After a terminal diagnosis left a homeless, eight-year-old cat with an uncertain future, it was foster carer Paul who stepped in to reassure him that his best days were still ahead.
Caesar lives with Congestive Heart Failure (CHF), a condition that affects the functioning of the heart. While the disease’s symptoms and prognosis may vary, a proper diagnosis and treatment plan enables many cats with this condition to live a normal life.
Caesar has been no stranger to shelter life or foster care, having been rehomed twice and fostered four times since 2015. He was surrendered to RSPCA South Australia yet again in 2022 and was diagnosed with heart failure while at the Lonsdale shelter.
Caesar’s future was looking bleak – there was no telling how long Caesar would live, and the shelter was struggling to find someone who would take in the animal, who despite being terminally ill was still enjoying life.
Thankfully, big-hearted Paul stepped in to give this affectionate cat a second chance.
For Caesar, his days are now spent basking in the sun on his favourite couch, pestering Paul for head scratches, and appreciating the simplicity and comfort of the life he now has.
Caesar’s first seven years had been filled with love, but sadly it wasn’t happily ever after
Before being surrendered last year, Caesar had spent seven and a half loving years with his previous owner Christina, who had adopted him from our Lonsdale shelter when he was just a kitten.
Reflecting on her time spent with Caesar, Christina described him as cat who just loved to be loved.
“He wants nothing more than to be the centre of someone’s world,” she said.
The pair adored each other for many years, but after welcoming a child into the family, Christina started to notice that Caesar wasn’t coping well with having to share the attention.
“I was hoping that he would warm up to the idea of having a little human around, but he seemed to just become aloof and depressed.”
Relations continued to be strained between Caesar and Christina’s young son, so it was with a very heavy heart that Christina made the decision to let her beloved Caesar find a home where he could once again be comfortable and happy.
Caesar has brought so much love into Paul’s life
Foster carer Paul said he had been living alone and looking for a new feline companion for some time before he found Caesar.
“All cats are very different – most are pretty affectionate once you get to know them, and once he’d had time to adjust to his new home, Caesar’s affectionate nature came through,” Paul said fondly.
“I’m certainly attached to him.”
Since being in Paul’s care, Caesar has overcome his fear of the unknown and has stopped hiding away in the nooks and crannies of the house.
The pair even have a nightly routine, with Caesar joining Paul in the evenings and curling up on his lap so they can watch TV together.
Caesar’s condition has been easy for Paul to manage, with the content kitty requiring medication just once a day.
“He’s well looked after and is a very happy cat,” Paul said.
Despite the challenges that come with fospice, providing end of life care for a vulnerable animal can be an incredibly rewarding experience.
Older and terminally ill cats like Caesar often find it more difficult to find loving homes, which is why the work of foster carers is so important. While the time spent together might be short, the days spent together are often the most memorable days of an animal’s life.
Want to fospice a cat like Caesar? Join RSPCA South Australia’s foster family and make an animal’s last chapter their best.