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Callie's Cancer Part 3

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Guest Blogger Contribution.

Obviously, a blog about a house cat is hardly appropriate for a site dedicated to human health, but I feel that Callie's story is indeed significant to the human side of cancer.

This post is Part 3 of Callie's Cancer blog that was posted on Monday, 22 August 2016 and of Part 2 that was posted on Wednesday, 25 January 2017.

A Quick Recap

Callie was diagnosed on 6 June 2016 with terminal stomach and intestinal lymphoma. She was given six months to possibly a year to live with chemotherapy and steroid treatments. Her symptoms included: extremely weak and lethargic, bent back, too weak to straighten her hind legs, face and body drawn in intense pain, incontinence – total loss of bowel control, diarrhea, frequent vomiting, stools black with blood. She was so weak, it was hard to imagine her living the rest of the week, much less six months. 

We decided against the prescribed treatment as explained in Part 1 and Part 2, and instead, try her with the only cancer treatment that we have witnessed to be truly effective – a plant based diet. There didn't seem to be anything to lose. 

A year has passed and Callie is still with us and going strong. Callie's success in beating cancer with a vegan diet as her only treatment has far exceeded our most ambitious hopes. Not only are all of her cancer symptoms gone, but other lifelong inflammatory issues disappeared as well. Her latest veterinarian visit yielded a diagnosis of a trim, healthy 15-year-old cat with a clean bill of health. I believe Callie is another mark of evidence that a plant based diet is the most effective "treatment" in preventing and reversing cancer – especially since she is not even anatomically equipped to eat plants! 

Callie's story may be argued as not scientific proof, but it is indeed another significant example adding to an already long list of human examples. Callie is now enjoying her life. She is trim, strong, pain free, active, loving and fully in-charge.

Is Feeding a Cat a Vegan Diet Recommended?

No. Doctor McDougall often points out that each species has a specific optimum diet. I believe that is certainly true, but I believe there is more to it than that. The original source of food, for all animals on planet Earth is plants. Plants are the beginning of the food chain and is the most nutrient rich – as that is where it all starts. From Callie's cancer experience, I have learned that all carnivores suffer from getting their fuel and nutrition second-hand, however due to their anatomy, that is all they can do, and it shows: the average herbivore is larger, has more stamina and a longer lifespan than carnivores.

Is Feeding a Cat a Vegan Diet Easy?

No. Callie is indeed an obligate carnivore that we are feeding a diet that is in conflict with her gastric anatomy. Resulting issues include food passing too quickly, due to the fiber for which carnivore anatomy is not equipped, thus requiring more frequent meals. It also requires highly processed food to reduce the fiber content. As you might expect, her stools are loose due to the amount of remaining fiber, though she does have perfectly regular bowl control. Other issues include pH control. Cat's require acid forming foods while humans and other herbivores require alkaline forming foods. This can be extremely problematic, even fatal in some cats, particularly males. Fortunately, Callie's pH has remained in the safe zone.

Is it Difficult to get Cats to Eat Vegan Food?

Not really. All three of our cats love the vegan food. Just like humans, cats taste is learned and they like what is familiar. Also like most humans, they don't know where it came from. Additionally, they are individuals each with their own tastes.

What Has Been Learned?

While surviving cancer is a wonderful blessing, that is not the end of it. This has been a very enlightening journey, being that Callie's anatomy does not include elements for digesting plant based foods – a polar opposite of human anatomy. However, apparently, we are very similar at the cellular level especially with issues of inflammation and cancer. This experience adds another connecting dot to how inflammation is so involved in essentially all Standard American Diseases - including cancer. 

Please understand that I am not a medical professional in any capacity. This writing is only to share my experience and what I have learned from it.

Nothing in life is more inhibiting, failing or debilitating than the belief; "I Can't."
Nothing in life is more freeing, enabling or successful than the belief; "I Can." 

