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Mojo’s Journey Through Feline Cancer

Filed under: Feline Lung/Toe Cancer — Super Stu! at 4:05 pm on Saturday, September 16, 2017

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As a relatively new Tripawd Mum to our big dog Stewie and also new to Tripawds, I have read through many blogs and forums and have fallen (electronically) in love with with many beautiful souls, both Canine & Feline!

I checked with Stewie & Jerry’s Pack and they all said it was perfectly fine for me to write about Feline Cancer on Stewie’s blog page, so that I can share my beloved cat’s cancer story…

Mojo Munchkin Allen

I have been extremely fortunate in my life to have been blessed with some beautiful souls, I call my cats and dogs. I have shared my love with them and they have returned that love tenfold! One of these incredible beings, I called Mojo! (aka Munchkin) He was such a scragamuffin kitten, who grew into the most beautiful & majestic (not to mention large) boy!

“I am King of this Castle!”

He was a major scaredy cat though, who was terrified of storms and would pick fights with his older brother Spike constantly! But they loved each other dearly and always had each other’s back in stressful times! He had the longest, most beautiful black coat I’ve ever seen on a cat and he knew just how handsome he was for sure!

Spike & Mojo survey their kingdom!

Brothers Yin & Yan!

Mojo was an incredibly good hunter and I would find his ‘gifts’ all around the house! He stayed away from those Raskety Rats though, he used to pull the funniest faces if he found a nest! His favourite thing to do was to catch birdies! He would spend hours, patiently waiting for the right moment to pounce. Ultimately he was the best mouse catcher…!

Mum! Mum! I got you a mouse!

Munchkin Man was very smart. He could give a Paw and the other one and could also give high five! His favourite time of the day was at 9pm, when it was Dad’s turn to give treats. He would show up right on time and he and Dad would have their treats and lovin’ session!

Dad & Mojo… treat time!

Mojo was not quite 11 years old when we discovered that he had a rare feline lung cancer!

It was in February of 2013 that I noticed that Mojo was licking quite frequently at his front right foot. Then he would occasionally shake it as if something was stuck to his fur there. I would check his paws, but everything appeared to be normal. But he wouldn’t stop this behaviour, so after about 3 weeks we took him into the vet, with the possibility in our minds that this could be some sort of infection.

“Go ahead, smell my armpit!”

As I have mentioned, Mojo was a beautiful, long haired black cat, so due to the fact that his toe pads were also black, we couldn’t see anything going on. We did an X-ray of his paw and it came back with an inconclusive mass in his toe, but definitely not an infection…

My big roaring Jaguar!

Our vet, Dr. Laurie, suggested an amputation of the toe and we could then get it biopsied. This was the first time that amputation had ever entered my vocabulary when it came to my animals (my father had to have his leg amputated years ago, due to a heart condition) and both Paul and I were shocked, but we also knew that Mojo would get around afterwards with one less toe, no problem. We just wanted this bad, painful toe to be gone from our boy! So we scheduled his surgery for the next morning.

The strangest request came though, when she asked if she could do an X-ray of his lungs! She explained that there is a rare lung cancer in cats that metastasizes to the toes! She had only seen it once, years before in her career and we are fortunate that she remembered that case so vividly! So we left our boy in their care for the next 24 hrs, hoping for the best and fearing the worst! I had never dealt with cancer in my animals before either, so when we got the call that there was definitely a mass in Mojo’s lungs, Paul and I were devastated, to say the least!

Ssshhhh Mum! I’m in disguise!

I guess the rationalization for our next decision was due to the fact that Mojo wasn’t showing any signs of lung issues, it was just his poor toe that was bugging him… so we asked for his toe to be amputated anyway and that at least would get rid of his immediate pain!

Mum & her big boy!

The following morning we got the devastating news… prior to surgery, Dr. Laurie had done an X-ray on his other feet, just to be sure and unfortunately found that three out of his four feet had tumours in his toes!!! We couldn’t believe what our boy was living with! He had only been showing us how one of his toes hurt, we had no idea that his whole body was been ravaged by this horrible cancer! The only choice we were given was palliative care for our sweet precious boy! We were absolutely torn apart inside!!!

We were sent home with anti inflammatory pills, pain killers and the too short a prognosis of 2-3 months! The very painful tumours in his toes were just going to get bigger, to the point of bursting and we would have no choice but to euthanize by that point! We never saw any sign of the lungs being compromised from the tumour, it was just his poor feet that were hurting!

“Mum now carries me to go outside”

I stayed by my boys side for weeks, taking endless pictures & videos of him and watching his feet slowly get worse… our home was a very solemn place to be. I didn’t want anyone around, as they didn’t seem to understand how torn apart we were feeling. It was an endless time of agony and too short a time for love!

We knew the time was coming…

I smothered him in kisses and held him close and feared for the day that we would have to say goodbye! I was truly grateful for the extra time with him, but it was torturous on us all! I still sometimes wonder if we should have let him cross that Rainbow Bridge sooner?!

By now the tumours were definitely visible!

This is what his paws looked like shortly before we said goodbye…

He stayed with us through his 11th Birthday on April 4th 2013
(I think he knew how I needed at least that!) and we said goodbye to our incredibly brave boy on May 3rd. I thought my heart would never mend!

All of our fur babies are special and Mojo was no less than incredible! He still comes to visit me and I know he’s there when I accidentally call out his name or his name will come out, instead of one of my other fur babies… I say there will never be another like him and that’s true, but I say that about all of my fur kids… I love them all to the moon and back!

