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Despite valiant public support, "Smelly Cat" dies of feline HIV

Maximus the cat enjoys some happy time cat-sad
© Stray Cat Rescue Team West Midlands - Facebook

We rallied around Maximus, and in our droves managed to raise £10,000 for his ongoing treatment. But in the end, the fighter otherwise known as Smelly Cat could fight no more.

By Nick Whittle

Published on the 28/01/2020, 22:00, Updated on the 08/02/2021, 13:32

Discovered in December of last year emaciated, malnourished and dehydrated, roaming the streets of Birmingham, Maximus had an uncertain future. As if his acute ailments weren't bad enough he was also found to be carrying feline HIV, a virus that made him susceptible to a host of infections and diseases.

We reported on the efforts of the Stray Cat Rescue Team to help the 14-year-old pull through. Within days of the shelter taking him in, more than £10,000 had been raised for treatment and care.

Maximus was eventually cared for at White Cross Vets in Wolverhampton where he received multiple (and expensive) treatments. Although his feline HIV was not curable, the money raised was used to buy medications to treat the infections that wracked his body. 

Find out more about feline HIV.

Tributes to a brave cat 

Despite the efforts of all of those involved in his care Maximus died on Friday night. On the Stray Cat Rescue Team’s Facebook page was written simply, “I love you. Goodbye baby boy.” 

Volunteer Lucy Strickland told The Metro, “There wasn’t a stone left unturned in Maximus’s treatment. Everything that could have been done, was done. 

We fought so damn hard, the vets fought so damn hard, and Max fought so damn hard. He was our special little soldier. 

In the eight weeks we knew Max, We had so many ups and so many downs. He bounced back from so many lows, he smacked us when he didn’t get what he wanted, and his favourite past time was being Mr Nosey. 

I know he had an awful life up until we rescued him 8 weeks ago, but I can only hope he enjoyed the ups with us.”

Tributes continue to be paid to “the most amazing” stray cat that brought hope and joy to people’s lives all over the world. 


I love you. Goodbye baby boy ??

Posted by Stray Cat Rescue Team West Midlands. on Friday, January 24, 2020