DrCarney.com allows Member Blogs. Opinions in Member Blogs are views of the Member Blogger and not necessarily of Dr. Carney. Registered Users may request a FREE upgrade for blogging permission. Bloggers agree to support Dr. Carney's Starch-Smart-System.

 

Callie's Cancer Part 2

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Comments (18)

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Thank you Ken for keeping us updated on Callie. Quite the story. Quite the experience. Great read. :-)

 
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I enjoyed reading all three of Callie's blog entries. Very thought provoking, to be sure. Who would have even thought that a plant based diet might be beneficial to a carnivore. The amazing power of plants!

 
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You can sure say that again. Amazing that the cats have been benefited. Years ago I ready the story of "Little Tyke" who was a lioness whose mother tried to kill her at birth. As a result Little Tyke would not eat anything with blood in it. Even one drop of blood in a bucket of grains. That lioness was happy and calm and peaceful and eventually died from too much heat from Hollywood filming lighting on a movie set.

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Callie Update 26-Sep-17

Callie's latest doctor (veterinarian) visit included a full body ultrasound and complete blood-work panel. Her previous ultrasound, taken in June 2016, revealed thickening of the stomach and intestinal walls indicating cancer, which was then confirmed by multiple biopsies.

Her latest ultrasound, taken on 14-September 2017, one year and four months after adopting a vegan diet,
indicates all organs to be normal - no thickening of any tissues noted. Her blood-work is also void of any cancer markers. She no longer has any symptoms or test results indicating cancer.

Though not cancer related, her total cholesterol of 102 and triglycerides at 34 are of interesting note. Both a total life-history low.

Callie is now enjoying an increase in her dietary options. Two homemade options have been added, using VegeCat nutrition supplements. While plant based foods have a much higher nutrition density than meat based foods, cats do not have the physical anatomy to extract it, thus requiring supplements. She loves her new homemade meals. The first dish we tried was oatmeal based. She loved it so much her first words were, "Wow! This great!". Ok, no she really...

Callie Update 26-Sep-17

Callie's latest doctor (veterinarian) visit included a full body ultrasound and complete blood-work panel. Her previous ultrasound, taken in June 2016, revealed thickening of the stomach and intestinal walls indicating cancer, which was then confirmed by multiple biopsies.

Her latest ultrasound, taken on 14-September 2017, one year and four months after adopting a vegan diet,
indicates all organs to be normal - no thickening of any tissues noted. Her blood-work is also void of any cancer markers. She no longer has any symptoms or test results indicating cancer.

Though not cancer related, her total cholesterol of 102 and triglycerides at 34 are of interesting note. Both a total life-history low.

Callie is now enjoying an increase in her dietary options. Two homemade options have been added, using VegeCat nutrition supplements. While plant based foods have a much higher nutrition density than meat based foods, cats do not have the physical anatomy to extract it, thus requiring supplements. She loves her new homemade meals. The first dish we tried was oatmeal based. She loved it so much her first words were, "Wow! This great!". Ok, no she really didn't say that out loud. She couldn't... her mouth was full. Then we tried her with a barley based meal and she loves it as well. There have been many total flops along the way, but she now has about five daily meal options that she really loves.

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What a fascinating story. Thanks for sharing it. I used to feed my cats some 40 years ago on a vegan diet of a lot of brown rice with olive oil and lots of yeast flakes. They really loved it (the oil and yeast seems to be what they loved most) and would even bring in other cats to try out their food. But, they also supplemented their diet with birds and mice and other little creatures which they would also bring to me as a thank offering. :-( My guess is your cats won't feel compelled to do that since the supplements you are providing your cats are probably what my cats were missing. :-)
Sean

 
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I am thrilled for Callie's success in reversing her cancer. Pretty good for such an old cat! I am happy that she is vegan and that you all are too.

 
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Hi, I’m so happy to hear about your cat.

