That's great!  Your medical training will come in very handy then because this 
virus is such a virus in the true sense of the term.  That's how my Monkee 
could present as absolutely healthy for 4 years (not even a UTI or upper 
respiratory infection!- nothing) and then suddenly be struck down with symptoms 
when the virus became active.  
We've only had one cat (no felv or anything) make it to 19 and we thought we 
were really something special!  But 2, wow!  Yes, I was the same way when I 
took Monkee in at the end of law school-- my mom still had the 3 kittens from a 
litter from a stray that were born when I was ten years old living at home with 
her at the time.  They were of course all geriatric and driving my mom crazy 
because she thought it was "time" about every other day!  So I was used to cats 
living to be 17, 18 and 19!  The good thing is that after 2 of them finally 
passed relatively close together and we were left with admittedly, my favorite 
of the litter- Rambo- alone for the first time in his life at age 17, I rescued 
an unspayed 1 yo white cat and "dumped" her on my mom (b/c I had Monkee and 
couldn't take her in).  At first, it was a little weird between them- the 1 yo 
and the old man- but eventually they came to love each other in their own odd 
little way and my mom and I swear up and down that we got two more quality 
years out of Rambo b/c we brought him this kitten!  So there is something to be 
said for a younger cat infusing life into an older one, even if it's 
accomplished begrudgingly!

From: [EMAIL PROTECTED]: [EMAIL PROTECTED]: Re: new catDate: Wed, 6 Feb 2008 
15:14:25 -0500

Thank you Caroline.  You make a very good point.  I do intend to have him 
retested in a few months.  I work in the medical field and am somewhat familiar 
with  false positives and inadequate testing.  I'm not gonna let one simple 
test decide that he has this disease.  However, even if he does have it, it 
matters not one bit.  He's here to stay.  We absolutely love him to pieces, 
even the 19 year old is accepting him which I was worried about because Lennie 
has never had another cat in the house.  We've only ever had 2 feline pets and 
both have reached 19 so the thought of BooBoo not making it to a ripe old age 
came as a bit of a blow to me.  I know it shouldn't but we treat our cats like 
little gods.  I'm going to keep on reading and educating myself about this and 
do the best I can with the situation.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Caroline Kaufmann 
Sent: Wednesday, February 06, 2008 12:13 PM
Subject: RE: new cat
Hi Lynne.  Thanks for taking in this baby and doing all that you have for him.  
I think that's great.  Definitely keep him if he is asymptomatic right now.  
Any vet that recommends a cat that has tested positive for Felv ONE TIME and is 
asymptomatic is a quack (in my opinion).  The veterinary profession has come a 
long way in extending the lives of these cats and any vet that does not 
recognize that is not up on his/her research.  There can be false positives 
with these tests, so it is recommended he be retested again in 6 months.  
Please see my other recent post regarding "Buzz" b/c it has a lot of the same 
information about retesting. In addition, if you are going to keep him, you 
should look for a vet that is committed to proactively treating asymptomatic 
Felv cats.  Do your research.  Vet "hop" if you have to, but it is worth it to 
screen and to find the right vet who regularly treats Felv+ cats, is up on the 
research and will work with you to extend the cat's life.  There are many 
immune boosting things you can do yourself now to help your cat.  Also, a high 
quality diet is key.  There is an online group that is devoted to the 
discussion of a high quality diet for cats (especially cats with immune 
disorders) and I recommend you join it.  I am somewhat up on the research of 
the importance of diet, but not near as much as these people.  I will get the 
website address and post it here in a few.   Keep in mind that no one can tell 
you how long your cat will live.  There are so many variables and because of 
that, it is ALWAYS worth trying- especially when they are asymptomatic.  Please 
read thru the archives b/c many people have asked this very same question and 
the answers are always the same-- we don't know, but it's worth a try.  
Especially if you start proactively working to make him comfortable, reduce his 
stress (very key) and boost his immune system, there really is no limit to 
where he can go.  One of my vets had an Felv cat live to be 12 and then she 
died of something completely unrelated- she never even became symptomatic and 
never even suffered from the Felv.  So there are success stories out there like 
that.  And remember, all cats will die.  It sucks.  They will almost always 
leave us before we are ready and no cat will ever live to be 30 yo!  So from 
the minute we take them in and start to love them, their time with us is 
limited and all we can do in the meantime is shower them with love and 
affection and give them the best life possible.   caroline 

From: [EMAIL PROTECTED]: [EMAIL PROTECTED]: new catDate: Tue, 5 Feb 2008 
18:54:13 -0500

Hi all.
I just joined this list after doing all the reading I possibly could find on 
feline leukemia.  I recently acquired a Himalayan male cat around 5 to 6 years 
of age from a rather unscrupulous family.  I was familiar with the cat because 
all summer he would come over to our house and hang around, mostly wanting 
attention and something to eat.  Recently I discovered he was on a buy and sell 
site and immediately called the owners desparate to purchase him.  Knowing who 
I am the price went from 150 to 300 within a couple minutes.  Anyway, my 
husband and I had grown to love this little guy and just wanted him to have a 
good home.
Yesterday we took him to the vet where he was groomed, shaved of all the 
horrible matting under his chest and legs, deflead and treated for a terrible 
case of earmites.  We no sooner got home than the vet called to tell us he had 
tested positive for feline leukemia and wanted to know how much we had bonded 
with him and our options.  After what seemed like hours of crying I decided we 
were going to keep him as long as he stayed healthy which he is now.  This 
weekend he is going to be neutered, strongly advised by the vet.  This will be 
strictly a housecat.  He's adjusted very well and is adorable.  I'm just 
curious.  Does he have a chance at a longer life than I've been lead to believe 
he has.  I'm hearing a couple of years and I just cannot accept this as fact.  

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