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Purvis Update

Saturday, June 4, 2022

 So, this cat. It's been awhile since I've seen one animal impact so many lives. I knew he was no ordinary cat the moment I swept him up into my arms. Painfully skinny, discarded like yesterday's newspaper, he was nonetheless made of pure love. By the evening of my first post, he was spoken for, twice over, and the first person--my friend Elise--had first dibs. You might think it was easy. But the process of finding a home and adopting an animal out is not easy. It's a lot of work to take in a waif, then package it to be appealing, to make the plea, to field the inquiries, to provide updates to people who can't wait for a blogpost...people care, and you have to honor that caring. 


Besides his starpower and uber-affectionate nature, there was something else about Purvis. While he was with me, he was coughing. That evening, Shila got him home and set up in a big cat condo in her living room (to keep him apart from her pets). And Purvis began to sneeze--great wracking sneezes. It was almost as if before we took him in, he was too weak to sneeze, to manifest his illness. Shila had to wait over Sunday until our wonderful veterinarian could take a look at him on Monday. (I found him on a Saturday). So to the cat hospital he went, first thing Monday morning.


We thought he'd get out of the hospital that Wednesday. We arranged a get together on Thursday. I missed him. Shila was going to bring him out to Indigo Hill to see me. Well, he didn't get out. Antibiotics and nebulizer treatments weren't working as expected. Dr. Lutz suspected he had a virus, probably one against which he would have been vaccinated, had he ever received veterinary care. 

Elise was set to meet him on Friday, and pick him up on Sunday, on her way back from a college reunion. As the week wore on, it became clear to me and Shila that this cat wasn't going to make the date. Shila waited patiently for a very busy veterinarian to return her calls. When they finally spoke, the news wasn't good. 


Dr. Lutz suspects that the virus Purvis has may turn out to be chronic. That he may live his life experiencing symptoms, or more likely occasional outbreaks. Well, Elise has a beloved orange and white cat, and Purvis' virus might endanger that cat. This wasn't turning out to be easy at all. With each day that passed by, I thought about the bills this little gift from the Universe was racking up. Finally, Shila had a chance to speak with Dr. Lutz face to face. And the news was better this time. It seems that a veterinarian who is working at the practice on Wednesdays had met and fallen under Purvis' spell. She wanted to give him a home, with lifetime care. Dr. Lutz would charge us for medications, but not boarding (whewwwww, because it's going on three weeks now!)  She referred to him as "Little Purvis," which made us think she was kinda fond of him, too. Apparently he had been riding around the office on people's shoulders. That was something he did with me, too, in the short time he worked his magic in my life. Believe me, I understood why someone would want to take the leap with this kitten. 

So I messaged Elise, who was anxiously awaiting some word from Whipple, and told her I would call her, and her heart crashed. When I delivered the news, she was actually relieved, because she'd feared the worst. She couldn't have been more gracious and understanding--grateful, even--that this kitten would go to someone who could really care for him, whatever his future holds. For that and her open, loving acceptance of what is, I am grateful  

Purvis may have been dumped because he couldn't get well. It's clear to me he was loved by someone, loved very much. He's socialized and highly social. I have a picture in my head of a child somewhere who is missing him, and a parent who didn't need any vet bills, who made the decision to dump the kitten. I don't know if that's accurate, but he didn't get way out here on his own, that much I know.

On June 1, I took Curtis in for his bordatella vaccine, and to arrange for the removal of a couple benign bumps and lumps. Dr. Lutz brought Purvis into the exam room when we were finished, and I thought she had switched cats on me. This cat with the smooth fur and bright eyes and flesh on his bone was...Purvis??

But his personality shone through and once he'd eyeballed Curtis he started pressing his forehead against me and purring. Yup. It was Purvis, blossoming. He's gained a pound and a half since he was taken in. His purr sounds a little rough at times but he wasn't coughing or sneezing. Dr. Lutz explained that he's got a feline respiratory herpes virus that will likely stay in him for life. He will be asymptomatic at times, but with stress or illness, it will show back up. So it's good that he will be under the care of a loving veterinarian who will know how to handle it. I just couldn't believe how much better he looked--his eyes bright and wide open, his fur taking on new tones of ivory and cream. Wow. What a change

In a completely uncharacteristic move, I forgot my phone at home, so Dr. Lutz sent me a photo.  We can definitely do a "before and after" on Purvis!

Purvis is one lucky kitten. He picked the right yard to walk into, the right birdbath to drink from. A whole row of good women fell into a receiving line, to hoist him up and carry him along. 


After. He’s so beautiful now! And he acts like a cat who has found his place in the world. Thank you so much for caring and following his journey.



Looove how this turned out! Thanks to all who cared so much for this furry guy!

Thank you and all the others who participated in the kitty's rescue. We have two rescue kitties that came with the upper respiratory virus. They are both fine now (almost 10 years later) and are bothered only on rare occasions with the virus. It is dormant 95 % of the time. I hope that proves true for Purvis. Thank you again. 💙

What magic a little kindness and a lot of caring can do! Welcome back to the life you always deserved, Purvis!

Such a wonderful and loving rescue story. Purvis is a lucky kitty cat to have crossed paths with you and your community of kind-hearted humans.

What a lucky kitten to find so many Good Samaritans.

Purvis sounds like my late cat Merlin's ghost, personality, coloring, virus and all. I adopted him as a kitten from the local Humane Society. I had no choice at all--he was in a room with a screen door and he climbed eye level with me and cried his heart out. Once I got him home, he fell into a heap and refused to eat. Eventually it became clear that he couldn't smell his cat food, but my dinner burrito brought him around.

Merlin did carry this virus all his life and had periodic bouts of illness and sneezing. But he had a good life of high adventure and lived to be 15. This is a virus that can be lived with.

Thanks for rescuing Purvis!

I expect there is a wildlife www that has your address bookmarked. ❤️😉

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