My name is Coco & I am 3 years old. I was adopted when i was 3 months old. I had a horrible life before that. I was the only survivor after my brothers and sisters were brutally killed by children. After everything I have been through I was very happy to be adopted. I love my new feline brothers and sisters. Some were adopted like me and others were rescued. I love to headbutt and to sleep under the blanket curled up with my human mom and dad, whom I love very much.
Before being adopted I had been tested for FIV (Feline immunodeficiency virus) and FELV (feline leukaemia virus). I tested negative for both. Mom noticed I had really bad gingivitis so she took me to the vet. The vet felt I had to be tested again because gingivitis in kittens is really unusual. I knew immediately that it wasn’t good news because my mom cried for hours that day.
I tested positive for FIV. The vet said I must have had a false-negative result when I was first tested. Everyone was saying that my mom had a tough decision to make. Some people said that having FIV meant I had to be euthanised because I would infect my brothers and sisters or end up costing mom and dad lots of money. The vet said that a cat can live a long life with FIV. Mom started doing research about the FIV virus and how it works. (For more info about FIV please go to the FIV page.)
All over South Africa and many other countries, most cats and kittens that test positive for fiv and/or felv are immediately euthanised. Mom was told that If I had tested positive at the adoption centre I would have been euthanised. She felt that euthanasia was an inappropriate reaction against hearing I had fiv. She loves me very much and promised to take care of me forever. My gingivitis is almost completely gone and I am living happily with my brothers and sisters as indoor cats.