Mum & her big beautiful boy!

My heart still aches for him and I have tried to forget about the last couple of months with him (it was a very dark & painful time for me), but now that I am a part of this wonderful Tripawds community, I see how important it is to tell our story so that others might gain some insight to help their fur babies along.
(I have accidentally said his name twice today, so I know he’s close and has given me his pawprint of approval!🐾❤️)

“Can I pass as a statue Mum?”

Rest in Peace my Mojo, Munchkin… I will always miss your beautiful face and your truly loving nature. Many snuggles and nose kisses being sent your way my darling boy!  ❤️❤️❤️

Our Fur Babies Resting Place ❤️

Spike saying goodbye to his little brother!

This very special place, under three beautiful trees, is where we lay our loved fur babies to rest. Mojo is with his oldest brother Odus, along with his canine sisters Keiko and Abbey plus Dad’s special cat, Munster Man, they are all running in the beautiful fields surrounding The Rainbow 🌈 Bridge, waiting for us all to move on together. That’s when my heart will truly be full again!

*** In answer to Jerry’s question,  I asked our vet what the condition was that Mojo suffered from… It was Lung Digit Syndrome. Mojo had a primary lung tumor (probably bronchogenic carcinoma) which spread to his digits

 

 


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6 Comments »

   jerry

September 23, 2017 @ 2:31 pm   Reply

Petra I am so proud of you and grateful too, for writing about such a difficult and heart-wrenching time in your life. Yes, Mojo’s story will definitely help others in so many ways. Not just for those going through the Tripawd journey, but for those coping with end of life and grieving processes. Thank you so much.

By the way, what was the exact cancer type?

       Super Stu!

    September 24, 2017 @ 8:51 am   Reply

    Thank you for your very kind words you guys! I’m very grateful for being able to tell my Mojo’s story.
    It’s true though isn’t it… the more you love, the more you hurt. Grief is such a personal thing and no one can give instructions as to how to get through it… I truly feel honoured to have had all these beautiful souls in my life and I am blessed to have the fur babies that I have now in my life. I know there will be more agonizing losses in my future, but every loss is a true gift as I know that I have have been loved by an angel!
    I will have to check with Dr. Laurie as to the name for Mojo’s cancer. All I can remember is that is was a lung cancer, that metastasized to his toes. I will find out and edit my blog.
    Thanks to everyone for your all kindness and your virtual hugs. You are all very special people!
    Sloppy kisses from Stewie👅🐾
    & all the very best from his adoring pack,
    Petra, Paul, & his feline siblings, Mr. Spike, Chester Molester & Miss Lily 🐾🐾🐾❤️.
    http://stewie2017.tripawds.com/

       Super Stu!

    September 26, 2017 @ 6:05 pm   Reply

    So I asked Dr. Bill today about Mojo’s cancer and this was his answer…
    “Lung Digit Syndrome. Mojo had a primary lung tumor (probably bronchogenic carcinoma) which spread to his digits.
    I hope this particular cancer is as rare as they say and that nobody has to go through this!
    Thanks for having me check that out Jerry’s Pack!

   Purrkins

September 19, 2017 @ 8:58 am   Reply

Thank you Petra for taking the time to write about your sweet Mojo/Munchkin !!
We never understand why this stuff happens but your making a difference by sharing Mojo’s story! I have read about that cancer! Mojo lives on & will help someone in the same awful shoes some day!! I am sorry for you loss I can clearly see he was your big baby!! He is showing up to say he is ok! I don’t know that our hearts ever mend ? We just manage the heartache better after years go by! There is a hole for each fur baby we lose! We will look like Swiss cheese when our journey is done! That just means we were really blessed to love & be loved by so many!! We carry them with us until we meet again one day!

I agree with Kerren he definitely had Maine Coon in him! He was a big love bug!!
A lot like Purrkins in that sense! We have been blessed with beautiful souls too both cats & dogs! Although we only have the kitties now I am glad to see we are not alone in the love of both species!! How can you not be?

And Stewie Happy Ampuversary OMC I want to smooch him thru the screen!! He is a rockstar on 3!!! Keep kicken butt Stewie we are cheering you on!! I love it Chester Molester adores Stewie do they all get along?
Much love & appreciation to you, Stewie & your feline pack!!
Holly & Purrkins❤️

   kazann

September 17, 2017 @ 9:31 am   Reply

Thank you for telling us Mojo’s story. He was huge! Based on his size and personality I wonder if he had Maine Coon in him. His beautiful colouring is very similar to Mona’s. I love how he let you hold him as some large cats don’t like to be held. It’s clear that he loved you. Hugs, brushes and scratches to your fur family.

Kerren, Eli, Tripawd Kitty Mona

       Super Stu!

    September 17, 2017 @ 9:37 am   Reply

    Kerren, Eli and beautiful Mona
    Thank you very much for your kind words! I also thought that he had Maine Coon in him,but the shelter that I adopted him from had no idea… Does Mona have Maine Coon in her? They really are gentle giants aren’t that?!
    Mojo would let me do anything to him and I loved him dearly for that! I still wish for his beautiful body to be close to me, but I know he is definitely one of my Angels.
    Please give Mona & Eli special cuddles from me and thank you for reading Munchkins story!
    Sloppy kisses from Stewie👅🐾
    & all the very best from his adoring pack,
    Petra, Paul, & his feline siblings, Mr. Spike, Chester Molester & Miss Lily 🐾🐾🐾❤️.
    http://stewie2017.tripawds.com/

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