If you’ve been following me on Facebook, as you know, I have been praying fervently and calling and emailing pet rescue places and shelters since I brought Phil the male stray cat inside our house one night when I saw him walking/running on 3 legs.
I made an appointment with the vet and she said his leg/paw wasn’t broken. At the follow-up appointment the next week, his leg/paw seemed okay. They also tested Phil’s stool sample for parasites and worms (negative). They tested him for FIL (the fatal cat virus) and FLV (cat leukemia). Both are fatal diseases, but FLV is worse.
He tested negative for the leukemia, but positive for FIV. I cried for hours that night. My husband Ray had to pray a couple of times for me. I was so upset, as I know cats with FIV can have health issues and even die. I didn’t want anything bad to happen to Phil!
Many cats with FIV live long, happy lives, but I didn’t want him to ever become unhealthy or the health risk to my cats Natalya and Silas, to possibly get it from Phil.
There’s a lot of misunderstandings and fears about FIV. As a result, many people think it’s an instant “death sentence” for the cat and many become unadoptable. So sad!
While FIV can’t be transmitted through casual contact (cats sharing food and water bowls, using the same litter box, or being in close proximity), a FIV+ cat can give it to another if they fight and cause deep wounds. I did NOT want my cats Natalya or Silas to fight with Phil and become infected with it, as they tested negative for it.
I believe Silas and Phil would have fought like this, as Silas is so territorial and can be aggressive occasionally, despite being neutered! You’d never know it in the picture below in the sunroom, with Silas looking afraid of Natalya, LOL!
I adopted Natalya, my beautiful, black female cat with green eyes, several Christmases ago. She is the Queen of Sheba in our household and as Ray says, “spoiled rotten.” I love her very much and vice versa. I call her my little black panther.
She follows me everywhere I go in the house and sleeps with me most of the time. I’m also quite attached to Silas (who thinks he is the king!).
I also have been feeding several stray cats outside our house since summer 2023. Yes, I love cats. I always have since I was a child, and have had numerous different cats throughout my life. (Does this make me a “crazy cat lady”? LOL!)
Silas, a male non-neutered cat, was one of the stray cats, which I brought inside after he had been MIA for a week. Our daughter Leah thought it was funny that I just grabbed him one day and brought him inside our downstairs bathroom. In retrospect, this was probably NOT a wise idea…he could have seriously bitten me, had diseases, etc.! (I would normally NOT advise doing what I did!)
But I don’t regret it. I love him, and while he still can be aggressive occasionally toward me and Natalya even after being neutered, he does amuse me at other times! I call him my little tiger (his coloring is different than a tiger’s, though). He seems content and even happy to be here now.
And why not? He gets free food and water, a warm house, carpet and soft comforters on beds to lay and sleep on, a cat tree, a scratching post, and love! He’s gained a LOT of weight since I brought him in! Ray and Leah call him “fat.” I may have to put him on a diet as he loves to eat! (No, he doesn’t have parasite or worms, which can make cats feel hungry all the time. He was tested for those and they were negative.)
Silas was a handsome tabby mix breed, with green eyes like Natalya’s, but much bigger than her. He has a bushy tail like a raccoon’s, and one vet said that he may be a Maine Coone mix breed.
He tested negative for FIV, FLV, worms, parasites, ticks, fleas, and mites. He was healthy, despite being an outdoor stray cat! This gave me much more peace about keeping him as a pet.
One way I tried to get them to bond closer was to feed them their IAMS dry cat food and soft cat treats together. This seemed to work well. (Natalya loves to eat, too!)
I had to make sure that he and Natalya would adapt to each other first, slowly introducing them to each other for short periods of time. They did (although occasionally, they still spat as all cats do, being territorial creatures. Silas lets Natalya know that HE is the boss, although she does give him a run for his money sometimes.) They are friends at times, playing, chasing each other, and even sleeping near each other on the loveseat and soft blanket. It is SO cute!
Here they are laying together on the soft blanket and loveseat together. Precious!
Then I made a vet appointment for Silas to be neutered, get his required vaccinations, and have his claws trimmed there. The neutering really calmed him down. He occasionally tries to still mate with Natalya, but even if she let him (which she doesn’t), he couldn’t succeed! They fight much less now and are becoming much better friends.
He does enjoy watching out the windows of our bedroom and our front entry room. He and Natalya love the sunroom like I do, where they have watched birds at the feeders and squirrels climbing trees. It is getting too cold to be in there now (November 2023 as of this blog post’s writing), but we’ll start going in there again in spring 2024.
Phil was one of the other stray (male) cats, who I’d been feeding since summer 2023. One day I noticed that Phil was limping. Two days later, I saw that he was walking/running on 3 legs and it broke my heart.
That was the night that I took him into our home (in Ray’s downstairs bathroom again). I kept the door closed because I didn’t know if he had the fatal cat virus FIV or the fatal cat leukemia, FLV, or not. I didn’t want to possibly expose Natalya and Silas to it. I also knew that, being male, Silas and he would fight!
