Family Adopts Cat with FIV Without Knowing It, She Outlives Expectations

This story was submitted as part of the Fur-tastic Scrapbook contest. Winners will receive $500, plus $2,000 in cash and supplies for their favorite rescue. You can vote for your favorite finalist through August 1 here!

Mama Francesca, or Chessie, came to us as an unexpected gift. My daughter and I were shopping at a farmer’s market in Santa Cruz, California, when we spotted a rescue group with many cats up for adoption. We were drawn to a big, fluffy Maine Coon with the cutest, goofiest, friendly face. We said, “Let’s adopt him.”


The rescue folks said the other cat in the carrier was his sister, and wanted to know if we would consider adopting her, too. Of course we did! She was a little sweetie with bright, intelligent eyes. We found out later she had FIV… The rescue group never told us, but at her first free vet checkup, through the rescue site, the vet confirmed it. We said, “Oh no, we love her all the more!”

She went on to give us 10 of the best years we have ever known. My 83-year-old husband and she became fast friends, and until her death two months ago, Chessie was “his girl.” She enriched his life beyond measure. They shared a recliner each night while her “dad” watched his news shows. Her personality and the way she communicated with us, her every thought, brought us unthinkable joy.


We will mourn her until the day we see her again in the heavenly realms, across the Rainbow Bridge. We love you Chessie!

Story submitted by Cat Moore in support of A Dog’s Life Rescue. Vote for your favorite Fur-tastic Scrapbook story here!

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