I’m really looking for some advice, our cat has kidney problems - the vet put her on kidney food and after reading the ingredients I was shocked, pork and eggs amongst other things. I was planning on changing this over to PH supplement on veggiepets.co.uk and trying this out. She was hit by a car 5 years ago and has went downhill a lot the past few months because she also has severe arthritis and her back legs trip over a lot of slide to the side when she walks. The vet thinks that her spine could collapse because the disks are slipping. She was constantly urinating and we didn’t know why this was happening, she had blood in her urine and they would treat her with antibiotics and the urinary infection just wasn’t going away. We had her at the vet yesterday to have a scan and the vet said that she has a tumour in her bladder taking up most of it and to prepare ourselves to say goodbye, we weren’t ready to do that and we managed to get her home. We give her CBD oil so she no longer cries in pain like she used to, you wouldn’t think she was a sick cat apart from the fact that she struggles to walk and we have to help her do the toilet...

Hi, I’m so happy to hear about your cat.

I’m really looking for some advice, our cat has kidney problems - the vet put her on kidney food and after reading the ingredients I was shocked, pork and eggs amongst other things. I was planning on changing this over to PH supplement on veggiepets.co.uk and trying this out. She was hit by a car 5 years ago and has went downhill a lot the past few months because she also has severe arthritis and her back legs trip over a lot of slide to the side when she walks. The vet thinks that her spine could collapse because the disks are slipping. She was constantly urinating and we didn’t know why this was happening, she had blood in her urine and they would treat her with antibiotics and the urinary infection just wasn’t going away. We had her at the vet yesterday to have a scan and the vet said that she has a tumour in her bladder taking up most of it and to prepare ourselves to say goodbye, we weren’t ready to do that and we managed to get her home. We give her CBD oil so she no longer cries in pain like she used to, you wouldn’t think she was a sick cat apart from the fact that she struggles to walk and we have to help her do the toilet because of her backend which is damaged. She’s so loving, full of energy, drinks a lot of water and she has no trouble eating either. She constantly wants cuddles and kisses and will tap you as soon as you stop giving her them. I’ve been trying to research herbal remedies and it’s really hard for me to know what to give her, I’ve looked into making turmeric paste which I think i’ll try. The vet said not to worry just now about feeding her the food they gave us because it’s not the kidneys that would go first. I’m not sure what to feed her, I’ve read online that it should be wheat and grain free but if I buy this supplement, they may recommend recipes with these ingredients? Please help with any information you can based on your experience, it would be appreciated.

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Hi Melissa,

Sorry to hear about your cat's kidney issues. I'm not sure how much of what we have learned from Callie's experience might apply to your cat, but here are some things we have learned:
We have another cat, named Blue-Eyes, that has suffered urinary issues to emergency-room levels. Like Callie, we put him on a vegan diet, and he started having pH issues that resulted in two emergency trips to the hospital with an inflamed bladder from struvite crystals. We put him back on a urinary meat-based diet with the intent to study the subject with hopes of getting him back on a vegan diet. We admit to being paranoid about cancer. What we learned is that (most) cats require a high acid forming diet, which is meat. Fortunately, Callie's pH has remained ok. We have found a product; VegeYeast, that is acid forming. It is a powder supplement to add to a vegan diet to make it acid forming. So far this is working well, but it is in the testing stage. We are increasing the percentage of vegan food in his diet and adjusting the VegeYeast while monitoring his pH. He is currently three quarters vegan heading towards total vegan. No complaints from Blue-Eyes. He eats the vegan food as if...