Phil is so sweet and loving. When I would go into the bathroom to feed and water him and talk with him, he’d eat and then jump up on my lap. I’d pet him, he’d purr, and he’d look so happy, often closing his eyes and looking like a baby smiling! It completely melted my heart!
I bought him a soft puppy toy and a couple of other toys for him to play with, as well as a scratching post. Ray and I felt that he had become depressed, being cooped up in the bathroom, when he was used to roaming the streets. But I did my best to take great care of him, pet him, talk with him, and pray for the right place or home for him! I went down there frequently to feed and pet him. He was always so happy to see me and be petted!
When I bought him the soft puppy toy, he put it between his paws and seemed to like it. Once Ray tried to take it from him to play with him, and he tried to scratch him! That was HIS puppy, LOL!
I asked his foster cat mom Sandy this week to please send the puppy toy, his soft cat treats, and the soft blue blanket that I bought him for winter with him when he leaves her house! She said she’ll send them with him, when he goes to the cat sanctuary. More on this in a minute!
I wanted to keep him, but in my heart I didn’t believe that Silas (being a male and very territorial) would EVER accept him. Natalya and Silas could smell him under the bathroom door, and vice versa, but that was about all the attention they paid to him.
After about a week, I tried once to introduce them face to face with Phil in the carrier (I held it up high so Silas couldn’t scratch at him). Silas smelled him, hissed once, and then hissed again with his teeth bared. No, it wasn’t going to work to ever expect them to live in peace together!
I was so distressed. I couldn’t bare the thought of putting Phil back outside, with cold winter coming. The vet told me that she believed he was about 1 1/2 years to 2 years old, and had already survived at least one winter. He was about nine pounds- an average size cat.
But I wasn’t sure when he had contracted FIV and was very concerned about him getting sick in Missouri’s cold, often snowy winters and not being able to recover well or at all! I was also worried that he could get the cat leukemia, FLV, or diseases from other cats outside, fleas, ticks, mites, etc., or be injured or killed from fast drivers, dogs, and cats. The vet said he had already experienced trauma with his ear’s cartilage – probably a cat fight. (His ear is a little bent on top.)
I began feeling desperate and called and emailed so many Kansas and Missouri pet rescue centers and cat shelters, sharing about Phil on our city’s Facebook page and my personal Facebook page. I kept getting “No” answers, either due to shelters not having enough room or due to his FIV diagnosis. What was I going to do with Phil? I cried and cried about this, and asked my family, friends, and my group of intercessors to pray –yes, for a cat. Because God loves cats (and other animals), too–He made them!
God’s MIRACLE for Phil and me!
My friend Rita (who also loves cats and has had 2 FIV+ cats and another non-FIV+ cat now, Amelia) then prayed for a MIRACLE for me and Phil this weekend, and God and everyone’s prayers did it! To Jesus Christ belongs all the praise and glory! Thank you SOOO much to everyone who prayed about this!
I was able to schedule his neutering and required vaccinations very fast after Kitty Cat Connection’s staff told me this was the first priority for them to help him (after I’d heard so many NO answers from other shelters and pet rescue places!), and she said there wasn’t much time to get this done…and that the cat sanctuary staff was coming THIS WEEK to the foster mom’s house to get her cats. I immediately called and scheduled the vet appointment here in town and when I picked up Phil this week at the vet, I was SO happy to see him and to know that he was okay!
I drove one hour and 20 minutes to Smithville, Missouri this week to take Phil to a foster cat mom there at her house. The long drive was worth it! He meowed softly on the way there, but it went nuch better than I thought. I did NOT get lost, thank God! (I used my iPhone’s GPS, but was a little nervous driving to an unfamiliar place.) The drive there was beautiful; some trees had beautifully colored (fall) leaves. There were hills and ponds. It was a beautiful, clear, sunny fall day!
The foster cat mom, Sandy who accepted Phil from me, works for Kitty Cat Connection in Kansas City, Missouri. .She is the President. The organization is made up totally of volunteers. They partner with a cat sanctuary in Mena, Arkansas, who rescue FIV positive cats and cats that people don’t want to adopt for various reasons.
Praise God for these compassionate workers and Sandy! You can donate to them here. Any amount helps and is appreciated!
People donate items to Sandy, and she had large bags of cat litter, cat trees with scratching posts, and even a cat tunnel in her garage. The need for all the stray cats in Kansas City is great and it is constant.
I gave her Phil’s carrier, the items that I’d brought for Phil (his soft puppy toy and other toys, his soft cat treats, IAMS cat food, and a soft blanket for winter), where she put it in her garage. I asked her to please give the cat sanctuary staff his soft puppy toy, his soft blanket, and the soft cat food treats – he likes his puppy and loves the treats! (She said she would.)
Sandy is elderly and retired and she has helped foster 100’s of cats through the years. She’s retired and does this full time at her house, to rescue cats in need! She said last year 10,000 dogs and cats were helped by Pet Project in KC alone!
