Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Button Helped Me Battle Breast Cancer, Part II

By Melissa Lisbon, HSSV Volunteer

Read Part I in this series.

It was early November. I was about to begin chemotherapy in my battle against breast cancer. It was a difficult time in my life. Then, fate brought me Button. Button was a stray kitten -- too young for HSSV’s adoption program, but a perfect candidate for fostering.

I contacted HSSV’s special needs department and was given permission to foster Button. Our extra bathroom was converted into a kitten nursery equipped with a small litter box, food, water, warm blankets and cat toys. After Button was settled in, I took him to HSSV’s medical center where the veterinarians examined him and put him on a schedule for vaccinations and neutering.

Despite the fatigue I felt from my chemotherapy sessions, the highlights of my days were spent playing and cuddling with Button. Like any kitten, Button was full of energy and always ready to play. I had forgotten how playful six-week-old kittens are. They play with such abandon and are never lacking in creativity. The same old ribbon seemed to get reinvented each time he played with it. Button's energy and enthusiasm was addictive and I found myself totally amused by his antics. His pure joy always put a smile on my face.

In quieter moments, we would often sit together. Sometimes, Button would jump on my shoulder and nuzzle my neck. It was as if he wanted to be close to my face to better express his gratitude and love. He was extremely gentle. It was during these moments of cuddling that I felt totally relaxed and at ease.

I remember a particularly special moment. It had been a tough day for me. As if Button understood exactly what I was going through, he crawled into my lap and settled in. He brought his face very close to mine and peered into my eyes. It was at this moment that I believed this little kitten knew I could use some comforting.

Outside the door of our bathroom-turned-kitten-nursery, I had many more treatments to endure, but the time I spent with Button behind those doors brought me a type of therapy only an animal in need could provide.

Read next week: Button is ready for adoption…

1 comment:

  1. Melissa,

    Thanks so much for fostering Button. He was such a sweet and well-behaved kitty when we adopted him. He still loves to nuzzle our faces and necks, but not sitting on the shoulder -- he is getting too big for that.

    Best wishes for you,