Today is a sad day. Last winter someone dumped a pair of black cats in our neighborhood, and being the softy that I am, I took a shine to one of them: black, with a little hint of white fur on his chest that looked like someone had taken a paintbrush with white paint and just daubbed at the tips of the hairs, talkative, but with a fairly mellow voice, friendly and affectionate, eager to have someone take care and love him, as maudlin as it sounds. He'd come around the front door and bewail his loneliness and desire to be fed something that wasn't out of a garbage can or scuttling through the weeds; it wasn't until about a month ago that he started letting me sit on the ground a few feet away while he ate his dry food, and a couple weeks later he started letting me pet him. About that time, he started trying to come in the house, but I didn't think it was a good idea. He proved me right yesterday by spritzing the china cabinet in the dining room. Silly boy.
Well, a couple weeks ago, I made an appointment for him to go get tested for feline leuk and worms, and to get the usual vaccines. Today was his appointment, and he was really well behaved about it: didn't cry very much, didn't fuss, was good about getting into the carrier, and about the ride to the vet. The bad news, however, after he arrived, was that he tested positive for feline AIDS. From what the vet told me, it works similarly to AIDS in humans, which means the immune system weakens, then shuts down, allowing the cat to die from relatively minor infections like colds. The problem is that the vaccines for things like rabies and distemper backfire because of the weakened immune system; the cat gets sick from the vaccines, but it's not likely to get better. That means that there are two alternatives. If you don't have any other cats in the household, you can keep the cat indoors full-time, isolated from any contact with other cats who might be carrying even minor bugs. The cat can still sneak out, of course, and pick up something. The other alternative is obvious.
The receptionist at the vet's office said he was lucky someone cared enough about him to take care of him.
On the plus side, I'm almost finished with the Spartan pullover. Got the body of the sweater done, and most of one sleeve, so I just have one sleeve left, and the sewing together of various pieces.