Sandy said I “lucked out” as the cat sanctuary people are coming this week to get the cats she fosters. They only take four cats at a time, she has 3 right now, and she only had room for one more – and it is Phil! God moved to save Phil!
It is NOT luck. It is God and our prayers and a MIRACLE!
Sandy doesn’t know what day this week they are coming. But they will drive him in the carrier to Arkansas (with the other 3 cats), feed and water him, and he and these cats will be taken care of for the rest of their lives there –including vet visits. Praise Jesus!
He can choose to stay inside (a warm building) or to go outside. The cat sanctuary is enclosed so he (or other cats) can’t run away, and he can go in heated cat houses outdoors! They don’t make the cats go outside; the cats get the freedom to choose WHERE they WANT to go (inside or outside the sanctuary).
Phil also will be with other FIV+ cats, to protect any cats who haven’t tested positive with it. Sandy said while it may seem sad that he stays there at the sanctuary forever, it’s more of a guarantee that he’ll be cared for, than even if he were to be adopted. (People don’t always take good care of adopted animals, and many people return them for various reasons.)
The vet here in Butler where I live said that Phil did fine after the neutering and the vaccinations, although he was “grumpy.” That is understandable!
Sandy said he did fine at her house after I dropped him off that day. Praise God!
I had grown quite attached to Phil and I felt like I was giving a child away, but was so thankful to God, Kitty Cat Connection, and Sandy for doing this for Phil!
I was so thankful that it wasn’t raining as I drove to the foster cat mom Sandy’s house and for the beautiful fall day and the pretty drive. I even saw two horses in a pasture driving back home. One stared at me, LOL. I love horses, too!
Please pray these prayer points for Phil – and thank you SO much for praying! God answers prayer! Hallelujah!
I cried driving home, from both thankfulness to God and joy that he’s going to a safe place, and from grief – I’m going to really miss him. I already do! He’s my little friend. He’d jump in my lap, purr, and look so happy.
The night I got locked out of my house (feeding him!), he sat by me in the dark and cold as I waited on Ray to come home to let me in (he was on an ambulance call right then). When I finally got back inside my house, this is the night I brought Phil into our house, because I had seen him walking on 3 legs – and he had waited an hour beside me!
I am 100% certain that God brought me into Phil’s path and vice versa for God to use me to rescue and help Phil. God loves the animals, too, because He made them!
Please pray these things for sweet, loving Phil:
*For Phil to be at peace and not scared. I’m sure he’s wondering what’s going on and is scared, being in new environments. He didn’t eat the morning after his neutering at the vet, but ate later at Sandy’s. She said he was a little “hissy” but that is normal for a cat in new surroundings. I was relieved to hear that he ate his soft treat and is doing okay!
*For him to do okay on the drive to Arkansas from Missouri to the sanctuary, not get car sick and vomit, and to adapt quickly and thrive there. For God to even bring Christian staff/volunteers there to care for him and for the staff at the sanctuary to love him with God’s unconditional love and take great care of him;
*For a fast recovery from being neutered – no infections, bleeding, complications, etc., and no side effects from the 2 vaccinations he just got (Sandy said he seems fine. I’ve checked on him a couple of times since I took him there and I plan to check on him still occasionally!);
*Total healing of his ears from mites (the vet cleaned debris out but saw no actual mites) and he won’t get them, fleas, ticks, etc.;
*Total fast healing of his paw/leg (whatever was wrong with it to make him limp, the night I took him in. The vet said it is not broken and seems okay, but please just pray in case);
*He was wincing his right eye the last couple of days that I had him- he may have gotten dust or something in it. Please pray no cold, infection, etc. and God to heal whatever is possibly going on;
*Protection from other diseases, injuries, cats at the sanctuary possibly hurting him, etc. That God would even miraculously heal him of FIV and the other cats there of FIV. Some cats never even get symptoms and live long, happy lives;
*for Phil to not feel abandoned by me and to be unconditionally loved by this foster mom and at the sanctuary. I’m even praying for Christian staff just for Phil, to love him!
*For God to heal Sandy (she’s been “under the weather,” she said) and bless her and the cat sanctuary exceedingly for helping me and Phil. For Phil to NOT get whatever she has;
*For Phil to sense God’s presence and love all around him all the days of his life. God looked down on earth and said, “I need a Phil the cat for My glory.”
Yes, I will testify and this is to the glory of Jesus. God was also speaking things to my heart today about how far God went for Phil and how even further God goes for you, me and others to be rescued and saved!
*For God to protect the other stray cats around here (Marmalade, the orange tabby male cat and Nicodemus, the male tabby cat with a bushy tail like Silas’ tail), during the cold winter. Ray and I bought a feral cat shelter for them, but it gets wet when there’s rain and they won’t go in it. Snow would do the same thing! We may have to buy another kind. I’ll keep feeding and watering them, but they need a warm place in winter – and I can’t bring them in, as they’re all males, too!
Sandy said after he goes to the cat sanctuary, she’ll check on Phil occasionally for me. This made me so happy. Thank you for praying for precious Phil! His paw prints are forever on my heart!