Cat Detects Owner’s Breast CancerC. Dixon
Michelle Pierson wouldn’t have discovered her breast cancer without her cat’s help.
The Albany, Oregon, native and her husband, Will, adopted the cat from Willamette Humane Society in 2017. The cat was in poor condition when the Piersons adopted her. They didn’t know where she’d been, and don’t know how old she is.
In the short time they’ve had Mia, though, she’s been a lifesaver — literally.
One day, she started acting strangely around Michelle, and it prompted her to do a self-breast exam.
“All of the sudden, out of nowhere, she just got up on my chest,” Michelle said. “And she sniffed that breast and then looked in my face, sniffed the spot again, and looked in my face. And I tried to shove her off, and she came back up, and just laid down on that right breast and just looked at me like, ‘I’m trying to tell you something.'”
Michelle did a self-check and felt a mass. Her husband was there with her, and also felt a lump. So she made an appointment with her doctor, and eventually found out she had Stage II breast cancer.
The prognosis likely would have been worse if Mia hadn’t alerted her owner that something was wrong.
Will and Michelle are grateful to Mia, and are not shy about heaping praise and affection on her.
“We’ve always loved the cat,” said Will. “But now the cat gets anything it wants, whenever it wants, as much as it wants.”
Michelle thinks she would have lost the fight by now if Mia hadn’t let her know early on that something was wrong.
She’s gotten some dismissive reactions when she credits Mia for saving her life, but she and Will don’t take it to heart.
“No matter if it’s proven or not, it happened,” Will said. “Whether or not the cat really did see something, it caused her to feel there, so in my mind, the cat saved her life.”
Michelle hopes her story helps raise awareness of the value of yearly mammograms as well as the value of rescue animals.
Watch the video to learn more.