A purrfect match: FIV positive cat and widow find joy and healing together

A purrfect match: FIV positive cat and widow find joy and healing together

Fred’s story is one of joy and mutual healing. No one could have anticipated the instant bond between a loveable orange FIV-positive tabby and a cat-loving widow. But this unlikely duo were clearly meant to be together! 

A rough start 

Fred arrived at the Ontario SPCA Lennox & Addington Animal Centre mid-December 2022, with bite wounds on his body. The care team estimated he was about three years old.  

“Fred came in looking like he’d been roughed up a little bit. So we tested him and discovered he was FIV positive,” says Kristy White, Manager of the Lennox & Addington Animal Centre. 

Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), is usually transferred from cats through deep puncture wounds. In addition to having a weakened immune system, White says Fred also had an abscess on his leg that required treatment, and gum disease – a common complication of FIV. Although having the virus doesn’t preclude a full and happy life, a diagnosis can mean a longer time waiting for adoption. But Fred never let that get him down! 

“Fred was the sweetest. He had quite a crackly meow; he sounded like a little grandpa,” says White. “He was super friendly and happy.” 

A kind donor generously paid for Fred’s adotion fee through the Ontario SPCA’s Adopt-it-Forward program to help him find the right home sooner. Even with that helping paw, the animal care team was prepared for a long journey ahead, as FIV positive cats are often overlooked by potential adopters.   Maybe it was fate that brought  Stefanie to the animal centrejust a few weeks after Fred arrived..  

New beginnings 

A year after Stefanie said goodbye to both her husband and her adored cat, only two weeks apart, she says she decided it was time to bring another cat into her life. 

“My approach has always been to have the shelter staff pick out a cat that is unlikely to be adopted. That’s the one I take home, and this time was no different,” Stefanie says. 

She was open to adopting any cat under one condition – if she adopted a male cat she would name him “Fred.”  

“Freddie Bodek was a dear friend of my father, Stefan,” says Stephanie. “They designed and built a tailless glider together in the 50s. My brother and I adored Freddie, and he loved children. He drove cool cars, including a Citroen, and of course, he gave us rides. My partner, George Knight, who loved cats and passed away two years ago, had Alfred for a middle name, so my cat’s name is a tribute to two wonderful and unique characters. Aptly so, since Freddie the cat is a unique character!” 

After being shown into the adoption room and introduced to the cats Stefanie was shown a big orange cat, who just so happened to have the name “Fred” written on his kennel. She says she knew it was fate. 

It was a bittersweet goodbye for the animal care team, who had fallen in love with Fred in his short time with them.  

“It was kind of a meant-to-be situation when Stefanie came in, and we were more than happy to get Fred into his forever home,” says White.  

A happy ending for Fred 

With his voracious appetite, chatty attitude, endless purrs, and entertaining habits, Stefanie says Fred has brought a lot of joy and comfort into her life. Stefanie says she’s built a small deck enclosure and a screened tunnel that will eventually lead to a catio she’s having built so Fred can enjoy the outdoors safely. 

“I can think of nothing more blissful and healing than curling up with a book and a purring cat with velvety paws and face. I truly believe we were meant for each other,” she says.  

There are many animals like Fred across the province waiting for their forever homes. Visit our website to view animals waiting adoption.  

The post A purrfect match: FIV positive cat and widow find joy and healing together appeared first on Ontario SPCA and Humane Society.

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