Bowser first came into our care in the beginning of July 2022 via the
inspectors. He was incredibly dirty, he smelt and the very large abscess on
his neck really did need a clean. Bowser did not make this process easy to
start with – he was not a fan of humans, and he didn’t trust anyone
whatsoever. He was a street cat – and humans weren’t friends. It really did
take a bit of time to gain that trust, but after many scratches and hisses
later, he slowly allowed Eileen at the cattery to go into his pen to feed him –
but no, stroking remained on the cards.
All our animals are given an initial health check when animals come into care,
to ensure that they are in good health, to get them vaccinated, microchipped
and booked in for neutering – and given Bowser’s nasty wound, he needed this
looked at also. On getting to the vets, they were warned about Bowser’s feisty
behaviour – but to be fair to him, Bowser always gave you notice! The
the veterinary surgeon and nurse were cautious at first, until he started singing.
Bowser started singing to the vets and allowed them to touch him and move
him! While he was there, he was given a check up, he was treated for fleas and
worms, and as per every cat who comes into care through channels where we
do not know their history, he was tested for FIV. Bowser tested positive.
FIV stands for Feline Immunodeficiency Virus. It is a virus which is most
common in unneutered males, particularly those who have been left to roam
the streets. FIV can also be passed on to other cats via bodily fluids and biting,
again, which is extremely common in unneutered males who fight. When a cat
has FIV, they are unable to live in a home with another cat as there is a risk –
albeit a small risk – that they would pass the virus on to the non-FIV cat. An
A FIV positive cat is also required to stay inside for the same reason. FIV isn’t a
pleasant virus at all for the cats. It can make them very ill, lose weight and
cause them to have seizures. The behaviour of the cat may also change.
Needless to say, Bowser’s test results were something that hit hard.
However, just because a cat has FIV, it doesn’t mean they can’t live a happy life.
Since Bowser came back from the visit, something changed. Bowser started to
mellow, and took a liking to toys – which he doesn’t stop playing with! He
loves his toys, and will parade them around his pen very proudly. He is also
warming up to the sta at Iris too – allowing cuddles, and hand-feeding – as
as long as he is in the mood (like any cat, really!)
Bowser’s abscess continues to heal – his unwillingness to leave it alone has
made his recovery a little slower than intended, and given the location of his
abscess, we are unable to give him a fancy cone to protect it. But this is by no
means a bad thing in so many ways. Firstly, Bowser has been given the
treatment he needs and the time he has needed. It has also meant that
Bowser has been socialised, and worked with by cattery sta, and his
personality has really started to shine.
With many months of waiting, Bowser’s abscess finally healed and his behavior
drastically changed. He turned into the lap cat we never thought we would see
and managed to find himself his forever home. He was such a cuddly boy at the
very end and just thinking about the changes he made in himself from when he
first arrived with us to his last day, is truly wonderful.