Friday, March 1, 2024
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Mr. Sunshine Meets the Specialists

black cat at veterinary office
Mr. Sunshine meets the specialists.

Mr Sunshine and I visited with the nice people at Pittsburgh Veterinary Specialty & Emergency Center North on Tuesday, getting an idea of what’s going on with him. He enjoyed being the center of attention. Apparently some techs had to pass him around before his needle aspiration because he’s so wonderful, and he got an extra brushing, which probably made him purr even louder. What other cat purrs like a race car engine when he’s surrounded by vets and techs? Mr. Sunshine does!

From the exam and needle aspiration the veterinarians diagnose it as a sarcoma, and think it looks most like a trauma/injection site sarcoma. He’ll need to have a CT scan to get the most information about its shape and size and spread, and most likely surgery to remove the growth and a portion of some other things, possibly even losing one hind leg considering where it is. The surgeon explained that he needed to have the CT done right before the surgery, even a few days could make a difference, in fact it was best if he had the CT scan and decided right there what course to take. We have a surgery date of July 27, though if things change for Mr. Sunshine before that we may do it sooner.

Only once in any of my cats’ lives have they received a 3-year rabies vaccine or one possibly with an adjuvant, and that was November 2020, after my regular veterinarian had retired and left and I called another house call vet. My veterinarian only used a one-year vaccine, no adjuvant, and every other veterinarian I know uses either a one-year or three-year, but all without an adjuvant. I never even thought to ask, since the non-adjuvanted vaccines came out I thought everyone used them. I have been very careful not to feed or do or introduce anything that would raise the risk of cancer or other diseases, and I haven’t had a cancer in this household in 20 years. And there have been many regulars come through here in that time. I’m not even sure how I feel.

Apparently this happens often enough that the manufacturer, Elanco, has a reimbursement program for regular and reasonable surgery costs for cats who develop these sarcomas. I’ve applied for that, and it’s up to $1,500 reimbursed to me after I pay the vet.

I’ll be doing some fundraising! I’m trying to determine the best platform for a fundraiser, and GoFundMe seems to be even less in fees than using my own credit card processor or PayPal, unless you send to friends or family. Stay tuned. Here is the estimate.

Mr. Sunshine’s estimate for imaging and surgery at PVSEC.

And send purrs for Mr Sunshine! Here was how he felt on Tuesday after coming home from the veterinarian.

Again, if you’d like to help me with Mr. Sunshine’s care…

…and with the senior panels for the others as well as a follow-up for Mimi, selling my merchandise is how I pay for that. Visit my website,, and do some shopping! I have been making handmade gift items like crazy between everything else, plus artwork and photography for yourself or for gifts. Also consider a portrait, or a portrait certificate. It would make me very happy to pack and ship things to you in return for money.

The antibiotic that cleared up Mimi’s kidney infection last year was $200 for six weeks, and I haven’t seen her look this good for about five years. I might even say it saved her life because that deep infection that no one else had diagnosed was wearing her down and had effects on her digestion and mobility. A long-term advanced antibiotic is the standard treatment for a deep infection, though, and while that’s less expensive than even simple cancer treatments, it’s still an expense and I want to be ready. I’m also seeing symptoms in Mewsette and Giuseppe that I’ve wanted to have examined too, and if there is a connection with toxoplasmosis and some of these symptoms, a toxoplasmosis test for one cat is $140. Vendor show season starts in earnest in July, but that income is in the future and upredictable.

As always, thanks for following us, and thanks for caring! I always appreciate hearing from you, no matter how that happens.

And if you did want to donate, my Paypal address is bernadette @ bernadette-k . com and my Venmo is @Bernadette-Kazmarski. And thank you for caring, whether you buy something or donate or not.

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set of cat dishtowels
“Dishtowels” dishtowels

Mr. Sunshine is on three out of these four dishtowels! Read more and purchase.


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Weekly schedule of features:

Sunday: Essays, Pet Loss, Poetry, The Artist’s Life

Monday: Adoptable Cats, TNR & Shelters

Tuesday: Rescue Stories

Wednesday: Commissioned Portrait or Featured Artwork

Thursday: New Merchandise

Friday: Book Review, Health and Welfare, Advocacy

Saturday: Your Backyard Wildlife Habitat, Living Green With Pets, Creating With Cats

And sometimes, I just throw my hands in the air and have fun!




From health and welfare to rescue and adoption stories, advocacy and art, factual articles and fictional stories, "The Creative Cat" offers both visual and verbal education and entertainment about cats for people who love cats, pets and animals of all species.

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