Purrfect Picks: Xela

XelaNAME: XELA
AGE: 10 years old
GENDER: female (spayed)
DESCRIPTION: black and white short-haired MIXED breed

Xela is an unusual-looking older lady who, in any other shelter, might have been adopted ages ago. But she’s still with us at Best Friends Animal Society – Los Angeles and deserves a great home!

Xela is very sweet, calm and loves to lounge around. She’s not a huge fan of other cats, although she could probably tolerate living with another calm feline who gives her space. She has fur that needs to be brushed now and then, and she enjoys short brushing sessions. She only gets a little fussy around her hips and legs but gives you fair warning if she starts to get uncomfortable.

The staff at BFLA debate Xela’s breed, because she’s certainly more than just a domestic medium-hair. I think she’s part British short-hair, while others have said she’s part exotic, and still others think she might be part Persian (because of her slightly squished, round face). Who knows, but she’s certainly a cute cat!

Overall, Xela is a pretty healthy girl. She recently started some Cosequin for possible arthritis, which also means she may be a little older than ten (but who’s counting?). As with any older cat, an adopter should think about getting a bloodwork panel done just to be sure there’s no underlying condition.

Xela is one of my favorite cats, not only because of her beauty, but because she’s a mellow, gentle girl who can be picked up, and doesn’t require too much maintenance. She’s spent the day in our marketing office, and makes a wonderful office cat!

Xela has been at the shelter since May of 2013. This sweet girl deserves to be in a home where she can lounge in a sunny window and enjoy her golden years!

You can read Xela’s Petango profile here.

To adopt Xela, visit bestfriends.org/la.

>>>I am happy to report that my previous Purrfect Picks cat, Phantom, has been adopted!! Yay, Phantom!!

Purrfect Picks: Phantom

Purrfect Picks is a new type of blog post where I’ll be periodically highlighting some of my favorite kitties at the shelter and why they are so awesome (and why you or someone you know should adopt them!)

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NAME: PHANTOM
AGE: 8 years old
GENDER: male (neutered)
DESCRIPTION: gray domestic long-hair

Phantom is a sweet, gentle cat who reminds me a lot of Dahlila. Not only does he look a lot like her (the long gray coat that creates a slightly grumpy look) but he is similarly chatty. He enjoys giving a grumpy meow in greeting and purrs up a storm once you start petting him.

He does well with other calm cats. He might not appreciate a younger cat pouncing on him, but any cat who’s willing to sit quietly near him is just fine. We don’t know whether he has any like or dislike for dogs. He was recently housed with a few other cats in a small communal room and did well.

Phantom is FIV+ which makes me love him even more. A lot of people get scared off by FIV*, because they think it means the cat is sick or will get sick. But as long as the cat is kept indoors and away from outside diseases, he should remain happy and healthy.

*For those who don’t know, FIV stands for Feline Immunodeficiency Virus. It’s the cat version of HIV, with the big difference that there is no such thing as “cat AIDS” (no medication is required). The cat’s immune system is compromised, which is why it needs to stay indoors and away from infectious diseases—it would take more effort for the cat to get well if it ever got seriously ill. FIV cats can live with other cats, as long as they live peaceably. (Minor scuffles and scratches will not transfer FIV from one cat to another. It is only through the transfer of fluids, such as sex or deep bite wounds where it can e transmitted. So as long as your cats are fixed and don’t get into huge fights, they can all live happily and healthily together.) And, FIV cannot be transmitted from a cat to any other animal. [You can read more here.]

When Phantom was first rescued, the vet was concerned because there were hard lumps in his abdomen. Fearing it might be tumors, Phantom had a radiograph done, which revealed not tumors, but megacolon (i.e. a bad case of constipation). So currently Phantom is on some laxative medication and was moved to single-cat housing to monitor his defecation, poor fellow. Other than that, Phantom is a healthy cat with a lot of love to give!

As a middle-aged cat, Phantom is super easy-going. You can hold him, hug him, trim his nails, and give him a good brush (which he needs, as his belly fur can be prone to matting). He certainly doesn’t require excessive attention, but he’ll happily accept it.

Phantom is great cat for someone who wants an easy first cat, or a mellow guy to add to a multi-kitty household. I love spending extra moments with Phantom, because he’s such an easy cat to please and loves, loves to purr!

You can read Phantom’s Petango profile here.

To adopt Phantom, visit bestfriends.org/la.

Goodbye, Kirby

KirbySaying goodbye is always bittersweet and this was no exception. Kirby, our 14.5 year-old diabetic cat left for the sanctuary this past Monday, where he will live out the rest of his days in luxury (or, if he’s lucky, get adopted). The Best Friends sanctuary is a pretty great place for an old or sick animal, or one with behavioral issues. They have a reputation for adopting out special needs animals at a pretty good rate. In Kirby’s case, he was accepted into the sanctuary because of his age and geriatric condition–unfortunately he was very unlikely to get adopted from our LA center, and had been with us since April.

That being said, we still had to send in an application for Kirby’s acceptance into the sanctuary, just like anyone else who wants their animal at Best Friends in Utah. So the whole cat team (and myself) were thrilled to hear that Kirby was going to be able to receive housing there. Kirby will get spoiled by the staff and volunteers and his diabetes will be managed for however many months or years he has left (hopefully several years!). He’s a pretty mellow guy who can get along with other cats and dogs (but prefers people).

While Kirby had many friends and followers in Los Angeles, once he was diagnosed with diabetes, he had to be kept separate from the general population of cats in order to regulate his food and insulin. So he had spent the past couple months in our intake room where the vet has her desk and can keep an eye on him. He pretty much had free reign of the whole office, and would sometimes make friends (or enemies) with other visiting cats and dogs that were there for medical reasons. I would go visit him during downtime or on my lunch break, and he would come running over with his lip snarled due to only having a couple teeth. He once tried to steal some french fries, and had a knack for knowing when someone was about to use the microwave (not that he was allowed any human food). But at the end of the day, we would all go home and Kirby was still there. No matter how much we all love him, the Utah sanctuary will be a much nicer place for him to live, but I know we’ll all miss him.

I have a special place in my heart for the older cats. Kirby is one of my favorites. But at least this gives me one more excuse to visit the Best Friends sanctuary in order to say hello. When I go back to work after my day off, Kirby will no longer be there. Which is bittersweet. But mostly sweet.

>>Read some cool facts about the Best Friends sanctuary

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