I Spread Feline Breast Cancer Awareness in My Cat's Memory
I adopted Tallulah in 1999, she was this cute tiny kitty with a small patch of black on her head and right ear, and her tail was all black. She had been mistreated and pregnant when Friends of Cats rescued her. She tugged at my heart, and I knew I was meant to adopt her and give her a loving home. She was afraid at first, but once she realized we were not going to hurt her she became this fearless cat that loved life.
My Tallulah and I bonded, she slept with me every night, laid on me when we watched TV, and I could do just about anything to her most of the time.
On July 9, 2009, our lives changed. I found lumps on her right side near her nipple. I knew this was not good. I immediately called her vet and got her in the next day. Her vet took a sample and told me I would have to wait for the results. Just looking at her face I knew it was going to be bad news. I was crying before I could even get to my car, just knowing that something horrible was about to come down on us.
The next day we got the horrible news that Tallulah had mammary cancer. I could hardly talk on the phone because I had already looked up mammary cancer in kitties, and it was a death sentence.
She was scheduled to see the oncologist, and he confirmed what the vet had told me. He explained what he would do and her chances of survival. She was in for the fight of her life.
She was scheduled for her surgery on July 20, 2009. When I brought her in I felt like running with my Tallulah. I couldn’t believe my precious baby girl was going to have to endure so much. The tears were coming down. I was hugging her and didn’t want to let her go, and I prayed for all of her Catster friends and angels to help my Tallulah. This was one of the worst days I have ever had to go through. All I could think of was what they were doing to my Tallulah. I made copies of her friends' pictures and comments on Catster and they hung them up in her cage.
They removed all of her right-side mammary glands. She stayed overnight and I was able to bring her home the next day. She came out of surgery and was doing good. I didn’t sleep since all of this started, and it was a relief for Tallulah to finally be home. She healed and then we were on to her chemo treatments. Tallulah did great with getting the chemo. She never got sick or stopped eating, which is always a concern. She had four treatments. Each time they had to do blood work to make sure she was OK to have the chemo. As time went on she didn’t want to go, and she fought a little, but she was great for all that she went through. She was the fighter, never giving up.
Tallulah won the battle and survived breast cancer!
Tallulah had to go back in for a recheck Feb. 22, 2010. She had an X-ray and it confirmed that her cancer had come back, but it was in her lungs. Her vet gave her six months to a year. My heart went into my throat and the tears came again. I knew I was going to lose my Tallulah, but we were not going to give up and stop the fight.
She finally lost her battle Aug. 23, 2010. Her last night with us, she was very weak, but somehow she managed to climb from her bed on my nightstand to my bed and lay on me. I petted her, gave her love, and finally we fell asleep. Around five in the morning I woke up and knew I had to give her one last gift as she had given me her last gift -- the gift of peace. I managed to call the vet emergency near our house, and I took her in. I sat in the car with her for a while, crying and talking to her, telling her how much I loved her and thanked her for coming into my life. At 7 a.m. she made her journey to the Rainbow Bridge.
If it hadn’t been for all of her friends on Catster I would never had made it through my grieving and loss. I cried and screamed -- why did this happen to my Tallulah? Then it came to me: You were a fighter, Tallulah. And I will continue to fight for you and not let your death be in vain.
I then knew what I was going to do: Spread the word about kitty breast cancer, to let others know that cats and dogs do get breast cancer.
Tallulah was the mascot for some ladies who walked the three-day breast cancer walk in 2009 and 2010. I sent pictures, her story, and the pins to a lot of her friends at Catster. She is all over the world now, spreading the word. This year we had a fundraiser to raise money for research on feline breast cancer.
There are no words to thank everyone who was there for me and my Tallulah.