Dear Dr. Varis, Toby is a rough and tumble, yet very needy, meowy kitty that has never had any medical issues besides bad teeth. He is only eight-years-old and I always imagined he would outlast Miso (an eight-year-old Abyssinian with frequent health problems) and live even longer than my childhood cats into his twenties. To learn that he faces a much tougher road was absolutely shocking and devastating. It was one of the most horrible weeks of my life. Although he had been getting sick for several weeks, he did not seem to feel bad or act differently until two days before the official diagnosis of lymphoma. He lost so much weight and the luster of his fluffy coat. He refused food, water and snuggles and did not seem like the same cat.
Day by day, Toby has shown marked improvement since beginning chemotherapy in early August. Within a few days, he started eating and drinking again, then purring and walking around with his big red ribbon. The next week, he returned to cuddling and neck licking (ouch! but love it more than ever now) and his trademark meowing at any and all times. Then he started tackling, attacking and biting, although I don't think Miso is very happy that's back! Yesterday, he resumed jumping, catching and bunny kicking his toys. I cave much more frequently to his cries to be held and carried around like a toddler and I am appreciating every moment of it.
Just before Toby's diagnosis, I learned that my job would end before Labor Day. In addition, only a few weeks before that, Miso suffered a severe heat stroke and required expensive overnight treatment. Little did I know that while we waited anxiously to determine if she had suffered irreversible damage, Toby was facing his own arduous battle. It was absolutely heartbreaking and financially overwhelming. I was not sure how we were going to get by.
I cannot thank you enough for your financial, medical and emotional support. Bonni was incredibly caring, thoughtful and encouraging and provided comfort and light during such a dark time. We are extremely grateful for the Zeus Varis fund and your generous, loving commitment to animals and their families.
Much gratitude and kindest regards,
Amber, Miso & Toby