Heathcliffe was a barn cat from the farm across the lane from our house. He would visit us most evenings to eat the food we put out for any visitors. He was big , ginger and loud, one of the most vocal cats I have ever come across. He was very friendly and a regular visitor to our yard. One evening, we noticed he was limping and had a nasty gash on his rear leg. We easily enticed him into the sunroom where we could keep him away from our other cats and examine the damage to his leg. As it was late winter, early spring it was too early for fly's which could have laid their eggs in an open wound so that was a blessing. We made an appointment at the vet's and were devastated when the results of the test came back to indicate that he was positive for Feline Aids. At the time we had 3 other cats and as such we could not take him in ourselves. We were told that due to the aids virus in his system, he would need a prolonged, regular dose of antibiotics if there was to be any chance of a recovery for his leg injury. Heathcliffe went to live at The Best Little Cat House in PA and this was to be our introduction to Lynn and the other volunteers. Heathcliffe became the official greeter to the Dome, he earned his keep by very loudly welcoming each and every person who entered the hospice, over and over and over again! Over the following weeks and months Heathcliffe's leg healed up quite nicely with the regular doses of antibiotics. As so often happens with aids and leukemia cats he caught an upper respiratory infection and passed away a few months later.
On a Sunday afternoon visit to the farm some months later I was shown a little ginger kitten that had a huge lump on it's abdomen. I immediately called Lynn who told me to bring him over. We got a phone call the next day from Lynn who told us the story on the little kitten. It turned that the kitten was negative/negative and had narrowly avoided death due to the double hernia which was the huge lump on his belly. Dr Kepner at the Animal Hospital of Dauphin County had operated on the little kitten for over 3 hours that very day. It was touch and go as to his survival chances but due to the excellent care he received he came through the surgery very well. He was adopted but unfortunately that fell through after a few weeks.We gave him a temporary home until we could find a permanent family. When we did find someone we couldn't go through with it and kept him along with our now 5 other cats. It was a decision that we will probably regret for the next 15 to 20 years. This cat is evil personified, any trouble, he's the cause of it, eats like a horse, torments the other 5 cats in turn, and is generally a bastard which is how he got his name, Dylan Bastard! He is SO cute though, we'll keep him! We are 100% positive that due to his loud voice and coloring he is Heathcliffe's Grandson!