By: Ed Hittler

As some of you may remember Wraith came to us out of the woods, covered with tics and fleas and about seven pounds underweight. After weeks of gaining his trust we finally got him into a carrier and to an appointment with John (Dr. Bates). John’s initial assessment was a five to seven year old who was dumped, as testified by his lack of hunting skills. Further blood work determined FIV with John stating he could put him down that day. I started a search for a no kill facility but no one would take an FIV cat. I then did some intensive research on FIV and found most vets saying its contagion was not as bad as expected. Since Wraith was already a gentle lap cat and showed no signs of biting or fighting he was officially adopted. We had six other cats at the time and he ate and drank with them never transmitting his disease as proved by blood work on the other cats at vet visits. He was by far the most loving of all our cats and was afraid of all the animals on our farm, even birds terrified him. His only conquests were lizards and he stalked them rigorously. To add to his lack of skills he could never figure out the cat door so we were obliged to make sure he was in every night before closing the garage door. While the other cats slept in piles with their buddies, Wraith remained a loner and slept in a box I made for him. Ironically, Wraith survived longer than all 19 of our cats and 13 dogs. We estimated his age at plus eighteen when he succumbed to his disease. The hospital found ways to stretch his life for at least a year and a half trying different steroids and meds. He dined on chicken, deli ham and tuna every day since his old food was refused. I watched his decline and was determined to let him live as long as he showed signs of wanting to live. Each day I came home for lunch he would spend our time on the front porch in my lap getting rubbed and purring. Doris spent a good part of her day with him also.

The day I came home and saw him stretched out and heaving I knew his time was over and I rushed immediately to the hospital and ended his suffering. This was absolutely the worse ending of all my fur friends. Now, each night, the garage is silent.

Thanks again for your patience with me while I tried to eke one more day of life out for him and thank you for his paw print.

Ed Hittler
Customer since 1970.