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On June 10, 2018, we received a call that an injured cat needed our help. A lady was feeding a group of strays on her country property and a new cat had shown up with blood dripping from his head. We sprang into action and set traps for him. He showed up almost immediately from across the road where he was living in an abandoned garage. He took one sniff of the stinky sardines and went right into the trap. That's when we truly got a good look at him. His condition was shocking. His right ear was completely gone and his left ear was torn and necrotic. He was painfully thin. His once beautiful, long coat was matted and dirty. But in spite of his poor condition, he was friendly. Our hearts broke for him. What was his story? No one knew.
Early the next morning, we took him to our vet. She suspected the injuries were due to an animal attack. His left ear canal was completely separated, making him deaf in that ear. His smaller right eye is likely a birth defect but he does have some vision. We were relieved that he tested negative for feline leukemia and FIV. Surgery to remove his remaining mangled ear was scheduled for the following morning.
The surgery appeared to be successful, and after spending a few days in the hospital, Possum was sent home to continue his recovery. We couldn't wait to get him home so we could brush his coat, feed him quality food and smother him with love. We quickly discovered he was a drooler when he was happy ... and we were OK with that.
Possum continued to heal at home but not as well as we had hoped. We returned to the vet who determined more cartilage needed to be removed off both ears and a drain needed to be placed in his left ear due to a lingering infection. Tissue samples of his mangled ear were sent to the lab. After a week, we received the devastating results ... it was cancer. The vet scheduled him for another surgery to remove most of his ears along with all of the cancer.
On August 3, 2018, Possum returned to the vet for a recheck of his surgery. The vet determined he was cancer-free! We were so happy for him. He continued to recover at home and his ears were healing nicely. He was putting on much-needed weight and his fur had transformed into a soft, beautifully white coat. It was obvious that he was feeling better -- he was running and playing around the sanctuary like a furry madman! Possum continued to flourish and we were optimistic that his health issues are a thing of the past.
In early October, our sweet Possum began scratching at his left ear. It got progressively worse until he started to make it bleed. Our vet has given him antibiotics but feels the cancer may have returned. Possum will once again return to the vet on Tuesday, October 16th for possible surgery to remove more of his ear. It's not that the vet didn't get it all before, it's that it may have come back or already have metastasized.
Please continue to keep Possum in your thoughts... His story is not over by any means. He will continue to fight as will we!
We have been so thankful that he came into our lives so that he could have a second chance at life, and we have been amazed by the love and support that we've been receiving from everyone, near and far. Your support makes our spirits soar and it allows us to give Possum a chance at a beautifully loved and spoiled life.
Please continue to follow his story on our Facebook page. We post about him regularly with updates, photos, and videos.
SPECIAL THANKS to Dr. Rose and her staff at the Cat Clinic of NW Arkansas for the care and love they provide for Possum and all of our other Sanctuary cats.
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