Oscar-the-Cat: a Cancer Recovery Story
Earlier this year, I saw a post on Instagram that gave me much joy. It referenced an article on this very blog! I love to share stories like this so we can learn things that might help our own cats and even extend their lives.
“We are overjoyed to share with you the most wonderful news! On Monday, Oscar had another abdominal ultrasound. Once again, the vet found no signs of cancer, not even any enlarged lymph nodes. After being told that this aggressive form of cancer would never leave, we were now told to consider Oscar CURED. After being told that he would remain on chemo indefinitely, the chemo has been STOPPED and we are tapering off his steroids. After being told that Oscar had just weeks to live, he has now remained in remission for 15 MONTHS. Our vet, once extremely skeptical, now believes that it is highly unlikely that the cancer will return! When Oscar was first diagnosed, I started researching gastrointestinal lymphoma, and came across the story of a cat named Nate who had survived. Like Oscar, he had a similar mass removal / bowel resectioning, and the two were both quite young. (Oscar had just turned 5 when he was diagnosed, and Nate was 6). Nate’s mom, Connie, started giving him various supplements from @vitalityscience, which allowed him to live another 6 years! Desperate and willing to try anything, we started Oscar on Celloquent, in addition to conventional treatments. We also fed him a raw diet from @darwinspetfood, loved him tremendously, and prayed without ceasing!”
I reached out to interview Oscar’s human, Chantal, the woman who runs the TheOddCatCouple.
Liz: “I’m so happy to hear about Oscar! Can you tell us a little bit about Oscar and his diagnosis?”
Chantal: “My husband and I brought Oscar and his brother, Felix, home when they were just 3 months old. They’re Exotic Shorthairs. We only intended to get one cat, but they were the only two in their litter, and we hated to separate them. It was one of the best decisions that we’ve ever made!
In some ways, Oscar and Felix are truly the “odd couple” – very different personalities. Oscar was a bit shy when we first brought him home, so I spent a lot of time working with him to bring him out of his shell. As a result, he is now absolutely devoted to me.
He greets me at the door every evening when I come home from work, and I often wake up in the night to find him laying on my chest, purring and kneading. Oscar is also an extremely intelligent cat, who can master any toy! These days, his favorite things are snuggling, enjoying a hearty meal, and knocking over his toy box to get our attention.
Oscar’s diagnosis came about very suddenly. A few weeks after his 5th birthday…I noticed Oscar going in and out of the litter box, each time passing a small amount of liquid stool. The situation intensified overnight, and we took him to the vet first thing in the morning. An ultrasound discovered a 2+ inch mass in his intestines, which was causing a partial blockage. Oscar underwent surgery to remove the mass, which involved a partial bowel resectioning.”
What was the diagnosis?
Chantal: “He was diagnosed [by biopsy] with small-to-moderate cell T-cell [gastrointestinal] lymphoma. Given his age and the fact that the cancer presented as a mass, rather than diffuse cells, we were told that this was a very aggressive lymphoma. And that, without chemo, he likely had 4-6 weeks to live. With chemo, the prognosis only improved to 1-4 months.”
Can you walk us through a timeline Oscar’s treatment?
November 2017 (In bad shape, taking baby steps)
“Oscar was in bad shape when he first came home from the hospital. He hadn’t eaten for nearly a week, and was sent home with a feeding tube in his neck. We weren’t sure whether he would recover from the surgery, so we had to take ‘baby steps,’ as our vet suggested. He continued to run a fever and was dehydrated. For the first few weeks, he was given subcutaneous fluids, a vitamin B12 injection, and a steroid injection (methylprednisolone).”
December 2017 (Improvement)
“A month later, another ultrasound showed improvement already: his spleen was no longer bumpy, and the remaining inflammation in his intestines was reduced.”
January 2018– (Treatment begins)
“Two months after his surgery, he had recovered enough so that we could begin chemo – 2mg chlorambucil twice weekly. The steroid injections and B12 injections also continued. Shortly after starting the chlorambucil, I began giving Oscar Celloquent from Vitality Science. I was hoping that it would help him to tolerate the chemo, and it did! He got 1/2 tsp in his food twice a day. We also feed him a raw diet, which I also attribute to his success.”
April 2018 (Chemo gets rough, but then good news!)
“Oscar began vomiting and was no longer able to keep his food down. We treated this with injections of Cerenia until the vomiting worsened. An ultrasound came back clear, so we reduced the chemo to once a week [chemo was causing the nausea].”
