As far as resourceful and determined mamas go, Abigail was on her A-game. The gray tabby cat was on the hunt for shelter. She was protecting her three kittens as winter approached and finally found her way into a hidden space away from the bitter cold. It was inside a chilly garage, but it would do.
The 2-year-old hunkered down with her little ones—tiny, mewing bundles of black and gray fuzz—about to face some long, dark days and nights and an uncertain future.
Luckily, the garage owner soon discovered the furry homesteaders and brought them to the Connecticut Humane Society. Abigail seemed to know her little family was saved, purring and head-butting new human friends who gave her and the babies a once-over at CHS’ Pet Wellness and Adoption Center in Newington.
The initial evaluation showed that while the group was in good shape, Abigail was positive for feline immunodeficiency virus (that’s FIV for short). The condition compromises a cat’s immune system. However, FIV-positive kitties can live normal lives, as long as their human parents keep up with routine veterinary appointments and address changes in behavior or eating habits or any signs they’re feeling under the weather. With FIV, if they do catch something, their bodies have a harder time fighting it off.
On top of that, Abigail also had only half of her tail; whether it had been like that since birth or amputated at some point, no one could tell for sure. Either way, she had a new rhyming nickname: “Abigail with the half-tail.”
A cozy nest was set up for Abigail and her youngsters in CHS’ maternity ward, and before long, her kittens grew big enough to be spayed/neutered and then found homes of their own. Each also tested negative for FIV. (The virus can be passed from mom to baby, and can also be transmitted from another cat during a physical altercation.)
Unlike her babies, Abigail wasn’t ready just yet to leave CHS. Veterinarians discovered she had an upper respiratory infection. But she’s a tough little thing who recovered with some tender love and care.
For the next few weeks, she waited in her cat condo, chirping at visitors who admired her stubby tail and stunning silver fur, wondering when one of them would finally choose to cuddle her in an adoption room and make things official. An FIV diagnosis can seem intimidating to pet parents unfamiliar with the condition.
But it wasn’t a stumbling block for one cat fan who met Abigail in early January and fell in love with her outgoing personality. And so this friendly feline began the new year just as she deserved: with a new best friend and a home.