photos tagged with #gulliver

Posted: 1609.2 hours ago
This is Gulliver. Oh my sweet, precious Gulliver. What can I say about this boy that actually represents everything I feel? To start - Gulliver is not my cat (My cat is a lady named Fred who you will be seeing many photos of as soon as I get home) but he is one of my absolute favourite cats from my time working in shelter. Gulliver came into the shelter at a similar time to me, in September of 2017. This boy.. this poor, sweet boy. He is the entire reason I am so fucking intense on spaying/neutering your cats and people watching cat colonies. Because Gulliver’s story is heartbreaking. He was being fed by a number of people in a local neighborhood for a few years, but never expressed any interest in going inside. This is pretty damn typical for cats who are feral. They’re usually cats who have missed the key socialization period and are not used to humans. Humans scare them, much like you running into a bear might scare you. Which, I mean, is totally fair. Gulliver was also not eartipped, meaning I don’t believe he was neutered. Eartipping, for those who don’t know, is when you see cats with the upper tip of a cats ear while they are under anesthesia, usually for spaying/neutering. It is completely harmless to the cat, but allows humans to be able to identify if that feral has been spayed/neutered. Gulliver was not. One of the people that was feeding him came out one day in February of 2017 to find that Gulliver had been frozen to the ground. In an attempt to escape, he had ripped himself up, literally ripping his fur out in the process. He was sick, injured and needed help desperately. Thank all the gods, he got help. Gulliver was in foster from February until September, recovering from his injuries. He could not be released back out because of another detail - Gulliver is FIV+. Feline Immunodeficiency Virus is one of two retroviruses you’ll hear talked about a lot (the other being FPV, which I have less experience with). FIV can most simply be described as HIV but less severe and exclusively in cats. But that really isn’t… all that accurate. FIV does decrease their immune abilities, making them more susceptible to illness. But it does not have the high death rate HIV in humans did originally, nor is it sexuall transmitted. Instead, it is transmitted through deep bites between cats. That’s important. It cannot be transmitted to other animals or humans. FIV+ cats can live full, content, fantastic lives but often in order to reduce the possibility of it spreading, FIV+ cats are suggested to be kept inside. Assuming the cats aren’t super intent on fighting, they can be completely happy in homes with FIV- cats (Cole and Marmalade on Instagram and Youtube, for example). My shelter doesn’t personally adopt out FIV+ cats to homes with FIV- cats, or with FIV- cats in general, but that’s our own policy. But because they need to be kept inside, FIV+ ferals have to stay… inside. Which with ferals, is not recommended. See, trapping, neutering and returning is the best thing for feral cats. They are terrified of humans and it takes months, even years of effort to get them socialized. Those are years they’re going to spend terrified, in a place they do not want to be. So it’s usually better to return them to their colonies without the ability to reproduce. But Gulliver couldn’t be returned. So he came into the shelter. Gulliver had already been in a home for six months, so he wasn’t violent with us. But he was terrified of us. I can remember, on my first shift there, he hid under a chair in his kennel from the moment we came in to the moment he left. He did not move an inch. He was terrified, and it was so, so clear. But oh, was this boy special. I don’t know what it is about him, but everyone just… loves him. I think it’s because he looks kind of like a miserable old man at all times. He’s not traditionally cute, but he’s got a certain charm. So Gulliver ended up moving to one of our more central kennels in the next few months, once we were over the kitten season rush and had more space. And this boy started to bloom. It wasn’t an immediate shift. He didn’t go from hiding to friendly in a day. It was slow, slow progress. He went from hiding, to sitting at the top of a cat tree and watching us. Then he started eating while we were on shift. And then when we were in the kennel. And then he started getting used to being pet. I can remember the first time I pet him. It was the sweetest damn thing ever. In about four months, he went from terrified to moderately accepting of humans. He wasn’t a lap cat by any definition, but he would meow at us when it was time for dinner and after dinner, he would enjoy some slow attention. But this boy could not get a break. Because we found out he had a heart murmur. I can’t remember the exact reason, but I do remember it was somewhere from a 3 to a 4 on the usual scale (which is from 1 to 6). So decently severe. He was predicted to be able to live fine, but it made adopting him out a hell of a lot more complicated. A cat who would need biannual vet appointments and specialized care to check his heart minimum who was not a lapcat and might hiss on occasion. Not super interesting for adopters. But we do not give up and we do not let down our animals. My shelter is no-kill, meaning the only reason we look to euthanization is if it is the most humane solution for an animal suffering for reasons that cannot be cured. So Gulliver was to stay with us until he found a home. Oh, and he had to get most of his teeth pulled. Which was… an adventure. If you’ve ever seen a cat with like… two teeth left attempt to look scary, it’s equal parts hilarious and sad. He then developed abscesses in his mouth, and was in even more pain. This cat was a hot mess and we loved him for it. He was not the most friendly, but he was a sweetheart if you got to know him. And I am so, so happy to say that in February of 2018, Gulliver was adopted. One year after he was taken in, he found a home to love him as much as we did. Gulliver is my favourite story to tell. He’s basically almost every single trait that makes cats unadoptable. Scared? check. FIV? check. Complicated medical issues? check. If he’d been part of a bonded pair and an older cat, he would’ve been the complete package. but he’s also a demonstration to what hard work, effort, and love can do. We never gave up on Gulliver. And he found a home because of that. I love Gulliver with all of my being and he is one of the most special little creatures I’ve ever met.
#Gulliver #shelter cats 2018 #adopted #my sweet boy #collectors thoughts
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