Cats in Lima, Peru that have contracted FeLV ( feline leukemia) have a friend and nurse in Maria Torero, who has turned her home into a hospice for their care and hosing.
Maria is a nurse by profession and she tends to sick people on the job. At home, she is nurse to (at current count) 175 FeLV cats.
Maria’s runs her home hospice at her well organized and tidy two-story, eight-room apartment. While the two dozen litter boxes give off a smell even when kept scrupulously clean, she says the neighbors do not complain.
While some people suggest she should devote her efforts to healthy cats she disagrees, citing a mission to help those that need her.
“That’s not my role,” she told The Associated Press.
“I’m a nurse. My duty is to the cats that nobody cares about,” adding “People don’t adopt adult cats, especially if they are terminally ill.”
Maria has run her cat hospice for five years and she spends about $1,780 per month on the cats’ care. She finds cats on the streets of Lima, where FeLV runs rampant, and has them tested for the condition. Getting the kitties off the streets improves their lives and, hopefully, helps to somewhat slow the spread of the virus that causes the condition.
Maria says nearly all of the cats she finds suffer from malnutrition and carry FeLV, along with fleas and other parasites.
FeLV kitties can lead good and healthy lives for several years if given good care, thought their lives are inevitably shortened by the cruel thief that is feline leukemia. Cats typically go downhill within about five years after contracting the condition and can succumb to a variety of ills that their compromised systems cannot fight off.
Lima’s street cats are lucky to have a friend and angel in Maria Torero.
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The hospice recently posted an urgent request for volunteers to help with feeding, cleaning and administration of injections, as well as loving companionship for the cats. FeLV is not transmissible to humans.