We lost Kojak this week.
This sweet boy has been a resident of the Old Aids area, where many of our leukemia cats live, since early 2013. In that time he progressed from a scared, angry cat to one who would occasionally hop up into a lap – especially if chicken was on offer. We got to know his anxious little cries as he anticipated food being given out. He was loved by many volunteers – Carol, whose photo this is, Alice, Candy, Allison… He was one of my own sponsor cats.
Feline leukemia affects the immune system, and cats carrying it have less resistance to infections – hence our emphasis on washing/sanitizing before handling them. It’s not to protect us – leukemia can’t be transmitted to or through humans – it’s to protect them from something carried in from handling another cat.
As I lay in bed that night, having a little weep, I found myself naming the leukemia cats of Old Aids that I have loved and lost, and imagining them welcoming Kojak among them: Aurora, Spot, Bella, Jeremy, Jasper, Panther, Bingo, Bobby, Frieda, Blue, Jessie, Butterbean, Bubba, Brady, Sabrina, Jackson, Max, Todd, Raven and probably many others…. I’ve included some of their previously unpublished photos here, and links where profiles have been featured.
We have them to love for all too short a time – but heaven wouldn’t be heaven without cats, and I’m sure these will all be waiting for us at the Rainbow Bridge.
Photos by Brigid Coult, Phaedra Hardman, Carol Porteous,