Cats Help Owners Detect and Fight Cancer


Cat Owners Help the Susan B. Komen Foundation Fight and Detect Cancer

Roaming the Pet Food aisle at my local Safeway last week, I was attracted to a bright pink bag of Purina Cat Chow. Going to their website, I learned that this month, Purina has donated $275,000 to Susan G. Komen for The Cure. Thank you, Purina, for thinking pink this October for Breast Cancer Awareness Month!

Michael Joergensen, Cat Chow’s brand manager says, At Purina we believe in the unique and wonderful connection between cats and people. Enabling consumers and their pets to support such an important cause is a great way to spread awareness and inspire even more people to become involved.

In particular, cancer patients report that pets provide essential support while they are battling the disease. Cancer survivor Dr. Janet Jackson, Cat Chow Mentor and Vice President & Director of Nutrition Research, says, A few years ago, my cats were an enormous source of comfort to me during my breast cancer treatment. All three of them seemed to know exactly how to protect and comfort me at all times, from the soothing calming effect of their purring to keeping me company during restless nights. They could sense the difficult time I was going through, and I will never forget how much they helped me through it.

Purina’s Cat Chow site serves up reader-submitted stories of the integral role cats have played in helping their guardians fight — and survive — breast cancer. Melissa’s story about Misty was one of the most amazing I read:

Every night Misty would come up pull my arm over and lay so that I cradle her like a baby. In January of 2004 Misty would come up her regular time, but instead of laying and going to sleep she would bite my left breast on the left side. From the time we got her she never did that before. I would tell her to stop it and pull her away, but she would go back and keep biting it.

On February 14th I had a mammogram and the radiologist told me that she did not like the look of a growth on my left breast and the left side of the breast. I had it removed and it was cancer. As soon as it was removed Misty stopped biting the breast.

January 2008 she started again biting the breast, this time I did not wait, I called my oncologist, went had a mammogram done and the cancer was back, this time they removed the breast completely, had the treatments, and again she stopped biting the breast. Both times the doctors said I was lucky because it was found early, because of Misty.

Misty is my pride and joy and my guardian angel. When I was going thru the treatments, I would come home from my treatment and lay down, she would always come up and lay next to me, but first she would pull the throw over me, so that I would not get cold. She was such a comfort, my kids tell me I spoil her, but she is entitled to be spoiled because I am here because of her.

We all know what a comfort cats can be. On those days when it seems like everything I touch turns to doo-doo, there’s nothing more comforting than to go home and cuddle up with a furry ball of purr. When I’m sick, they keep watch like guardian angels, and I swear, I feel better just because they’re there. I highly recommend reading these personal stories of feline devotion.

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