Nine Lives Fat Farm...the Ladies of Room 1

The four cats who live in Room 1 at the Nine Lives shelter, Amber, Gladys, Ilsa and Marise, are beautiful, well-behaved young ladies, but unfortunately, they're a bit on the plump side.  Whiskers lives in Room 8 and is one of our FIV+ kitties and she too is a bit on the plump side.

These cats are not alone because it's estimated that 53% of cats in the U.S. are either over-weight or obese.  A cat's ideal weight depends on age, breed, lifestyle, bone structure and gender, but the average adult cat generally tips the scales at 7 to 11 pounds, with females a little less.

Dr. Monica Rudiger puts the over-weight cats on a high protein, low carbohydrate wet food diet, and feeds them twice a day.  Room 1 cats live in a condo with cat trees and enough room to move around.  Whiskers lives in Room 8 with the other FIV+ kitties and has lots of cat trees to play on.  So let's meet them...

Meet AMBER, a sweet little girl who was rescued from FAS (Fremont Animal Shelter) where she lived for a year with out being adopted.  It's FAS policy that if a cat isn't adopted within a year, the cat will be euthanized to make room for other cats.  Nine Lives learned about Amber and brought her to live at the Nine Lives shelter where she joined Room 1.  Amber's approximate birthday is June 2006 and she is an inquisitive, curious and lovely girl who greets everyone that enters the condo.  Amber would love to find a loving home where she can maintain her weight, exercise more and spend lots of lap time.

This is GLADYS, a beautiful girl who gets along with the other cats of Room 1 and is the second greeter, along with Amber, to welcome you to their condo.  Gladys was born around May 2006 and lived with a family as their indoor/outdoor cat.  When the family moved away, they didn't take Gladys with them.  That's when she joined the Nine Lives family.  Sometimes, Gladys looks a little sad, but she'll perk up when you come in and pet her and scratch her ears.  Gladys would make a wonderful companion for a family who wants a lap cat who loves belly rubs.

This beauty is ILSA, a tortoiseshell manx mix with stunning torti markings.  She was born around 2006 and her front claws have been removed, but that doesn't stop her from jumping on things and climbing the cat tree.  Ilsa is a very sweet, gentle cat who gets along with the other girls.  Ilsa is a little shy when you enter the condo, so she might prefer being an only cat in your home.  Ilsa came to the Nine Lives shelter from Martinez Animal Shelter on 4/5/08 with four other kitties.

Meet WHISKERS, a black and white, long hair Maine Coon mix.  She came to Nine Lives from FAS (Fremont Animal Shelter) and is one of our FIV+ kitties.  Whiskers is a real love bug and loves to be held and cuddled, she'll wrap her paws around your neck for a great big hug.  Whiskers gets along with all the other cats in Room 8, and loves to hang out with her BFF Morris (shown in the picture with her).  Whiskers can live a long and happy life with FIV+, but needs to live in a home as an only cat.

And last, but certainly not least, meet MARISE, a beautiful gray and white girl who loves to be pet.  Marise is a quiet, but loving cat who is gentle and purrs loudly while you scratch her neck and ears.  The Nine Lives volunteers call her their little bunny because her fur is so soft you just want to pet her for hours.  Marise would love to be an only kitty in your home, or a loving companion for another cat.

The next time you visit the Nine Lives shelter at 3016 Rolison Road in Redwood City, stop by Room 1 and visit with the girls.  Also, don't forget about Whiskers in Room 8.

Nine Lives Foundation Shelter, Room 8 ...

Posted on 11/2/11
By:   Deanna Graham
Nine Lives Board Member

Room 8 is a large space with sofas, chairs, tables, cat trees and lots of residents, 22 in fact.  The cats are either walking around, eating from two different feeding stations or asleep.  Some days, you'll see volunteers sitting on the sofa or on the floor with several of the Room 8 residents on their laps, giving them head-butts or just sitting near them waiting for pets.

The cats are all happy and very active, they look like all the cats in various condo's in the Nine Lives Shelter on Rolison Road in Redwood City, California, but they're not.  These 22 lovable cats are all FIV+.  Even though I've heard about the Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV), I didn't know that much about it.  Talking with Joe and Georgia, two Nine Lives volunteers, they told me that FIV+ cats have contracted the virus from cat fights and serious bites.  It is estimated that most infections come from feral, free-roaming, aggressive cats that attack and bite other cats.  Cats kept indoors are much less likely to be infected.  Sadly, a FIV+ mother can pass the virus on to her kittens as they pass through the birth canal or by the milk they drink after birth.

