Pet of the Week: Frannie seeks new home that will give her special care

Frannie, a domestic medium-haired cat, is available for adoption at the Winchester SPCA's Rockaplenty Adoption and Education Center. Frannie has feline immunodeficiency virus. Brad Fauber/Daily

WINCHESTER – Frannie, a domestic medium-haired cat, first arrived at the Winchester SPCA’s Rockaplenty Adoption and Education Center at the age of 2 weeks about a year and a half ago. Frannie was returned to the center last month, now a carrier of the feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), the result of an altercation with an infected cat during her stint with her previous family.

Frannie is now seeking another home and, though she’s FIV-positive, she comes with little restrictions, said Steven Rogers, cat supervisor at the Winchester SPCA. Rogers likened FIV to its human counterpart, saying that the virus is only spread from feline to feline and cannot be transmitted through normal, everyday interactions.

“It’s in her blood, so it would have to be her bodily fluid would have to go directly into another cat in order for her to be able to spread it. They don’t spread it through using the litter box or food or water, playing or grooming. That’s all normal,” said Rogers, who added that direct bites are often responsible for transmitting FIV.

“It’s something we try to educate people on because she’s a great cat. She loves other cats. She loves people. The chance of her ever spreading it is pretty slim.”

Frannie’s lone restriction, Rogers said, is that she must remain an indoor-only cat due to her condition. Rogers emphasized the importance of taking Frannie to the veterinarian for regular checkups (at least once a year) in order to detect any “secondary infections” that could be made worse by the feline’s weakened immune system, but he added that proper care often allows FIV-positive cats to live as long as a normal, healthy feline.

Rogers also said that prospective adopters who already own other pets shouldn’t be scared off by Frannie’s condition, as she does well with fellow cats and would likely do just as well with dogs if “the introduction was right.”

“As far as other pets, you can adopt her with cats that don’t have FIV as long as you understand what she has and the risks,” Rogers said. “I personally own an FIV-positive cat. I have one FIV positive and the rest are not, and I adopted him from here and he does great. So it would be up to you, your discretion.”

Rogers described Frannie, who sports a tortoiseshell coat splashed with shades of brown and black, as “very clean, prim and proper,” and said that while the cat can be playful, Frannie tends to be very laid back.

“I see her more of like a lap cat, more of a cat just to get up on the couch with you and lay. She’s got more of that kind of demeanor about her, you know, not destructive. She’s a good girl,” Rogers said.

“I think she would acclimate pretty well in just about any environment. She’s pretty laid back and she acclimates pretty well. Obviously just somebody that’s home enough to give her attention. She’s an affectionate cat so she’d like to have someone probably that’s home a little more often, not someone that’s gone like 16 hours a day. She would probably get lonely.”

Rogers said Frannie has been spayed and is up to date on all of her vaccinations.

Adoption fees for cats at the Winchester SPCA are $75.

The Winchester SPCA’s Rockaplenty Adoption and Education Center is located at 111 Featherbed Lane in Winchester and can be reached by calling 662-8616 or by visiting winchesterspca.org.

Contact staff writer Brad Fauber at 540-465-5137 ext. 161, or bfauber@nvdaily.com