please help: rescue cat in need of forever home [UPDATE]

by Grace Bonney

Last night I found myself in tears as I stood over a tiny kitten we rescued, trying to decide if we should put her down, according to the veterinarian’s advice. I listened to my heart and to my gut and took her straight back home where I emptied our spare bedroom and made her a temporary home while I got to work finding her a new forever home. I know I don’t typically post things like this, but whether you’re a new or long-time D*S reader, I think most people know that I’m a serious animal-lover. And when it comes to cats in particular, my love and devotion knows no bounds. So today I am putting my heart and soul out here with a humble and heartfelt plea for your help.

Yesterday afternoon I heard frantic mews coming from the yard behind our apartment building. It sounded so high and frequent that I thought it was a bird call at first. But when I stood up to listen more closely I realized it was the very scared and frantic crying of a kitten. I threw on my vest, ran out the door and found the source of the cry in question shivering in front of the retirement home behind our house. Sitting outside (in freezing temperatures) was a severely under-weight kitten mewing for someone to help. I asked around and no one thought she belonged to someone there. She was filthy and, at first glance, appeared to be missing an eye. My heart sank and I called every emergency vet and shelter in the area and no one would/could come get her. Determined to save her, I found a vet that would see her at 4pm and I spent the next two hours working as a team with Aaron to coax her into a cat carrier. After a good hour of leaving chunks of tuna, milk and cat treats out on the sidewalk I got close enough to pick her up and bring her (in the carrier) into our hallway. We both sat with her until the appointment, feeding her bits of food and watching her drink more water than I’ve ever seen a cat drink in my life.

Our spirits were high as the vet said her eye would be ok (turns out it was there, just covered in some gunk) and that she just needed a course of antibiotics. I was already planning how we’d introduce her to the other cats when the vet returned with sad news: she tested positive for FIV. Normally I would have shrugged sadly and taken her home to live with me anyway, but FIV is transmitted through fluids and bites, so my fight-prone cats would definitely be at risk if they tussled with her like they do with each other on a daily basis.

FIV is a commonly misunderstood disease- cats that test positive can live happy, healthy lives for years and years and cannot transmit the disease to humans or other species of animals. They can transmit it only to other cats, and only through very deep bite wounds. So that means they’re best living on their own, with other FIV+ cats or with FIV- cats that are docile and not prone to fighting (sadly that doesn’t describe my cats).

So, it’s with a heavy heart that I ask those of you reading if anyone knows of, or would like to offer, a forever home to this incredibly sweet and happy cat. She is SO happy that the vet had to put her near running water to get her purring to quiet enough for her to listen to her heart. It kills me to even think about not keeping her myself, but I just can’t put my other cats at risk. Here are the details:

  • 3 month old female cat
  • FIV+ (negative for all other diseases) Please read here for info on FIV
  • Needs a loving forever home (she’d be perfect for someone with no pets or calm, docile FIV- cats)
  • I will drive her anywhere in the NYC tri-state area to her new home
  • I will pay all her doctor’s bills up front and for her to be spayed
  • I need to find a home for her ASAP as I’m leaving tomorrow for the Alt Design Summit in SLC
  • I have spent the last 24 hours laying on the floor next to her listening to her purr and feeling her vibrate with happiness. As much as I love my own cats to death, I have never met a cat this sweet, loving or appreciative to be cared for. Any home would be lucky to have her, and I hope someone this will have that home.

    If you would like to offer her a forever home (we’re not looking for a temporary home) please email me at DESIGNSPONGE AT GMAIL DOT COM (subject line: KITTEN) to discuss. As I mentioned before, I will pay all the up-front doctor’s bills to get her healthy and happy again and I already purchased food, litter, toys, a carrier and bed for her- she’s good to go and just in need of a new home.

