My husband and I were typically always “dog people”. However, one cold March evening in 2021, our outdoor camera picked up an orange cat outside who adopted our family and now reigns supreme in our house.
We causally named him Fatty because of his persistence and love for food. Fatty is an orange tabby, who was a TNR cat. We didn’t know any better at first and assumed he lost his ear tip in a fight. After noticing him in the camera, we started leaving food for Fatty beginning once a day, progressing into full meals, flea treatments, an outdoor shelter house complete with a heating pad, and a collar with his name. He greatly appreciated the food and eventually warmed up to us, allowing us to touch him. In the early winter of 2021, Fatty moved inside. It was a slow process to have him adjust to indoor life - he appreciated the heat or air conditioning and the food, but was wary of our dogs, children, and random home noises. But He still was allowed to go outside in the evenings.
As part of welcoming him inside we learned more about cats, and brought him for a checkup at the vet. We were nervous that as a previously feral cat, he would not allow an exam by the vet. To our surprise, he did great and allowed an exam, shots, and a blood draw. The vet explained she was testing for FIV and FELV, and said she would give more information if necessary. To our further surprise, the vet quickly called back to confirm Fatty was FIV positive.
After learning of the diagnosis, we reached out to others including a local cat rescue, Street Cats to Sweet Cats, who advised the best thing I could do to help Fatty was to fully keep him inside. Fatty is a healthy, big boy who the vet estimated to be about 3 years old. We hope to have him with us for many years to come and will do whatever it takes to give him the best life. In return, he gives us so much love and we are so happy he randomly chose our home to adopt.