Not the Cat we were Looking For

This is Gwydion.


Gwyd showed up on Friday in the trap we set to catch Morrigan (who hasn’t been seen).

He was clearly not feral, but also clearly had been living rough for a while. We pegged him between 8-12 months old. We didn’t have the heart to let him go, so we took him home and made a space for him in our bathroom until we could figure out what to do.

When we first found him, we thought he was a girl, because he was so small, curled up into an itty bitty ball. We decided to call “her” Hathor, which is the cow-headed Egyptian goddesss of hearth and home. She’s very sweet, but when crossed turns into Sekmhet, the lion-headed goddess of war and destruction. It seemed a fitting moniker for a terrified stray. For her part, Hathor made it very clear we didn’t know her well enough to confirm gender one way or another.

Gwyd is our Covid cat. Notice that he has his own mask and gloves. Polite kitties bring their own PPE!

But then Monday rolled around, we took Hathor to the vet, and surprise! Hathor had balls.

We backpedaled and Ash picked Gwydion (a Celtic trickster).

The new name also came with some bad news. While Gwyd was in generally good health, he also had worms (which we expected) and is FIV+.

For those unfamiliar, FIV is like HIV in humans. It’s an immunodeficiency which kills about 10% of diagnosed kitties within 5 years. Another 10% show signs of illness within that time, while the remaining 80% go on to live healthy, normal lives with proper care.

Essentially, this means Gwyd needs 2x yearly vet visits, it’s imperative that all vaccines are up to date, and if he show signs of illness it has to be treated right away. If another cat in the household appears to be coming down with something, they have to be separated and the ill cat must be treated promptly. He’s also 100% an indoor kitty from now on, and so are any cats in his household (which we were doing anyway. We don’t believe in outdoor cats for their own safety).

It is spread to other cats through deep puncture wounds. This means at the first sign of aggression, he should be separated from other animals. Statistically, he has about a 5% chance of passing it on to non-FIV cats in the household. FIV cannot spread to humans, dogs, or other non-feline pets.

Thankfully, he’s an absolute sweetheart. We got off to a bit of a rocky start, but it turns out that was mostly due to his severe dry skin. One oatmeal bath later, and he’s all love and purrs. We even introduced him to Bast (who has been dying to make friends with him since he arrived). They were nose to nose within minutes, and then Gwyd went back to looking out the window.

Gwyd says it is high time for his accommodations to get an upgrade.

Unfortunately, he is still intact and until the restrictions in King County are lifted, we can’t get him neutered. We’re hoping that will be some time in May, but we can’t be sure. He’ll be getting chipped at that time, too, since he doesn’t have one.

Three cats is our limit; with Morrigan still missing, it’s not an issue at the moment, but we are still looking for her. As much as we have come to love him in just a week, we can’t keep him.

If you are interested in this snuggle bug, please let me know. He would do best as an only cat, but also doesn’t mind being around other cats. We haven’t been able to check his behavior with dogs or kids, but don’t recommend it as he still startles very easily. He’s not aggressive in the slightest. I am willing to drive him anywhere in Washington or Oregon if it gets him to a new home, and have other potential volunteers who can continue the journey if necessary. Please don’t let location hold you back if you think you can give him a good home, provided you are in the US.

Just look at that face!

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