Adopted Cats Bring Comfort During Treatment

When Max needed loving care, Sophia and Mia were there.

Max + Sophia & Mia

When Max needed cancer treatment, adopted cats Sophia and Mia were by his side.

"Every time we came home from Max’s chemo infusion, the kitties would climb up and lay with him. Their companionship was a cure for his heart."

Adopted Cat Sophia

On April 8, 2016, my husband, Max, and I were married. Like all couples, we were excited to begin our lives together — but unlike some, we were particularly excited because one of the first things we wanted to do as a family was to adopt a cat!

One month later we adopted our first fur baby, Sophia. I went to Petco because I had seen another cat online and I wanted to see if she might be a good fit. She was a wonderful kitty but when I was there, I saw another kitty. This kitty had the saddest eyes I’ve ever seen. A couple of months shy of being a year old, she had been displaced several times and had just been separated from the family who fostered her. I called my husband and told him that I found another cat — a cat who was visibly sad and would probably require a lot more love, time and attention. He came to meet her, and we filled out the adoption paperwork for our sweet Sophia.

Adopted Cat Sophia

Life went on, and by fate, we ended up rescuing another kitten almost a year after we adopted Sophia. Sophia and Mia became the closest of companions.

Adopted Cat Sophia

In the spring of 2018, Max was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 32. His cancer was treatable but aggressive, so the chemo was one of the more intense treatments that really knocks a person down. When a person goes through pain that deep with cycle after cycle of poison being pumped through your body, there isn’t a lot anyone can do to comfort them. Above anything, when Max was feeling very sick and unwell, the only thing he wanted was his Sophia and Mia.

It’s almost like the kitties knew something was wrong. Maybe they could smell it? I’m not really sure but I do know animals are intuitive. Every time we came home from Max’s chemo infusion, the kitties would climb up and lay with him. Their companionship was a cure for his heart. Week after week, month after month, they looked after Max. Chemo weeks were particularly hard. He slept a lot. I would often peek into the bedroom to see one, if not both, kitties laying on top of him while he was sleeping. I could barely get them to come for their treats! Whether it was on the couch, in the bed or running to him when he came home, they were always there.

Adopted Cat Sophia

When we adopted our fur babies, we always knew that we would care for them, whatever their needs were. We would snuggle them and show them all of the love and affection in the world. We never in a million years anticipated how much joy they would bring to our lives — even when we could not find it anywhere else. They comforted my husband in a way no person could.

Each year, the Petco Foundation invites adopters to share the story of how their adopted pet changed their lives during the annual Holiday Wishes campaign, giving the organization that they adopted from a chance to receive a grant award. This story by Courtney won Cat Rescue & Adoption Network in Springfield, Oregon a 2019 Holiday Wishes award.