    If you can’t offer her a home, I would be so appreciative to anyone that can re-post, Tweet or Facebook this to their readers. There has to be someone in the NY, NJ, CT or PA area who needs a loving new friend. Thank you so much for helping me try to find that person. xo, grace, aaron and our little rescue kitten


    Suggested For You


    • FYI as a catowner with a cat that has FIV and two others that don’t you can safely house a cat with FIV as long as the others have been vaccinated against it. All cats should be vaccinated against it anyway if they go outside at all. I’m glad you found the vet a home but dissapointed that the vet didn’t bother to tell you that all you had to do was have your own cats vaccinated against it and it would be safe to take the new stray home.

      • melanie

        i appreciate that you rescued your sweet FIV kitty, but i actually did have a vet talk to me about vaccines and she claimed it’s only 70% effective (if they’re docile and don’t fight, which my cats do) and that it’s not effective against all strains of FIV, which was what i read online when i researched it, too.


    • I’m so happy to hear about her finding a home! Thank you Grave, I love you even more now :-) and all the best to the kitten and the new owners – BIG THANKS for taking her in!

    • I am so teary-eyed and thrilled that this story has such a wonderfully happy ending. Big love to the kitten and her proud parents. They are AwEsOmE!

    • You are a kindred spirit Grace…all animals in need, need people like you to go that extra mile…good on you! They can’t tell us what they are thinking but I bet that pussy cat thanks you a thousand purry times!

    • There is a special place in the universe for people who care about unloved and sick animals. I just rescued a stray cat who is now up to date on all medical but turned out to be FIV positive. He’s so loving and desperately needs a home as well. What you guys did for that cat was wonderful!

    • I’m so glad your kitty found a forever home. I too am in a similar situation. I had a kitty show up here in mid December. She came in and I had a nice little area for her to sleep. My other three kitties seem to be fine with her. I was able to get some help and have her spayed and shots and testing for a smaller fee due to the help of a friend. When she was tested for feline leukemia and FIV. I was soon to find out she was FIV positive. My heart sunk when I got the news. I was very concern for my three other older kitties. I know that they have a vaccine now for the fiv. I’m a little nervous about the whole uncertain of conflicting research on it. I wish I could keeper, but I’m so torn. I will have her retested in 3 months.

      • judy

        please email me if you need any help– FIV is really not a threat to your other cats if they’re all pretty calm. it is mainly spread through bites (blood/saliva). i spoke with professionals at best friends animal rescue and they assured me my other cats would have been totally fine if they weren’t fighters. (my cat IS a fighter so that’s why i couldn’t keep her). please please consider keeping her if you can. your other cats will be totally ok if they aren’t regular aggressive fighters.


    • You are so so so sweet!! We found a sweet little 8 week old abandoned kitten that was under our porch. My husband had to take out 5 porch floor boards to put a live trap so we could rescue it. We took her to the vet right away to see how she was health wise, I’m so happy to report she is very healthy! She has free of cancer, cat aids, FIV, ear mites and fleas. For being abandonded she was astoundingly in good shape. We first said we would keep her and look for a loving forever home for her….turns out we have fallen for her! Our dog loves and and our cat isn’t too happy about her…..but we believe she will come around! We are very happy that Shebadia choose us!! (:

    Leave a Reply

    Design*Sponge reserves the right to restrict comments that do not contribute constructively to the conversation at hand, contain profanity, personal attacks, hate speech or seek to promote a personal or unrelated business. Our goal is to create a safe space where everyone (commenters, subjects of posts and moderators) feels comfortable to speak. Please treat others the way you would like to be treated and be willing to take responsibility for the impact your words may have on others. Disagreement, differences of opinion and heated discussion are welcome, but comments that do not seek to have a mature and constructive dialogue will not be published. We moderate all comments with great care and do not delete any lightly. Please note that our team (writers, moderators and guests) deserve the same right to speak and respond as you do, and your comments may be responded to or disagreed with. These guidelines help us maintain a safe space and work toward our goal of connecting with and learning from each other.