Frazier chose the right yard to walk through one day, wandering into the property of Faye, a dedicated volunteer with the Gifford Cat Shelter. He probably would not have made it much longer if he had gone elsewhere.
The volunteer thought that he was a feral cat and so, at first, she did not make attempts to rescue him. For several months, he chose to visit her yard and never would stop long enough to eat. Eventually, she noticed that one of his eyes was almost closed. She knew she had to do something, feral or not! She could not bear the thought of him injured and needing medical care.
So, she borrowed a trap from Gifford and thankfully Frazier had the sense to take the bait. As she was covering the trap with a towel to calm Frazier down, she made eye contact with the kitty for the first time. The look he gave surprised her! This was no feral cat, he was obviously tame!
Frazier had likely gotten lost or been abandoned. It was amazing that the poor cat had survived this long on his own. However, he was in very bad shape! His injuries attested to difficulties of living on the streets and were pretty extensive.
After Frazier arrived at Gifford, it turned out that he was FIV+, needed surgery to remove his inseparably damaged eye and he had a permanently damaged ear. And since the eye wound was from an unknown origin, state law required that Frazier be quarantined for 6 months!
After his eye surgery, the staff applied warm compresses multiple times a day for a month and gave Frazier his own room. During those 6 months, Frazier overcame his fear and eventually, with love and patience, came out of his shell and became a very popular guy.
In particular, Frazier caught the eye of one volunteer, Karen. As she describes it, he was a “portly orange gentleman with offbeat looks”-one missing eye, one bent ear and a purr so loud you could hear it through the door. In addition, he loved belly rubs!
Karen went home each week after volunteering and thought about all the little faces she had met and who, if any, might be right for her. She always came back to Frazier.
She did research on FIV+ cats and found that, if care for properly, they live fairly normal lifespans. So, at the end of Frazier’s quarantine, Karen decided to give Frazier a home.
At first, Frazier found Karen’s apartment a bit scary but after about a day, he settled into snuggle spots that remain his favorites even a year later. Her new little lion finally had a kingdom to call his own! And then Frazier began to show a playful side that Karen never expected, chasing toy mice and using the stairs as his “cardio” workout.
Karen reports that belly rubs are as much fun for her as for him and he is also better than any heating pad in the winter! Karen looks forward to many happy years with Frazier. She also realizes that many cats with health issues and less than stellar looks, like Frazier, would not survive in other shelters. She is thankful that Gifford was there for him when he needed them most.
Gifford Cat Shelter is a cageless, no-kill shelter for homeless cats in Brighton, Massachusetts, providing them with quality care and finding them permanent and loving homes. They were the first cageless, no-kill rescue organization in the US and have been pioneers in creating such an environment. They also have specially designated housing areas for adoptable cats with Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) and other special needs.