Beo Cat

One of our volunteers received a call one day from a lady saying that she noticed a cat lying motionlessly for 3 weeks under a HDB void deck. She had thought the cat was just lazing around but after a while, realized that it barely moved at all, and so decided to call us. One of our volunteers who lived nearby, rushed down to see the cat and immediately brought it to the vet.

Lying under the block of flats for 3 weeks

Beo was undernourished and emaciated, and was diagnosed with numerous diseases. Beo was an 8-10 year-old male cat, which the vet diagnosed to have liver failure, probably due to old age or poor nutrition. He needed to be hospitalized as he was also suffering from dehydration and jaundice.

Meet sweet Beo

Over the next few days, there seemed to be some hope as Beo responded well to liver supplements and antibiotics. He also had a huge appetite, which was unusual for cats with liver problems. The vet decided to keep Beo under observation and run a full blood test on Beo.

Beo suffers from Feline Fragile Skin Syndrome where skin accidentally tears when you touch

The results were saddening as we found out that Beo had Feline Immunodeficiency Virus Infection (FIV), or Feline AIDS. FIV attacks the immune system of cats, much like the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which attacks the immune system of human beings. The vet advised that Beo should not go back to the streets as he was old and needed a home to provide palliative care. As FIV was contagious, we needed a foster that didn’t have other cats in the house. We wanted to give Beo a safe and warm place for him to live out the rest of his days.

Eating extremely well at the vet

However, after a few days, we received yet more bad news from the vet. When trying to remove the catheter from Beo, he flipped over and part of his skin tore off. Apparently his skin was so thin that his outer skin peeled out, exposing his raw flesh. The vet then confirmed that Beo was suffering from hyperadrenocorticism (or Cushing’s disease), where the adrenal gland produces too much of the hormone cortisol, which can be caused by an adrenal tumour or a tumour affecting the pituitary gland in the brain). Moreover, this disease is extremely rare in cats, and they generally do not respond well to treatment and medication. This also explained why Beo was eating so well despite having liver failure, as an increased appetite is one of the symptoms of Cushing’s disease. Subsequently, Beo was also diagnosed with feline fragile skin syndrome, also a symptom of Cushing’s disease.

We wanted to give Beo a safe and warm place for him to live out the rest of his days. Beo was very sweet and had a nice and gentle temperament. Unfortunately, before we could even do anything, we received news that Beo passed away after receiving treatment at the vet for 15 days. He was estimated to be about 10 years old. We were extremely saddened that he was unable to receive the care and love he deserved in the final days of his life.

Farewell Beo. At least you didn't die on the streets unnoticed

Beo must have led a tough life as a stray; not knowing when his next meal is or having to hide under the staircase to keep out from the rain. He lived a long life out in the open, protecting his territory from other cats. To live almost 10 years on the streets as a stray is no mean feat. He ate whatever he could find and the poor living conditions took a toll on his body. He was one of the very lucky few who was found at the end and given a glimpse of what his life could have been like if he weren’t a stray. Imagine what life is like for all the other strays that live forgotten, unnoticed.

Beo's entire bill, inclusive of cremation, was $1800/-. Should you wish to help with his vet bill, please email hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg so that we may continue to make a positive difference in more precious lives.

Written by Sherilyn Seah