Hi Melissa,

Sorry to hear about your cat's kidney issues. I'm not sure how much of what we have learned from Callie's experience might apply to your cat, but here are some things we have learned:
We have another cat, named Blue-Eyes, that has suffered urinary issues to emergency-room levels. Like Callie, we put him on a vegan diet, and he started having pH issues that resulted in two emergency trips to the hospital with an inflamed bladder from struvite crystals. We put him back on a urinary meat-based diet with the intent to study the subject with hopes of getting him back on a vegan diet. We admit to being paranoid about cancer. What we learned is that (most) cats require a high acid forming diet, which is meat. Fortunately, Callie's pH has remained ok. We have found a product; VegeYeast, that is acid forming. It is a powder supplement to add to a vegan diet to make it acid forming. So far this is working well, but it is in the testing stage. We are increasing the percentage of vegan food in his diet and adjusting the VegeYeast while monitoring his pH. He is currently three quarters vegan heading towards total vegan. No complaints from Blue-Eyes. He eats the vegan food as if it was candy.

About the cancer: combining what we have learned from experience with Callie and information from numerous plant-based doctors has been extremely enlightening. The information, however, that has tied it all together, was learned in live lectures by Dr. John McDougall. What we learned is that cancer is simply an out of control state of inflammation. Stop the inflammation; stop the cancer. That sounds easy and often it is but finding the source of the inflammation may be the hard part. We found that animal protein is inflammatory - even for obligate carnivores (cats, etc.). This is for the same reason that organ transplant patients must take anti-rejection drugs to prevent their immune system from attacking the foreign organ - the very act of inflammation. Eliminating all animal products is a no-brainer for inflammation reduction, but there are also other sources such as environmental pollution, toxins, pesticides, herbicides, GMO foods (which contain genetically generated pesticides), and many more that is a bit harder to isolate.

It should also be noted that for all of Callie's life, prior to her diet change, she suffered major bouts of arthritis. That completely disappeared upon going vegan. Not another painful joint or limp since.

I would think that making her vegan would have to help by elimination at least one definite source of inflammation, however, that is a major undertaking. See my answer to Patricia below. Feeding a cat vegan is almost like caring for a human infant. Just like a human infant, a cat's digestive system is too small and simple for plant-based foods. - But obviously, that doesn't mean it's impossible.

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This comment is re-posted from the Starch-Smart website in response to Guest Patricia's question.

Hi Patricia,

Thanks for asking. Also, please note that this blog, as well as Callie's Cancer Part 2 and Part 3 have been moved to www.drcarney.com.

Callie is doing well. On April 2, 2018, she will exceed the average lifespan of domestic cats (16 years). I think that is pretty good considering that in June 2016 she was on her deathbed dying of terminal cancer. I also find it amazing that an obligate carnivore overcame end-stage cancer with a vegan diet. A diet she does not have the physical anatomy to digest, which brings me to the hard part: Since her stomach and intestines are sized and constructed for high calorie-dense food, she must eat a lot and often in order to absorb sufficient nutrition. A very consuming task. She eats an average of 27 servings per day and even a few in the middle of the night. The frequent feedings, in addition to the level of care she required during her near-death cancer experience, has caused her to be very spoiled - and very vocal about it. She is demanding about when to eat and how it is served. She demands a clean bowl and fresh food. If it...

This comment is re-posted from the Starch-Smart website in response to Guest Patricia's question.

Hi Patricia,

Thanks for asking. Also, please note that this blog, as well as Callie's Cancer Part 2 and Part 3 have been moved to www.drcarney.com.

Callie is doing well. On April 2, 2018, she will exceed the average lifespan of domestic cats (16 years). I think that is pretty good considering that in June 2016 she was on her deathbed dying of terminal cancer. I also find it amazing that an obligate carnivore overcame end-stage cancer with a vegan diet. A diet she does not have the physical anatomy to digest, which brings me to the hard part: Since her stomach and intestines are sized and constructed for high calorie-dense food, she must eat a lot and often in order to absorb sufficient nutrition. A very consuming task. She eats an average of 27 servings per day and even a few in the middle of the night. The frequent feedings, in addition to the level of care she required during her near-death cancer experience, has caused her to be very spoiled - and very vocal about it. She is demanding about when to eat and how it is served. She demands a clean bowl and fresh food. If it takes her more than a few minutes to finish a serving, she decides it is spoiled and wants a new serving in a clean bowl. She seems to have lost any interest in meat. You can't leave her alone in the dining room with a green salad. For an elderly cat, she get's around very well. As with many vegans, she is very trim - almost too skinny looking, however, that is not consistent with her abilities. We have another, younger, cat that is very active. He is built like a race horse. He is literally twice Callie's size & weight and half her age, but when Callie is feeling mischievous, she chases him down, catches him in a headlock and squeezes until he squeals. I think she's doing fine.

