I love Best Friends in Kanab, Utah and was fortunate to visit for a day two winters ago with my mom. It's a magical place where lucky animals of all kinds end up, some move onto adoptive homes and others call BF their home for life. Read the lovely story above about an adorable kitty who needed not only a little expert medical care but some cat savvy folks to understood he isn't limited by his physical disabilities.
I actually contacted BF today to see if they might be able to take in a kitty I've become involved with from Spokane. A friend of mine noticed this long-haired Siamese boy in his neighborhood months ago and wasn't sure if the cat belonged to someone or not. His coat was becoming increasingly matted and then my friend noticed the kitty was declawed! The "owners" had abandoned him months prior and even though other neighbors left out food for him, they never let him inside or took him to be neutered. My friend decided to take this cat in and made an appointment with his local vet. I suggested he have the kitty tested for FIV/FeLV (leukemia) since any shelter or potential adopter would want this information. Sadly, the kitty has tested positive for feline leukemia.
Feline leukemia is contagious via saliva such as a bite wound (Tom cats fight and this is likely how he contracted the disease) but also could potentially be spread through shared food bowls or litter boxes, so it's essential that this kitty be strictly inside and an only cat. The virus does not jump to other species and is not spread on a person's clothing like feline upper respiratory virus can be. This kitty's not showing any signs of illness at this time and it could be several years before he develops cancer or becomes obviously sick. He is eating well and very affectionate. After the lousy hand he's been dealt I feel like he deserves to enjoy the time he does have left. Of course my friend and I both have cats and don't have the room to give him his own living quarters, like most everyone I know. Whoever takes him in will do so knowing that their bond may come to an end sooner than if they adopted a young, healthy cat and that they will likely have to make that fateful decision we make when our companion animals are truly suffering. But this kitty won't be counting the days or worrying about his hidden virus; he will be living in the present. The one shelter in WA that does have a "leuki land" sanctuary space is at capacity. I know BF receives hundreds of requests every single day from people searching for a place for an animal they are wanting to help, but I am holding out hope that BF or some kind person will offer him a space in their heart and their home.