When Peggy Atkerson of Barn Cats arrived at an Allen, Texas barn a few weeks ago she was expecting to leave three un-adoptable feral cats with their new caretaker and return home with one very adoptable friendly cat named Donny. Donny had apparently been dumped a few weeks earlier, and having been an indoor cat, didn’t have the instincts necessary to survive long in a rural setting.
But Peggy’s plans soon changed. Upon arriving, she was told that a new cat had appeared at the barn just that morning – a friendly, out-going tom cat with a badly injured eye in dire need of medical attention. So Peggy got the feral cats set up in their temporary accommodations, then picked the new guy up along with Donny and took them both to the vet.
Sadly, Tommy, as he is now known, had been shot in eye. His friendliness and outgoing personality had apparently allowed him to get close – a little too close – to someone with a callous disregard for life, and a BB gun. The vet was forced to remove the badly damaged eye and stitch it closed, but not before finding five round metal pellets behind Tommy’s eye socket.
Now weeks later, the three feral cats are adjusting very well to their new surroundings. Donny got a clean bill of health and will be available for adoption at the SPCA of Texas. And Tommy continues to recover in a Barn Cats foster home. Subsequent check-ups have revealed his eye is healing as expected, although it will take some time to heal completely.
But Tommy has a second disability that has so far prevented him from finding his forever home. Tommy has FIV. Feline Immunodeficiency Virus is a retrovirus, not unlike human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). FIV is not transmissible to dogs or humans, though. It attacks the immune system, making FIV+ cats more susceptible to diseases and stomatitis. Even so, many well-cared-for FIV+ cats can live long and relatively normal lives.
So Tommy needs a stress-free, indoor home, preferably where there are no other cats or there are other already positive cats. He is only about 2 years old, happy and very playful, and the loss of the eye is having no effect on him at all. He’s a big boy, but neat and well-mannered. He’s “ultra-sweet” according to Peggy, “good-natured, loves to be with people, and gets along well with other cats.” He’s neutered, vaccinated and ready for a loving home to call his own.
Could you be the perfect family for Tommy? If so, you can contact Barn Cats via their website or email [email protected] For more information on FIV, visit the Cornell University Veterinary College website or consult your veterinarian.
How you can help: Barn Cats spent more than $800 to help Tommy. Find out more about this non-profit organization and how you can donate on their website.
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