For my first six months at the CASPCA, I was so frightened and untrusting that I wouldn’t let anyone touch me. I was in a lot of pain due to bite wounds and dental injuries from my time as a wild tomcat. The clinic staff gave me wet food to make it easier for me to eat, but I was so feral that they weren’t sure if they could treat me.
I guess I ended up being a stereotypical man because the way to my heart was through my stomach — I really liked treats. I hadn’t had much exposure to humans in my life, but once I realized that these creatures were handing out kibble, I started to warm up.
They were able to pull out my bad tooth and clear me for adoption. They also discovered that I’m FIV positive. Here’s the thing about FIV — it’s a “slow virus” that breaks down the immune system. It can’t be spread to humans or anything other than cats, and even then, it can only be spread through deep bites, which is why it is more common among free-roaming cats. Cats who have FIV like me might not even show symptoms for years, and we can have a great quality of life as long as we receive the same care that any other cat deserves: a safe environment, a balanced diet and regular vet visits.
I was moved to the Scratching Post, which is a special room where the FIV cats live at the CASPCA. We get to hang out together in the open space 24/7 and have toys, climbing trees and a flat-screen TV that plays bird videos. I really liked being around a group of cats — it’s what I was used to — and started to feel more comfortable.
Some of our patient volunteer cat socializers would introduce themselves to me, and over nearly two years, with lots of work and plenty of treats, I transformed from the cat that no one could touch into the cat that wants to rub on everyone. I’ve been here longer than any other cat, and I’m more ready than ever to be with a family. It is my Christmas wish that this will finally be the year I get a home.
“When you think about how it took six months for us to even touch him, I think Taylor has come further than almost any cat we’ve seen at the shelter.” — Tim Fredrikson, Experienced Cat Volunteer
This holiday season, please think of the thousands of animals we have saved and the thousands more we have yet to save.