8-year-old Walnut is searching for her forever home after suffering through a pretty rough spot in life. And if you’re a cancer survivor like she is, you could adopt her free of charge.
Walnut, or Princess Walnut as her foster parents affectionately refer to her, was dropped off at Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter (BARCS) looking thin and with a dull coat. She was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism. Because of the condition, she was deemed unadoptable, and the shelter was about to have to make the tough decision of what to do with her, as they were out of space. Luckily, however, Laura Cassiday with Chesapeake Cats and Dogs scooped her up in the nick of time.
But euthanasia and hyperthyroidism weren’t the only threats to Walnut’s life and health. After her “fairy foster godmother” got her hyperthyroidism under control with medication, she went to the vet to be spayed, and the veterinarian discovered she had multiple mammary tumors already growing in her body.
Walnut bravely underwent a biopsy and a chest x-ray, and then a bilateral mastectomy to remove the tumors, which were then sent to the lab for testing. The lab results confirmed that Walnut did indeed have cancer and would need to be monitored for future signs of the disease’s recurrence.
Breast cancer, called mammary gland cancer in animals, is just one more reason to get your beloved pets spayed. 85 percent of mammary tumors in an unspayed cat are cancerous, but hormone-positive cancers can often be prevented by spaying your cat at a young age. The surgery also helps prevent pyometra, a serious and potentially fatal uterine infection that a quarter of unspayed cats will contract in their lifetime.
Now that Princess Walnut is back to living her best life, she’s ready to be adopted and whisked away to the castle of her dreams. Laura and her husband have posted her story to social media in an attempt to find the right home for her, and they believe a fellow cancer survivor who understands what Walnut has been through would be the perfect fit.
“Princess Walnut is still searching painstakingly for her true love, the people who will wait on her whisker and paw,” Laura writes in an adoption plea. “This princess deserves to be served the finest meals and to sleep on the softest of pillows. If you come to meet her, she will test to see if you are her true love by headbutting you and purring!”
Walnut will likely do best in a home without other pets or young children. She takes a pill twice a day for her hyperthyroidism, and her foster parents say she eats it with her food without any complaint. The medication costs about $10 a month, a small price to pay for the lifelong love of a regal feline like this one.
Walnut, who currently resides in Baltimore, Maryland, is spayed and microchipped and will be up to date on all her vaccines before going to her forever home. Her adoption fee will be waived for any cancer survivor who wants to take her in and show her the love and support she’s been missing for a good chunk of her life.
Are you a breast cancer survivor? Princess Walnut would love to meet you! “She’s already unstoppable,” says Laura. “Imagine how the two of you would be together!”
Elizabeth Nelson is a wordsmith, an alumna of Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, a four-leaf-clover finder, and a grammar connoisseur. She has lived in west Michigan since age four but loves to travel to new (and old) places. In her free time, she. . . wait, what’s free time?