Imagine what an outdoor cat suffers. Outside in the elements, crawling into window wells and under garbage bins for a little shelter, never able to find enough food, always in danger from predators, including the biggest one, automobiles. Clint was probably born outside, or dumped as one of a litter of unwanted kittens. His grim daily struggle had one silver lining: his ace in the hole, his secret weapon, his sister Darcy.
Together they were able to eke out an existence and because of their devotion to each other they developed into gentle and affectionate cats. It fell to Clint mostly, as the male, to defend what little territory they had from the encroachment of other desperate outdoor cats. He fought because his biology compelled him to, and because to give up even one small piece of their precarious existence could mean death. Clint paid the price - a deep bite from another cat left him FIV positive. Females fight less often, as do neutered males, and thankfully Darcy is negative. Now rescued from a backyard, spayed and neutered and living in a foster home, this brother and sister for the first time have peace.
Against all odds they hold no grudge with humans and are friendly and affectionate with their foster family, both of them sweet-tempered and calm. We learned without surprise they are bonded; to separate them is unthinkable. Clint’s FIV+ status should not be a barrier to adoption. Feline immunodeficiency (FIV) has similarities to HIV in humans; it affects the immune system, compromising the body’s ability to fight off infection and cancer. But like HIV-infected humans, cats with FIV usually live many years with no sign of disease. Indoor cats, protected from parasites, fleas, ticks, scratches and bites, and the myriad of dangers that exist out of doors, are living longer and healthier lives. With proper diet and veterinary care, many FIV+ cats can, in fact, live to their full life expectancy. FIV cannot be transmitted to humans (or pet dogs, for that matter). It can be transmitted to another cat in the home only by deep bites, not by licking, grooming or shared water bowls.
Cats that are not aggressive with each other are very unlikely to pass the virus. A minority of FIV+ cats become chronically ill (unlike humans with HIV, the majority of whom - if untreated - will progress to AIDS). Superimposed infections can still be treated, as in any infection, but an overwhelmed immune system can eventually succumb to the onslaught. The alert owner of a FIV+ cat monitors its appearance and behaviour for signs of illness, and works cooperatively and proactively with the vet to optimize its health. Clint and Darcy are finally safe. They are looking for a forever home together, where they can sunbathe in the window grateful they are off the streets and out of danger. They know they are rescued, and they give back abundantly in cuddles and affection. This lovely bonded pair are waiting for you to take them home.