February 2019– (Weight stabilizes; no signs of cancer! )
“His weight began to stabilize, and he started gaining healthy weight. He had another abdominal ultrasound, which again showed no signs of cancer. On February 11, we stopped the chemo and the B12 injections and began tapering off the steroids. We continued to feed a raw diet with Celloquent, and intend to do so for as long as possible.”
April 2019 (Continues Celloquent and raw food; stops steriods)
“Oscar received his last dose of steroids at the end of April. That means he is no longer on any medicines for the first time since his diagnosis 18 months ago.”
May 2019 (Dr. says “He looks terrific”)
“Oscar went to the vet a few weeks ago, and our vet said that he looks terrific! He will have another abdominal ultrasound in June, just to make sure that everything continues to look good post-chemo. We continue to feed him a raw diet, and he gets 1/2 tsp of Celloquent with each meal (2x daily). He continues to be happy and playful.”
Do you attribute Oscar’s recovery to anything else?
Chantal: “I cannot discount the importance of providing a calm, comfortable, and loving environment in which Oscar could heal. The hospital proved to be very stressful for him, and I did not see him completely relax and rest until he was back at home, laying at the foot of our bed. I was also very fortunate in that I was able to work from home for several days after Oscar’s surgery so that I could monitor and care for him. Oscar is a very happy cat, and I believe that he loves his life and wants to remain here for as long as possible. We will continue to do all that we can for him. He has received so much love and prayers during this journey, and we are so thankful for it all! He is truly a miracle, and we pray his story will bring hope to others who may be going through similar trials.”
We’re so happy for Oscar and his family! Thank you, Chantal, for sharing Oscar’s story.
Note: Based on the ingredients, I believe Celloquent is particularly useful for intestinal cancer. I also believe it’s strongly supportive of the feline immune system and therefore generally helpful in most cases. You can get 10% off Celloquent with coupon code catcare10
P.S. Note that after publishing Nate’s story and another miraculous story about a friend’s cat who had IBS (possibly IBD) symptoms, I eventually signed up to become a Vitality Science affiliate, which means that if you happen to buy after clicking a link, this blog receives a small commission at no extra charge to you. Please know that I would never do this if I didn’t strongly believe in these products. In fact, Vitality Science products have been life-saving for my own cats.
This is so heartwarming to see a cat make a recovery like this, Oscar seems like a very good boy. Thanks for sharing!
He’s the best boy! We are so grateful!
What a hopeful, inspiring story. I always want to hear about pet cancer improvements and recoveries. Thank you so much for sharing this!
I always want to hear about them too, Teresa. Thank you : )
…[insults edited out]
Expose the truth about animal breeding. Cats born with brachycephalic syndrome have respiratory abnormalities, crossed eyes, and behavioral problems. Because of their breathing difficulties, these cats have a low tolerance for exercise or hunting, struggle to eat, and are highly susceptible to heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Persian cats can’t normally hunt or fend for themselves and hairless cats don’t have fur to keep their bodies warm. They have to spend their whole lives indoors. If they go outside, they’ll freeze to death!
I get why humans bred dogs for function. But cats? Scottland and other parts of the UK rightly banned the breeding of Scottish fold cats and other “pure breeds”. A normal cat is not white or hairless. It’s born grey or black, with thick hair to keep their bodies warm, and normal erect ears. Breeding and keeping these type of cats is unethical. People shouldn’t be allowed to own non service animals as pets.
I’ve always cared for the stray cats in my neighborhood and adopted two beautiful boys from the local spca. They are refugees with whom we share our home. Although we love them very much, they bring so much joy into our lives, we strongly believe that they should not be kept as indoor pets.
@FelixTheWildcat7 This blog was designed to provide advice and hope to others whose cats may have been diagnosed with lymphoma or other gastrointestinal ailments. It is, thus, not the appropriate platform for promotion of your agenda. Although I appreciate some of your comments regarding animal breeding practices, I strongly believe that we have an obligation to provide proper care to animals that were already brought into this world – animals like Oscar and his brother, Felix, as well as our latest rescue, Petra, who also happens to be of the same breed. This is a breed that I love, not for their beauty, but for their incredibly intelligent, loving personalities. This breed is also not immune to ending up in shelters; in fact, many people do not understand the special care that they require, which is another reason why I will continue to care for this breed.
I can also assure you that Oscar is not a ¨poor cat¨ by any means! He receives better care than many humans, and thankfully, his anatomical structure does not appear to cause him any distress. He is a very strong cat, and aside from his diagnosis with lymphoma, he has not experienced any other illnesses. Oscar is a very happy cat, and obviously loves his life. If he did not, I do not believe that he would have made such a miraculous recovery!
If you have specific questions regarding Oscar´s treatment and/or recovery, I would be more than happy to address them.