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Animal instincts could have saved her life.
Kate King-Scribbins believes her pet let the cat out of her pocket, which alerts her to a cancerous mass growing in her left breast.
“Oggy always loved snuggling in my arms, but he started cuddling more aggressively than usual, which was weird,” the 35-year-old Scribbins told Caters News.
“I would try to direct him to another location, but he just wouldn’t have it. He seemed more determined than ever to make sure it was near my left breast. “
Then, one morning after months of noticing the unusual behavior of her rescue animal, the Minnesota-born Saint Paul awoke to a stab of pain that radiated throughout her body.
Scribbins, a married healthcare fraud investigator, did a self-exam on her breasts and discovered a lump.
She was later diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer and immediately underwent multiple rounds of chemotherapy, multiple surgeries, and radiation.
“It wasn’t until I felt the lump and got the dreaded diagnosis that I realized what he had been trying to tell me all along,” said Scribbins.
“I look back on the changes in his behavior towards me before I was diagnosed with breast cancer, and I really believe he was trying to make me aware of the dangers growing in my body.”
Scribbins credits Oggy, who saved her 15 years ago, for discovering her malignancy at an early stage.
But she accepts that most skeptics and non-pet owners will largely poo-poo the prophetic powers of their pussycat.
Scribbins doesn’t mind being publicly labeled a “crazy cat lady” if it means her story inspires others to notice health warning signs from their pets. @mypinkgenes / CATERS NEWS
“I don’t blame people for not believing me,” she insisted. “But I don’t look like a crazy cat lady if it means someone else will be made aware of a health problem sooner than me.”
Unfortunately for Scribbins, breast cancer wasn’t the first threat to their wellbeing.
She was diagnosed with a rare genetic mutation CDH1 in 2019, which causes both lobular breast cancer and hereditary diffuse gastric cancer.
The doctors were then forced to remove all of her stomach. She now has no signs of the disease.
But Scribbins, who Oggy, another cat and two dogs, shares with her husband Andy, 37, realizes that cancer will likely always be a part of her life.
Scribbins, who Oggy, another cat and two dogs, shares with her husband Andy, praises their animals for their emotional support with their health problems. @mypinkgenes / CATERS NEWS
“I can’t say that I’m on the ‘other side’ of cancer because, as all cancer patients know, the effects of ongoing treatments and exams never stop,” she said.
Since Oggy finished chemotherapy and had tumor removal surgery, he hasn’t focused his attention on her chest.
“If only I had realized what he wanted to tell me,” Scribbins longed.
She jokes that if Oggy had the ability to verbally communicate with her, he would have called her “stupid” for ignoring his warning signs.
“If only pets could talk,” she added. “I can’t help but wonder if I could have gotten my cancer sooner if I’d noticed his behavior and listened to him.”
Regardless of their medical issues, Scribbins is grateful to have a life surrounded by love. @mypinkgenes / CATERS NEWS
Despite her failure to instantly decipher Oggy’s cryptic messages – and the cat’s inability to translate its meows into words of wisdom – Scribbins is grateful to be a survivor.
“Cancer is a part of my life forever and I agree with that,” she said.
“It made me who I am today and I am forever grateful to my amazing family, friends, and of course, animals for their emotional support.”