by Alisia Sanchez & Juan Guitron
Edwina (Animal ID: 25792) is a petite six-year-old cutie who was brought to Valley Animal Center by a local animal advocate last year in June. Edwina was malnourished, and her patchy fur was a result of ringworm. With the appropriate care and treatment, Edwina gained weight and her fur grew back. She is now available for adoption but is having a difficult time finding a furever home. Edwina has tested positive for Feline Immunodeficiency Virus.
“[FIV] is an immunosuppressive disease that is spread through bite wounds from an infected cat,” Valley Animal Center Veterinarian Dr. Amy Bell said. “FIV attacks the cat’s immune system, so this makes these cats much more susceptible to illness from normally harmless bacteria, viruses, or fungi that healthy cats would not be affected by.”
There are many misconceptions about FIV. Often compared to HIV, FIV is viewed in a negative light. As a result, many cats who are FIV-positive struggle to find homes.
“With Edwina being FIV-positive,” Minah Camacho, one of Valley Animal Center’s cat care associates, said, “it really isn’t as concerning as most people might take it. She will need regular vet check-ups, and we aim to keep our FIV-positive adoptables in homes that will have them indoor only and only housed with other FIV-positive cats. We do this to avoid our FIV-positive adoptables from going outside and getting sick or even spreading the virus to other cats in the neighborhood if they were to fight.”
“When an FIV-positive cat becomes sick,” Dr. Bell said, “they will usually need more intensive care and/or longer course medications. There is currently no cure for FIV, but if well managed, many FIV-positive cats can live relatively normal lives.”
Even with her diagnosis, Edwina is a very sweet, lazy but quirky cat.
“Her favorite pastime is sleeping but once in a while, you’ll catch her cuddling up with a catnip-infused toy,” another Valley Animal Center cat care associate, Susie Angel, said. “Very rarely does she get the zoomies but when she does, it only lasts a few seconds before she’s curled up in the same spot sleeping.”
In March, Edwina will turn seven years old. At this age, she is considered a senior, which also makes it difficult for her to find a home; many individuals are interested in adopting kittens.
“Edwina can be considered a senior,” Camacho said, “but she loves to play and still has quite the energy when it’s playtime.”
Camacho also adds that Edwina is great with kids of all ages who are gentle with her. Although she has not been near dogs under Valley Animal Center’s care, she can be housed with a dog, but it is recommended she be properly and slowly introduced to them.
Edwina’s adoption fee is $100 and includes spay, up to date on vaccines, and microchip ID. Those interested in meeting her, may visit Valley Animal Center at 3934 N. Hayston Ave. in Fresno. The cat adoption center is open Wednesday through Friday from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. and on weekends from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
For those unable to adopt but are interested in sponsoring Edwina, they may head to valleyanimal.org/sponsor to complete the online form. To make a general donation, please visit Valley Animal Center at valleyanimal.org/donate-now.
Check out more animal rescue stories in our Pet Perspective section & watch for more stories from Valley Animal Center every other month, and we would love to have you join our KRL Pets Facebook group.