asp) for more information. Or go to their website at http://www.avma.org/

Posted by Becky at 04:11 PM

Feline Immunodeficiency Virus

The Best Friends Animal Sanctuary has a number of good articles on FiV. Click FiV Info (http://www.bestfriends.org/theanimals/petcare/cats_fiv.cfm) for more information. Or go to their website at www.bestfriends.org (http://www.bestfriends.org)

Also, the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine's website has a frequently asked questions article. Click on Cornell Feline Health Center (http://www.vet.cornell.edu/fhc/resources/brochure/fiv.html) to get more information.

Posted by Becky at 03:42 PM