After more than a year at DCSPCA, FIV+ cat Falcon finally found his dream home.
Here at DCSPCA, we all knew beautiful Falcon as the cat who often perched high on the windowsill, watching over all of his cat friends. Diagnosed with FIV, and shy at first with humans, more than a year went by without an adopter choosing to take home four-year-old Falcon. But then the mother of one of DCSPCA’s cat care team saw something in Falcon that no one else had seen, and he finally found his dream home.
DCSPCA: How did you come to meet Falcon?
MARY: We came to meet Falcon through my daughter who is employed at DCSPCA. She works primarily with the cats at the shelter and we often talk about many of the cats waiting for adoption. When she told me about Falcon, his story stayed with me—pulled at my heartstrings. It made me so sad knowing he had been at the shelter for about a year and a half. It baffled me because he is a beautiful Mackerel Tabby and has a sweet nature. He definitely was a shy guy and was more comfortable with cats. He wasn't afraid of people, just wasn't comfortable being picked up or petted.
DCSPCA: Can you please tell us about the moment you knew you wanted to adopt him?
MARY: It started on a sad note. We had been going to the shelter because our sweet cat Jack was very sick and he wasn't going to recover. We spoke about the idea of adopting Falcon after Jack passed. I visited Falcon during several of our trips to the shelter. I knew he needed us and we equally needed him. We had two other cats at home and their dynamic without Jack would be hard. It would especially be hard for Ector, another cat we adopted from DCSPCA who was bonded with Jack. Falcon was perfect for us because he was constantly friending many of the cats who came to the shelter. The heartbreaking day we had to come to—putting Jack to sleep—I noticed Falcon sitting high up in the window. To me that was a clear sign Falcon belonged in our home.
DCSPCA: How is Falcon doing now that he’s settling in at home?
MARY: Falcon is doing wonderfully—better than I expected. When he first came home he hid under my bed most of the time. He would only come out to eat and use the litter box. Slowly he appeared more and more. We eventually introduced him to our other two cats. They gave him a little bit of a hard time at first. Lots of hissing and sounds I hadn't heard from them before. Falcon wasn't fazed, never hissed back or shied away. He let them do their thing. Not long after the hissing subsided, he graduated to living in the rest of our home. Now they all run around together. It's so cute to wake up to three cats at my bedroom door once again. I even found him sleeping cuddled up with Ector. I loved that.
DCSPCA: What are some of his favorite things?
MARY: He's too funny. He loves to watch TV. Everything catches his attention. Falcon loves to play with things that most wouldn't consider to be a cat toy. He certainly would disagree. He had the best time with my end table trying to tackle its handle. He would wrap his paws around it, roll over, swing around upside down then run around. He loves feeding time the most. Falcon is such a little explorer of each and every inch of his new home. He’s constantly going up and down the stairs, jumping through the railing.
DCSPCA: How has adopting Falcon changed your life?
MARY: We needed him as much as he needed us. Losing Jack was so incredibly hard. Once Falcon came he gave us something happy to focus on. He filled that empty space in all our hearts. We will always miss Jack. I know Jack would have loved Falcon. Adopting Falcon has been such a positive experience. It feels really good to give him the home he waited way too long to find. He belongs here.
DCSPCA: What would you say to someone who is considering adopting a cat with an FIV diagnosis?
MARY: At first I didn't know much about FIV. My daughter completely educated me about FIV and what to expect. I'd say it's best to educate yourself as much as possible about FIV. That makes it way less scary than it seems. Our cats are indoor cats. I think that is important in keeping them all healthy. Especially a cat with FIV. I don't find Falcon's diagnosis an issue as long as he is cared for, to protect his immune system. It's no different than how you would care for any pet. Make sure they get dental cleanings, all their shots, and yearly check ups. Most of all give them love, attention, and a warm home.
DCSPCA: Is there anything else you’d like to share about adopting Falcon?
MARY: I have this good feeling that in time Falcon will grow in his comfortability, allowing us to pet and cuddle him. I saw the transition with Ector who was incredibly shy and frightened of everything. Now if I let him he would spend all day in my lap. I know not to push Falcon too much. Already we get in a few pets on his head while he is eating. Already we love him with all his curiosity, his little legs, and big beautiful swirls on each side.