When I first met the handsome Tuxedo cat Pablo up at Rescue Village in February 2008, he was totally unapproachable. He was scared and angry and would lash out if you came near. There was a group of FIV positive cats – the tough boys we called them – that hung close together. Strong in their united front, they protected the very sweet and social Snow who sat calmly in the middle of the group. His one blue eye looking at us sweetly as the others hissed or growled.
I felt badly for these cats, thinking that perhaps there was something we could do to help them trust us more so that they could relax and be happier.
When I got home, I read some blog posts about Pablo in the Nye County section on the old BF website:
PABLO — Poor, poor Pablo. He was in love with another kitty named Naomi. They would cuddle and play and groom each other. Then, Naomi got sick and it turned out it was heart failure and she crossed the Rainbow Bridge. Pablo was VERY VERY depressed. But, then he met Houdini and now they are buddies and they cuddle and groom and play together. Pablo is a sweet soul. He is unassuming and gentle. He is shy, but very nice and sweet. He is FIV+, but because he is so gentle with other cats he poses no risk of transmission and would fit in fine with FIV- cats.
HOUDINI — Houdini is a sweet, shy boy. He is best friends with Pablo and they spend most of the day snuggling. They would LOVE a family that would adopt both of them and understand their shyness. A home with other cats would be ideal so that they would have “behavior models” to demonstrate outgoing kitty behavior. Houdini enjoys petting and cuddling and he is wondering if the right family is out there for him (and Pablo?) He is FIV+ but has next to no chance of spreading it to FIV- cats and could co-exist in any household.
The Pablo I had met certainly didn’t fit the original description of him posted by this volunteer!
When I met Pablo, a number of the FIV+ cats were in cages so that they could be treated for various health issues. Houdini’s cage was on top of Fez’s cage so Pablo couldn’t see him or be near him.
After reading those blog posts, I suspected that being separated from yet another friend made Pablo sad and angry. I e-mailed Terri asking her to consider moving Houdini’s cage to the bottom so that Pablo and he could be near each other. She agreed as we both felt that being near each other would benefit them both. The next month when we went up there, I found Pablo sitting contentedly beside Houdini’s cage.
As the cats gained good health, they were released from the cages and we made progress gaining their trust. Most of them would take baby food from our finger and some would allow pets – Pacific, Winston, Pepsi, Pink, Orbit, Ralph-Rueben and of course Snow. Pablo didn’t seem to be food motivated and wouldn’t take any baby food, but he didn’t run from us either. He would sit calmly next to the other cats and watch as they ate the baby food and accepted pets.
By August, Pablo was enjoying baby food and accepting pets and I got to see and experience the true Pablo – a very gentle loving cat.
As many of our readers know, Rescue Village was slated for closure by the end of that September and they began to move cats down to Cat World.
From what another volunteer told me, the move was hard on Pablo and he hid in the rafters and would not interact with anyone. I am not sure if he and Houdini were in the same room. After just three weeks, Pablo was crossed due to FIP.
It broke my heart when I heard the news and I wept for this handsome, quiet boy whose last weeks on this earth were less than ideal. I hated to envision him, so confused and alone up in the rafters.
But he joined his friend Naomi on the Rainbow Bridge and I am sure he was there to great his BFF Houdini and now they know no more pain or fear and the love we send to them surrounds them like a warm blanket.
Sending you lots of love Pablo my feline friend!