William, the stray cat who settled well at Feline Towers. Credit: Debbie Johnson

Cat Chat with Debbie Johnson: William’s sad story was preventable

Torbay Weekly

William came to Feline Network in August 2021 from a Manchester rescue, being FIV+ they were struggling to find him a safe space.

He arrived here rather nervous but in much better shape than he was when originally rescued from the streets.

William was one of those un-neutered males, who probably got lost at a young age, fighting, eating from bins and the odd person giving him food or scraps, or eating from bird tables.

He lived this life for ten years or more.

He was eventually trapped, neutered, chipped and given food and TLC. He was estimated to be approx. 15 by this time.

He settled well at Feline Towers, realising he rather liked humans, and loved a fuss! Adored his food, too.

At the beginning of June, we noticed his teeth were getting more painful, and looked sore. He was booked for a dental check.

Upon drawing blood, it was noticed he was quite yellow, and the vets called to suggest a scan.

Long story short, it seems poor William had a mass on his liver and in his tummy, so anaesthetic was out, it would kill him, and the mouth was in urgent need of care.

It was catch 22, sadly. Given his FIV status, age, and general health, it was felt kinder to let him go with dignity.

Silverton Vets were fantastic with him.

This is never an easy decision.

William had touched so many hearts, it was a really tough call.

He would not survive many months with his current condition and would be in pain with his teeth.

We had no choice, any rescuer will agree this is the most awful, hardest decision to make, and you have to let your head rule your heart.

In rescue we always say feeding is never enough.

If you take on feeding a stray, you take responsibility for them.

William was never given that opportunity, until he came to FN. How many strays out there never get the chance of proper care?

The simple answer to this is neutering. If he had been, it would be quite a different story.