Joe told us that he and his wife adopted a FIV+ cat and she lived to be 19 years old.  Joe told me, "She died of old age, not FIV."

Georgia also told us she wouldn't hesitate adopting one of our FIV+ cats.  In fact, she said that if the FIV+ cat is not a fighter and enjoys the company of other cats in the household, she feels comfortable bringing one of these guys into her home.  On the other hand, Dr. Monica Rudiger will advise adopters that these cats should be only cats, or their house-mates should also be FIV+.

I asked them if humans could become infected with FIV if they were bit by their cat?  They both told me that FIV is a lentivirus similar to HIV (the human immunodeficiency virus causing AIDS), but is a highly species-specific virus that infects only felines.  A number of studies, according to Cornell University, School of Veterinary Medicine, have failed to show any evidence that FIV can infect or cause diseases in people.

Joe and Georgia told me that a FIV+ cat normally doesn't take medications, but they do need to be watched carefully throughout their lives and taken to their vet once a year for their annual checkup.

As I walked around the room to visit with all the cats in Room 8, I decided to spotlight four of them for this blog post.  The other cats of Room 8 will be spotlighted on our Nine Lives Foundation Facebook page in the near future.

MORRIS is a big bundle of love, and is the first one to come over for petting.  He is friendly, outgoing and gets along with all the residents of Room 8.  He likes to hang out with the other orange tabby's.  Morris loves to cuddle and will make someone a great lap cat, with lots of purrs.  Morris is an American short hair orange tabby.  He's had all his shots, is neutered and in good health, even though he's FIV+.

Morris was rescued from Fremont Animal Shelter and was on their PTS list for euthanasia.  That's one thing he doesn't have to worry about, he is well cared for and loved at the shelter and waiting for his forever home.

Morris and two of his orange tabby bud's.

SIGONA is a beautiful black cat with more love than he knows what to do with.  He loves to be held and will wrap his paws around your neck and cuddle for hours.  He also loves to purr and will sit on your shoulder and be carried around.  He loves all the other cats and just wants a soft couch to sleep on and the loving attention of the people around him.

Sigona was rescued from the Sigona Market parking lot in Redwood City, California, and was appropriately named after the place where he was rescued.  He is an American short hair, all black neutered male who is up-to-date on all his shots.  Even though he's FIV+, he's a strong handsome guy who will make a wonderful addition to your household.  Sigona should be an only cat or share your home with another FIV+ housemate.

LUTHER is a beautiful cat with swirly brown, black and white fur.  As I walked over to the table where he was sleeping, he got up and came right over to me and began chatting.  I started petting him and scratching his ears and chin while the dialog continued.  I fell in love with this big guy.  The volunteers told me he is the sweetheart of Room 8, so sweet and affectionate and outgoing too.  They said he is quite the little leg rubber who loves to have his chin and bum scratched.  He is goofy at times, friendly all the time, and always playful.

Luther would be a wonderful only kitty as he is definitely the boss in Room 8, and will become your constant companion who will chat with you daily.  If he disappears for a while, just check your bed and there he will be, belly up and purring.  He'd love to help you while you're on your computer working.

LINDA (shown with Loyd) is a sweet, beautiful girl.  She is snuggly and an affectionate love bug.  When I picked her up for petting and scratches, she was light as a feather, and her shiny black coat was soft like a bunny's.  Linda is loved by all the cats in Room 8, especially Loyd, Toby and Edison.  They see how special she is and she can always be found snuggling with them on the sofa.  Linda would make a perfect only cat or a loving companion for another FIV+ cat, probably a male, Linda loves the boys!

Come and visit the residents of Room 8, they'd love to meet you.  We're located at the Nine Lives Foundation Shelter, 3016 Rolison Road, Redwood City, CA  94063.  Phone:  (650) 368-1365.

Nine Lives Foundation is a no-kill cat rescue nonprofit 501(c)3 corporation that works to address the over-population of homeless cats in Northern California.  Our mission is to provide low-cost spay/neuter services, vaccinations, medical care, shelter and adoptions for stray, feral, and at-risk cats, and to offer affordable medical care to local TNR (trap/neuter/release) and rescue groups through our on-site veterinary clinic.  Nine Lives provides all necessary medical treatments for our rescued cats and seeks loving, permanent homes for them, including those with physical, medical or behavioral disabilities.