UPDATE: Gypsy found a home!
According to C.A.R.E., the group that rescued her, a person visited over the weekend and adopted Gypsy. A representative wrote, “They are so sweet together — see the attached picture.”
“I have no doubt they were made for each other,” the message continues. “We are so thankful to you for featuring her. After over a year, she found a home because of Catster’s article. Please let your readers know that the story has a happy ending!”
Gypsy’s story reads like an old-fashioned lonely-hearts ad. She’s a cat who’s out there looking for love — but so far the sort of attention and compassion she desires has continually passed her by.
Being a black cat and being diagnosed as FIV-positive hasn’t helped Gypsy’s cause. Neither did a three-year stint where she found herself homeless outside a motel in Richmond, Virginia.
Now Gypsy lives at a shelter called the Cat Adoption and Rescue Efforts — aka C.A.R.E. — and she has been routinely passed over for adoption. She remains hopeful that her forever home is still out there on the horizon.
According to Kelsey from C.A.R.E., Gypsy’s story begins when she was abandoned by her original humans outside of a motel for reasons no one learned.
At first, Gypsy’s reaction was to wander around searching for her family — but they never returned.
For a three-year spell Gypsy was forced to fend for herself against dangers such as “traffic, predators, toxins and infections diseases.”
Gypsy also found herself pregnant on many occasions. But as Kelsey says, “She struggled to protect each of her litters because she didn’t have a consistent source of shelter and food.”
Most of the kittens in Gypsy’s litters, unfortunately, passed away.
“Staff at the motel told us that Gypsy had brought dead kittens to them before,” says Kelsey.
As far as C.A.R.E. knows, Gypsy’s only surviving kitten was four months old. Gypsy brought him to an extended-stay guest at the motel. After testing negative for FIV, the kitten was adopted.
But Gypsy remained outside. Her days were spent struggling through the sort of hardscrabble life that was alien to “such a friendly and people-oriented cat.”
That was until another extended-stay guest at the motel who had been feeding Gypsy noticed her struggles and called C.A.R.E.
After Gypsy was rescued, she instantly revealed herself to be what Kelsey characterizes as “possibly the sweetest and most mellow cat I’ve ever met. She’s playful and loves attention but is mostly content to roll over on her belly and be petted.”
But testing positive for FIV seems to have worked against Gypsy’s chances of finding a forever home.
“FIV-positive cats that are well cared for can live long, healthy lives, and it may be several years before they start to show symptoms,” says Kelsey.
But there’s still a stigma against them.
“People think FIV-positive cats are always sick or don’t live long lives.,” she explains. “Vets used to consider FIV a death sentence, but not anymore. They’ve found that FIV cats can be healthy and live for many years — just like cats without FIV.
“There’s also the idea that FIV cats can’t live with other animals, which is not true. FIV isn’t contagious to dogs or people, and it can be transferred to other cats only through deep bites.
“Gypsy’s a lover, not a fighter, so there’s very little chance of that happening.”
At the moment, Gypsy is still waking up every day hoping that her four-year search for a true home will finally come to an end.
As Kelsey puts it, “I know there is someone out there that can see past her being a black FIV-positive cat and will be drawn to her for her wonderful personality — and I so hope that person will find Gypsy.”