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Happy Tails column: Despite strikes against him, cat finds family

10:38 AM, Feb. 26, 2013  |  Comments
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If cats have nine lives, then Randy probably has used up a few of them. In the past year alone, the affectionate tabby has been through a series of ill-fated events.

When his family abandoned their home last spring, they left the cat and his canine buddies behind. He was trapped in the house until local police discovered what had happened and brought the pet family safely to Clark County Humane Society.

At CCHS, all pets are microchipped, blood-tested, spayed/neutered if old enough and given lots of love. Cats don't often test positive for FIV, FeLV or heartworm, but Randy had all three. FIV (spread through deep bite wounds) is the cat equivalent of HIV in humans, FeLV (spread through fluid) is feline leukemia and heartworm is an infestation that can cause a host of other health problems in domestic cats.

Despite his extremely rare test results, Randy, who also does not have a tail, seemed very healthy. However, if he had arrived at almost any other shelter, the sweet and cuddly boy would not have been given a chance. Fortunately for him, CCHS believes all animals deserve the chance for a loving family and a comfortable home, and the no-kill facility will shelter an animal for as long as it takes to find one.

Cats with FIV can live a long and fruitful life, and many even coexist with other felines if the personality combination is right, but too often they are overlooked.

With his trifecta of cat ailments, Randy lived nearly 10 months confined to the CCHS office, rubbing his head against his door in an effort to solicit attention. Volunteers, careful to prevent the spread of FeLV, would oblige him with a belly rub and ear scratch, but most potential adopters would see the sign on his cage door and not even give him a second glance. Undeterred, Randy remained a healthy (albeit increasingly chunky) and happy boy.

Finally, one day in December, a couple visited the shelter and realized that Randy was just as loveable, if not more so, as any other cat. Randy's saviors were unfazed by his underlying medical issues and found his tail-less torso charming. Now, instead of sleeping alone in an office kennel, Randy stretches out on a warm bed between his two humans.

Nobody knows how many lives Randy has left, but this one will be much better than the last.

Watch the popular Pet of the Week videos at www.facebook.com/petshelter. Visit Clark County Humane Society in person from noon to 3 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday or go to www.cchs-petshelter.org.

Breanna Speth is a volunteer at Clark County Humane Society and the proud owner of an adopted cat.

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