Sunday, September 09, 2012

buddy (formerly known as mr. kitty)

i have been working with buddy for about 5 months now. somehow i felt his former name, "mr. kitty", just didn't fit this guy. although he wears a tux, he is more of a low key, laid back kinda guy. more like a good buddy. hence, he became my buddy boy or buddy.

in the last week, i noticed he was acting like he was trying to hack up a hairball. then he started making a wheezing sound friday evening. i took him to the vet to see if he needed some antibiotics. keep in mind buddy is still feral, so this was an interesting adventure to say the least. we ended up having to sedate him for the exam. while there, i figured i better go ahead and have him tested for heartworms, fiv and felv (hope i got all those abbreviations right). the blood work showed his white cell count was low. vet said his heart and lungs were fine so he was thinking allergies. i thought great! buddy will get a steroid shot and we can go home. when the vet came back in the room he said he could not give him the shot because he tested positive for fiv. he showed me the little test thingie (kinda like a pregnancy test thing). i was really hoping buddy was going to be all negatives on that test. but given his age (vet says around 6 years), living outside and that he had been intact when i rescued him, well, i guess it was nothing more than wishful thinking.

so now buddy cannot be integrated into my cat family. my house is not set up for him to have his own room. i feel bad about having had to keep him in a really large dog crate for this long but now i can't let him out either. i started giving him l-lysine last night. i am hoping this will make him feel better since there is no cure. i don't know how long he has before the virus kicks in and he goes to the bridge. i will have to read up on feline fiv.

i am going to have to figure out what is best for buddy.


  1. I hope you find some answers. I don't know a whole lot about FIV+ cats myself, but it may not be as dire as you think.

  2. We're sorry to hear that Buddy has FIV. We know you will do what is best for him.

  3. Oh, we are so sorry to hear that Buddy has tested positive for FIV. They can actually live long and healthy lives. We hope that is the case for Buddy.

  4. We too are sorry Buddy tested positive and hope he will still have a long, healthy life.

  5. What a handsome boy Buddy is. There is much more information around the management of FIV+ cats these days. The charity Catwork in the UK are particularly good and as scientific knowledge turns around about every 5 years, FIV is no longer considered the death sentence it once was. We took on a stray, Mungo, in February who turned out to be FiV and decided to integrate him with Gerry (and Oliver)both negative. It went well and if the cats get on well, then the only risk of transmission is deep bite wounds. For older cats, even deep bite wounds don't seem to always transmit the virus. You probably know this stuff but thought I'd say it as I was horrified by the response of some vets and nurses in the UK when we took Mungo in, they had 20yr old out of date attitudes to FIV cats - cue some education and now they are supportive.
    Mungo was not feral, so that was one issue less to deal with. If Buddy can tame down a bit, he may well be a socialised cat-loving cat if he is laid back already and fit in well to a multicat household. I hope that can happen for him, he's a lovely boy. Cats can live very long healthy lives with this virus, it is a very weak virus and the biggest thing that sets off a disease crisis is stress. Although Buddy is learning a new life inside, he will have much less stress now he isn't fighting and has been neutered. Good nutrition, peace and quiet and love may see him live to 28! One cat in the UK with FiV lived this long, his name was Jimmy Hendrix. The vet who Mungo sees now says that if you looked at what carried cats off to the The Bridge over 3000 cats (1000 with FiV, 1000 without FiV and 1000 of unknown status) you simply could not tell which cats had FiV and which did not, since it seems that the same diseases and conditions are responsible over the whole population.

    The link for Catwork is

    Barbera Hunt is very helpful and I am sure she would be willing to give advice and guidance if you need it.

    Good luck to you and Buddy, he's so beautiful. Thank you for helping him.

    and.. thank you for your kind words on the loss of our Oliver, it means so much that people care, we miss him very much

    Gerry, Mungo & The Ape

  6. We were just going through blogs in the reader and thought we'd ask how Buddy is these days. We hope he is learning to trust and accept love and affection.