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I'm afraid I have very sad news; tragically, our beloved, Callie passed away on Tuesday, March 20, 2018. She died of Hepatic Lipidosis. Callie's life has rewarded us with a tremendous education in health, cancer, nutrition and love.

The latest education; Hepatic Lipidosis was, unfortunately, learned too late. The lesson: Cats are unique in the animal kingdom in that they cannot fast. If a cat does not intake enough calories and nutrients within three days, they suffer permanent liver and pancreas damage (hepatic lipidosis).
A cat on a vegan diet must consume more food volume than normal because their digestive tract is not designed for fiber. This causes the nutrients to pass through too fast for efficient digestion. From experience, it's about a five to one ratio, thus, she needs to eat a lot, multiple times throughout the day (and night) to digest enough calories and nutrients. As time went, I became too lax in ensuring she ate enough. She was energetic with lots of vitality which lulled me into a false sense that she was ok. Unfortunately, the reality is that she was not eating enough, resulting in hepatic lipidosis.

Callie was a powerful presence. A presence that still...

I'm afraid I have very sad news; tragically, our beloved, Callie passed away on Tuesday, March 20, 2018. She died of Hepatic Lipidosis. Callie's life has rewarded us with a tremendous education in health, cancer, nutrition and love.

The latest education; Hepatic Lipidosis was, unfortunately, learned too late. The lesson: Cats are unique in the animal kingdom in that they cannot fast. If a cat does not intake enough calories and nutrients within three days, they suffer permanent liver and pancreas damage (hepatic lipidosis).
A cat on a vegan diet must consume more food volume than normal because their digestive tract is not designed for fiber. This causes the nutrients to pass through too fast for efficient digestion. From experience, it's about a five to one ratio, thus, she needs to eat a lot, multiple times throughout the day (and night) to digest enough calories and nutrients. As time went, I became too lax in ensuring she ate enough. She was energetic with lots of vitality which lulled me into a false sense that she was ok. Unfortunately, the reality is that she was not eating enough, resulting in hepatic lipidosis.

Callie was a powerful presence. A presence that still lingers.
She always greeted me at the door.
She always followed me around the house.
She was very vocal; directing meal time or loving time or both.
She was the alpha cat. The other two cats of the household, though twice her size, followed her lead.
She loved being carried around the house on her back, in my arms like a baby. She would gaze into my face, reach up and pet my cheek and chin.
She loved to dance with her toy dolls. She would carry them around the house then lie down and hold them close, hugging and rubbing them.
She loved being brushed and even getting a bath or manicure (pedicure) - not typical of a cat.
She loved to sit with me or lie in my lap when sitting and sleep on my chest at night.
She had a talent for lowering blood-pressure (at least mine).
She showed compassion for other cats - even ones she did not regard as a friend.

Some significant questions regarding Callie's life has been asked that begs answering:

1) Did her cancer get better then she got sick again because of 'fasting'?
Yes. While this is not an official doctor diagnosis, I do believe so. Her original cancer diagnosis began with an ultrasound that showed thickening tissues of her stomach and intestines. This was then confirmed with biopsies. After starting her vegan diet, her cancer symptoms disappeared and her health dramatically improved (see Callie's Cancer Part 2). After about a year, she received another ultrasound which showed all organs, including stomach and intestines were normal - no thickened tissues anywhere. Biopsies were not taken as her health and ultrasound seemed sufficient evidence the cancer was gone.
Months later, she began symptoms that were somewhat cancer related, but not exactly as before.
I remembered that for as long as we have had cats, since the mid 1990's, veterinarians have always warned that cats cannot fast. A three day fast for a cat results in permanent organ damage. With her symptoms, I started to remember those warnings, and set out to research the subject to understand the details of those warnings. The findings all pointed to what was happening with Callie. It was a consuming effort to get her to eat enough food to sustain her. As time went, I became lax in that effort. She was active, alert and happy. By then, I already knew that cats did not possess the anatomy for processing fiber, thus needed to consume about five times the normal food volume in order to digest enough nutrients. Callie, naturally, gravitated to eating a "normal" volume and I became complacent. By the time I understood that even though she was eating, it wasn't enough, and the damage was done. The cause and resulting symptoms were an exact match to all the researched data I found on the subject: hepatic lipidosis.

2) Did you still learn valuable lessons about cancer from observing Callie?
Yes! Callie's experience was an up-close view of cancer illustrating and tying together all the information received from all the doctors and individuals that are mentioned in each of the three Callie's Cancer blogs. Experience with her was a connecting point demystifying cancer as discussed in my Cancer Simplified blog.

3) Does this experience still leave something valuable to teach humans about diet and cancer?
Absolutely. Callie's experience is not unlike humans. Additionally, medical science routinely use other animals as test subjects regarding human health and medicine. I think Callie's experience is absolutely valid for humans.

4) How would you recommend feeding cats going forward?
I believe a vegan diet can be beneficial for most all animals, however, obligate carnivores, such as cats, are missing the anatomy for digesting plant foods, especially fiber. Although some digestion does take place, it takes a huge volume of food to get enough nutrients. While there are definite benefits, the effort is extremely consuming and very hard to keep up with. Something I can, sadly, say with experience.

Callie's life bore a great significance in our nutrition and cancer education, but not the least in her personal love.

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I'm sorry for your loss. Callie was an inspiration to me personally and I greatly appreciated you sharing her story with us.

 
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I'm also very sorry about her death. We also lost a beloved family member (Key-cat) to the same issue. Our vet at the time said that if we wanted, he could force-feed Key-cat but that he needed us to understand how stressful that would be for Key-cat and the vet only gave it a 50-50 chance of success, in large part because elderly cats naturally just stop eating when their end-of-life is upon them.

We opted to bring him home for palliative care. The vet taught me how to give Key-cat a daily intravenous of Ringers Lactate to make his death as comfortable as possible. Scared as I felt about having to do that, for love of Key-cat, I learned how to do it and it really did help. He lived peacefully for about two weeks longer and did not mind the intravenous inserted in the back of his neck at all.

The day before he died, we were anticipating leaving on a trip, so I told him gently & firmly "Key-cat, we are about to leave on a trip. Amy will come to look after you but if you want us to be with you when you die, it will have to be this weekend." The next day, Key-cat (who had become completely silent) called out loudly to us and we ran down to the cool basement where he...

I'm also very sorry about her death. We also lost a beloved family member (Key-cat) to the same issue. Our vet at the time said that if we wanted, he could force-feed Key-cat but that he needed us to understand how stressful that would be for Key-cat and the vet only gave it a 50-50 chance of success, in large part because elderly cats naturally just stop eating when their end-of-life is upon them.

We opted to bring him home for palliative care. The vet taught me how to give Key-cat a daily intravenous of Ringers Lactate to make his death as comfortable as possible. Scared as I felt about having to do that, for love of Key-cat, I learned how to do it and it really did help. He lived peacefully for about two weeks longer and did not mind the intravenous inserted in the back of his neck at all.

The day before he died, we were anticipating leaving on a trip, so I told him gently & firmly "Key-cat, we are about to leave on a trip. Amy will come to look after you but if you want us to be with you when you die, it will have to be this weekend." The next day, Key-cat (who had become completely silent) called out loudly to us and we ran down to the cool basement where he had made himself comfortable on a cushy mat I had made. He was blind by then and unable to move much.

