Just over three months ago, my beloved Abyssinian Gun-Hee died from FIP. Since we were a home that needed an Aby, I decided to see if there was anything like an Abyssinian rescue out there, so that we could find an Aby that needed a home.
So I went on Petfinder.com, started with my home zip code (in Boston) and went out from there. And I found Angel, a little red Aby girl.
When I saw her photo online, I knew it was destiny. Gun-Hee sent her to me, and he made sure I’d know it.
First off, we took him to Angell Animal Hospital in Boston when he was diagnosed with FIP.
Secondly, the rescue, Purebreds Plus, is headquartered in Vacaville, CA…about 20 miles from the town I grew up in, Davis, CA – where my mother still lives. Which means, despite the fact that we live in Boston, adopting a cat in Northern California would not be not impossible, but would actually be doable.
Finally, I had a good friend pass away in April. Her name was Angela.
So I had to at least try to adopt her. I emailed her foster mom, Karen, and asked if she was available and if it would be possible to adopt her. I could easily fly to California, stay with my mom, and come to get her (the rescue doesn’t ship animals and wants to meet all adoptive parents in person). I told her all about Gun-Hee and how we not only understand the unique Aby personality but enjoy it, sent her the link to his journal, and asked her what she thought. I filled out an adoption application, talked to her on the phone…and on July 15th she sent me an email saying: I wanted you to know that your references are approved and after watching Gun-Hee’s website 2 times and crying my eyes out, I feel that in spite of the travel that Angel would be one lucky kitty to be with you. You are approved to adopt her.
However, due to our travel schedules, the earliest we could arrange the meeting was Columbus Day weekend.
During the course of our correspondence, I learned the following about Angel:
Angel’s birthday is November 2007 (I’ll get the exact date, who her parents are and her history when I pick her up).
She weighs only 7½ lbs.
She eats anything.
Angel is best friends with two fosters that Karen adopted. The three of them are quite the trio. She calls the two girls “wild women.”
Angel likes anyone who will play with her.
She’s had her in the car and she seemed fine.
Angel was raised with small dog so seeing one shouldn’t be a problem. (Such a nice difference from Gun-Hee, who was fearless in the face of anything save canines!)
Angel plays the piano every day. All of a sudden one day Karen heard someone walking on the keys and it’s Angel. So cute. She knows she is making it happen.
She also likes to help type; another email Karen sent me said, “Angel is doing really well. She is typing whil00000000000 I write.” That’s going to be fun when I update this journal!
The story behind Angel’s eye and foster situation is sad; The breeder had a couple of tough years with her mother who was sick and dying and in the midst of this her pregnant females in December of 2006-January 2007 were getting sick. Almost ¾ of the kittens born were dead or died shortly after birth. She had never had this problem before and only when the pet food information came did she begin to put things together as she was feeding some of the recalled foods. When she bred her females (and a couple of the kittens born to them), health problems showed up in the lines – Herpes infections like none seen before with ulcerated eyes and very sick cats. Not being as careful as usual her numbers increased and unhealthy cats increased.
I met the breeder at a cat show in October 2007 and we talked about me taking some of her cats. I knew nothing about the situation. A week before Christmas she called me and we set January 1 as the day I would take 5 of her cats. The very next day she took 4 other cats to the Humane Society and asked that 3 be put down and the other (Angel) be put up for adoption. Two days later the Human Society paid a visit and found a house with over 60 cats, spotlessly clean. She gave up the sickest cats and others totaling 18. The Humane Society called us, and on Friday December 20th, we spent 3 hours there bathing cats/kittens eyes that were horribly stuck together and gave meds. They could only allow us to take the original 4 as there is a 72 hour rule in California. Sunday the 23rd we went back and took the other 16 (2 had died). Then at the breeder’s house we took 5 more cats – a total of 14 kittens and 11 others between 5 months and 14 months. We separated the kittens by illness levels and 9 of the healthiest kittens went to Southern California Aby Rescue. Unfortunately 5 of those died. Of the 5 that we kept, 2 died over the next 3 months, both of FIP. The other 3 were adopted. Of the other Abys 2 of the younger ones died and the others were adopted except Angel, who had many problems over the months finally with an eye ulcerating in April. She has been healthy since.
· Upper Respiratory Infections that finally healed then eyes ulcerated. Some eyes were saved and a couple had the eye removed. This was different than the normal herpes infections that we had seen in rescue where the conjunctiva was swollen and goopy. The eyes ulcerated seemingly overnight and it was a relentless treatment regime that could save then (if it did).
· Bordatella – took 6 weeks of Doxy to go away
· Some of the cats were vaccinated (for FIP). Of the cats that died, they all had vaccines and 3-6 weeks after got sick and then died of FIP. The breeder begged us not to vaccinate because she had the same problem.
· Ringworm – Over the 7 months we have taken 35 cats and have about 10 more coming. The ones we have seen since April have not been as ill and that is what we expect of the remaining 10.
Gun-Hee (and my Siamese, Harri, before him) had Feline Herpes Virus, and I am familiar with how to deal with it. I also have a good supply of powdered L-Lysine left over that I bought for Gun-Hee; he didn’t like the taste of it mixed in food and wouldn’t eat it. I’m hoping Angel isn’t as finicky. It’s also very likely that she’s been exposed to the coronavirus that causes FIP so I won’t have to worry about going through that again. As Karen said, Since Angel has been around all these cats, I would think she was exposed and didn’t get it. Since it is a mutation there is usually a precipitating event and she has sure had enough of those. I watched her very carefully after she was spayed. She was also stressed when I first put her out with my cats and now fine – just the normal stuff once in a while.
Angel’s actually already had more health issues than our two girls, Tessie (5) and Kylie (3) have had in both their entire lives! Angel is quite the little survivor!
And her monocular vision doesn’t seem to bother her at all. As Karen told me, “Angel is an amazing cat. When her eye was first removed she did bump into a couple of things but now she just zooms around, completely unaware that she is a bit different than other cats. When I had her at the vet on Saturday, the vet said it never ceases to amaze her how well cats adjust to whatever handicap they have.”
So, next week, next Friday, Oct. 10th, my friend Tap and I will go and meet Karen and Angel in person. I can hardly wait!