Special woman loves special-needs cats

Leo and Lester with Adopter

Madison A. adopted an 8-year-old cat with feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) from our shelter earlier this year. She named him Leo and sent us an update saying, “I wouldn’t trade him for the world. Although Leo has FIV, that hasn’t affected him or his personality. Whenever I tell someone that he’s 8 with FIV, they always say that’s really awesome I adopted an old cat, or that’s great I adopted a ‘special-needs’ animal. To me he isn’t old or special needs; he’s just my lovable fluff ball who I’m so honored to have in my life!”

Sadly, Leo passed away unexpectedly, and Madison returned to the Dumb Friends League in mid-September to find a new feline companion. She was introduced to another cat coincidentally named Leo and his best friend, Lester—both FIV-positive cats who had met and bonded at our shelter. Adoptions Associate Ben Shumway said, “I’ve never seen two cats come to the shelter separately and bond as strongly as these two. They groom each other, play together, sleep together. It would have been a shame to separate them, so I’m thrilled that Madison opened her home to both of them. Plus, there’s just something about FIV cats that makes them some of the nicest cats we get here.”

As for Madison, when asked whether she has a special place in her heart for FIV-positive cats, she pointed to her leg, wrapped in bandages and a brace after recent surgery. “Nobody’s perfect and everyone is eventually going to have health issues,” she said with a smile, “so I would never want to disregard any animal just because it has special needs.”