When most visitors first meet Sunshine, they find a pair of sweet green eyes staring back at them, her brown tabby coat around a graceful frame. She greets people with an energetic meow (especially if they have food), ambling on over to rub up against them.
Visitors soon wonder why she has such an unusual gait, and puzzle at the lump that sits at her abdomen — a softball sized tumour.
The ten-year-old senior from Serangoon was cared for by Auntie Yani, an Indonesian domestic helper, for nearly most of her life. Auntie Yani and another rescuer, Stephenie, came to Love Kuching Project in search for a space where Sunshine could live out her last days.
Sunshine was in dire need of care, with the tumour at her liver and her kidney failure. We even had to give her painkillers initially when she seemed unable to cope with the tumour. Living her life as an outdoor community cat would have been very bad for Sunshine given her condition, so she was fortunate that we found a place for her a week after her rescuers reached out to us.
Her liver tumour has affected her appetite, and on bad days, Sunshine can often throw up much of her food. The tumour has been so intertwined with her other organs that any operation to remove it would be risky and likely lead to her demise.
Despite that, she has thus far continued to eat well, and often enjoys the care and love that our volunteers shower on her. She enjoys a veritable laundry list of supplements for her health, from Vitamin B, C and probiotics, to NHV ES Clear (a mix of burdock and slippery elm, amongst others), all of which help manage her cancer symptoms.
Auntie Yani, who has since gone home to Indonesia, would visit Sunshine at the shelter once a week on Sundays, her off day, and bring cooked fish or chicken for all the cats to enjoy. It’s a touching scene each time, though it’s often a chaotic one, as the kittens clamber over each other to get the first bite:
When she’s not asking for food or avoiding her daily subcut Sunshine often sits on her throne, a real duchess in her own right:
Moments like these reassure us that – in spite of all the problems we might face while rescuing cats like Sunshine – our work is worth doing, over and over, as we serve to bring love to the cats who might otherwise never have found a place they can call home.