I ran my fingers through Rusty’s thick orange hair as the veterinarian entered the exam room and glanced from me to my wife. The big cat sprawled across the steel exam table, then heaved his heavy frame upright as the doctor reached down to scratch him behind an ear. I noticed that the veterinarian held a piece of paper in her other hand. The sadness of her expression made me wonder about the results of the lab tests she just got back.
“Rusty has feline immunodeficiency virus, or FIV,” the veterinarian said. “It’s the cat version of AIDS. We need to run another test to confirm it, but it looks pretty certain.”
I felt an involuntary shiver run down my spine as those same concerns ran through my mind.
Rusty had feline AIDS. Could he infect me or my wife? Was he at risk to our friends? What about other animals? Would he be better off euthanized?
**Get the November 2007 issue of CAT FANCY to read the full article.**