Read how a Florida woman, assaulted with a double diagnosis of breast cancer and multiple sclerosis, turned to her pets for comfort during her time of need. It seemed almost unbearable when Karin’s 15-year-old cat died during the height of this health crisis. But just when it seemed like all was lost, a playful, new paw stretched out and kicked Karin. They looked at each other for a moment and then both held on for dear life. He was just a kitten but seemed to have a profound understanding of Karin’s needs as she went through surgery. In fact, he warms her chest with his body at night. Who says animals can’t heal us? Read this precious story of how felines are helping Karin get her strength back.
Written by Karin Bosela of Florida
My story begins with a diagnosis of breast cancer the first of this year, which was pretty devastating considering that I was already diagnosed with primary progressive multiple sclerosis the year before. I had a wonderful cat of 15 years who went down hill fast after my second disease diagnosis and wasn’t strong enough to be with me to give me the love and strength I needed to fight this terrible disease. She (Lacey) had always been my Florence Nightingale whenever I needed her. When all treatments failed to help her, I had to make the hard decision to let her go before she was in pain. I set out to the vet with one last hope that we could fix whatever was wrong with her, but the vet just couldn’t find what was making her weak or lose weight. So with a very heavy heart, I ask the vet to put her to sleep and not let her suffer. She passed away on her own before the vet could even get the IV in her paw and I lost my best friend that day.
I vowed that I would never get another pet. It was just too hard to say goodbye. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t stop loving animals, in fact I still had a female Manx named Munchkin at home whom we had rescued nine years earlier and I loved her very much, but somehow we never had the bond that Lacey and I had.
A month went by and I was shopping for pet food and decided to walk down the cat toy isle as Munchkin was going through separation anxiety from the loss of her sister. I thought maybe a new toy might help. Well, to my surprise, as I walked past the cages of Candy’s Cats adoptions, one kitten reached out and slapped me. I stopped and he came up to the cage, having to touch my face, body and arms. He would just sit in the middle of the cage when anyone else went by. I thought his behavior was a bit odd and decided to ask more about him since there was no card on his cage.
He Changed All Our Lives
The adoption person told me he was a 4 month old male that they named Cycle. I made arrangements to sponsor him for a week to see if my other cat would get along with him (wow a new kitten to play with instead of a toy — how was this going to work out, I wondered) I made it two days before deciding that Cycle, now named Thunder heart, was going to stay permanently. Munchkin didn’t know what to think of him but came around quickly and she stopped chewing her hair out (separation anxiety relief).
I recently had surgery for my breast cancer and had to spend an extra night in the hospital, but when I came home, Thunder slept on my chest, yes, right on my chest. He’s only 4.5 lbs and he would wake up with my every move and kiss my face. It was as if God sent me a guardian angel to watch over me. And still today I have to wonder just who rescued who?
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