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FIV Success Stories: Lisa

FIV Success Stories: Lisa

Who rescued whom?

Who rescued whom?
Written by Rosalen Moran

I met little Lisa while volunteering at Brigid’s Crossing. I walked in, and this new little kitty came running to greet me. She immediately reached her paws up my leg, as if to say, “Please pick me up!” She relaxed into my arms as if she’d known me for years, and showered me with hugs, nose nuzzles and purrs.

Little Lisa
Cindy McCue with Lisa

This was definitely the most trusting and loving cat I had ever encountered. I recall asking the caregivers, “Who is this amazing cat?!” Surely someone would adopt this little ball of love in a heartbeat! But unfortunately, I was informed that Lisa was considered special-needs due to her FIV+ status. With so many people uneducated about FIV and the myths and misconceptions surrounding the disease, the chances of her being adopted were slim.

Little Lisa
Cindy McCue with Lisa

Over the month that followed, my husband and I spent a lot of time with little Lisa, and we saw her gradually slipping into depression. Her appetite decreased, which led to weight loss, and she was becoming a little more withdrawn all the time. She no longer greeted us at the door, and I could see the happiness in her eyes slowly fading away. I had to do something to help her.

I expressed my concerns to Heather (Director of Care) and she agreed that Lisa could not thrive in that environment; sharing the attention, food and space with the many other cats at the sanctuary. But I could not adopt her—I already have 4 kitties of my own who require lots of time and attention, and my alpha-male Zachary does not take very kindly to new cats.

After several nights lying awake in bed, worrying about little Lisa, I decided the least I could do is offer to bring her home with me a couple nights a week. I could take her in our guest room and sleep with her so she could get that little bit of extra love and attention that she so desperately needed.

Well, a couple nights a week soon turned into full-time fostering. Our guest room became “Lisa’s room” and we started to see that sparkle returning to her eyes. Her appetite improved, she was greeting us at the door again, and she even started playing, which I had never seen her do before.

Little Lisa

I kept telling my mom, “You have to meet this cat! She’s amazing!” We had planned to meet for dinner at Panera Bread, so I decided to bring little Lisa along. We got a table outside, and little Lisa just sat politely in her carrier, enjoying taking in all the new sights and smells. My mom couldn’t believe that this adorable little cat was sitting so calmly and quietly, simply enjoying our company. She even mentioned that if she didn’t already have a cat at home, she would gladly adopt Lisa.

Little did we know that only a few short weeks later, my mom’s beloved 16 year old Siamese, Miss Kitty, would become very ill and unfortunately pass away soon after. As hard as it was for our family to lose Miss Kitty, I am a true believer that there is a divine plan—and now I know that Lisa was a part of that plan.

Losing Miss Kitty was very difficult for my mom and her husband. They were understandably very sad, and the silence in the house was torture. I decided to bring little Lisa over to cheer them up. If anyone could brighten their day, it would be her! And boy, did she ever! I was amazed at what I saw. Suddenly she came to life like I had never seen before! She was running and playing and prancing about with an energy that I didn’t know existed. And when she finally got tired, she settled in on my mom’s bed, stretched out and fell right to sleep. She was completely content there; she was “at home”. I knew this was meant to be.

Little Lisa

Little Lisa

Over the next few days, my mom and her husband spent a lot of time with Lisa, and they completely fell in love with her. She made them so happy—and them her. Obviously adoption was the next step.

I explained to my mom that Lisa was FIV+. She was a little concerned at first, as she didn’t know much about it and had only heard negative feedback about it from a previous vet. But I explained to her that FIV is simply an auto-immune disease, so although her immune system is a little weaker than a cat without FIV, she can still live a long, active, and healthy life.

Many cats live long, full lives without their owners ever even knowing that they have FIV. Yet, cats who test positive are often discriminated against, and sadly many are euthanized for that reason alone. It breaks my heart to think of how many wonderful cats like Lisa are labeled “un-adoptable” and ultimately put to death, simply for having an immune deficiency. Lisa is absolutely one of the most ADOPTABLE cats I have ever met—FIV+ or not!

Little Lisa
Lisa with her new human, Cindy McCue

This was definitely something that my mom could understand. Having an auto-immune disease herself, she too has faced certain discrimination because of her disease. Having this in common with Lisa seemed to only make my mom love her all the more.

There was no doubt in her mind that little Lisa belonged with her.

Little Lisa started out in a cold, lonely cage at a kill shelter, labeled un-adoptable. Now she has her own home on Marco Island with a big, warm bed and a family who loves and adores her. She has brought so much joy and laughter to our family. We needed her as much as she needed us. So I have to say it: “Who rescued whom?”

Many thanks to Brigid’s Crossing for giving Lisa a second chance at life!

December 2012
Rosalen Moran & Family
We get calls every day from people who want us to take FIV positive kitties because they don't understand it. We always try to educate them but it is a rare day that anyone decides to keep them.

A very special thank you to Rosalen and her family for sharing their story of love and "mutual rescue".

For more info on FIV and to meet a few of our FIV+ cats, please visit our Sponsor a Cat page.

In love and light,
Brigid's Crossing Foundation

Brigid's Crossing Foundation
PO Box 366955
Bonita Springs, FL 34136
Ph (239) 591-8425

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