I put both my hands on him, one under his chin & one on his back. It seemed to me that he was fighting letting go so I managed to choke out "Key-cat, we'll be ok. It's OK for you to go ahead. We'll miss you but we'll be OK." He relaxed then and had a seizure. It was the only one he had, thanks to the IV.

I kept my hands on him and talking to him. Suddenly, he opened his blind eyes wide, (surprisingly!) focusing on something very interesting in front of him & took two more deep breaths. We put his body into a box and let him lie "in state" for a couple of days before we buried it among the trees of our back yard.

I've heard some wonderful stories from people who have reported seeing beautiful gardens, white light and/or the spirits of dead loved ones in the hours before their death. Although Key-cat couldn't tell us what he was "seeing" moments before he died, based on his behaviour, I'd say there was a scurry of mice urging him out of his body & into the next dimension. :-)

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Deborah,

Thank you for that. I find your last paragraph very interesting because it seems to resonate with a dream I had the night before Callie's passing.

The dream:
I was a passenger on a commercial airline flight. After a while, it was announced that the plane had to land. Then I found myself standing in the open cockpit doorway watching the pilot and the view through the windshield. The pilot was trying to land on a narrow dirt road that was in the middle of farm fields and pastures. It didn't look good for the landing of such a large aircraft. But, the landing was perfectly successful. We all exited the plane and was standing on the dirt road. As I looked around we were in a pristine wildflower pasture, much like a scene from the Wizard of Oz. Then I saw Callie dancing among the flowers and colorful butterflies (She loved to dance like a ballerina). As she danced by me, she looked up and said, with her bright yellow/green eyes, "I'm very happy".

I wasn't sure what to make of the dream at the time. Dreams like that are not common for me. As time has passed, however, I'm seeing it as clarity.

 
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Awesome! I'm glad your deep, loving connection to Callie's spirit was/is strong enough to give your subconscious such a lovely glimpse of her new-found freedom.

 
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Ken,

I am so sad to hear Callie's time with you has ended, at least in the here and now; of course she will always be with you with your memories. You wrote so lovingly of her and all that she gave you. I will share your post so others can learn from your experience. How I wish all animals didn't have to eat each other to survive, but that is the way the world works. Thankfully us humans have the choice and with that choice we can eat in a way that doesn't depend on killing others. I hope you will find peace as you grieve the loss of your loving Callie.

 
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Hi Denise,

Thank you for your warm response. Indeed, she is still in my memories, in a presence sort of way. Every time I enter the house, I look for her to come running. I still "hear" her voice.
I get that it seems strange to be so close to an animal of a different species. Callie was a cat. She was limited by her physiology, but that does not define who she is. Stephen Hawking was even more physically limited, but that did not define who he was. The combination of all the elements of her personality and experience of caring for her makes knowing that inside her little cat body - on the other side of those loving eyes is another person looking back at me. It is an absolute. Only when up close can you really know who someone is, regardless of their species.
It is commonly stated that cats (and many other animals) are good at hiding pain. This experience, however, has taught me that that is not at all true. Instead, it is humans that are not good at seeing it.

 
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Ken,

I see nothing strange in having developed deep love for another sentient being. This love and compassion for animals makes us even more "human" in my thinking. And for those of us who are vegans, we understand this love and respect for ALL animals. We do not want to cause them pain or fear. We want to enjoy what they can offer us in a non-exploitative loving relationship. Your love for Callie is quite normal indeed.

 
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Ken,

Thank you so much for sharing the story of Callie with us. It sure seemed like Callie was healed from when we saw her so sick to when she was alert, alive and perky again. You certainly helped her to live a longer life. So, it is certainly with sadness that we hear of her demise. However, I want to encourage you not to beat yourself up over this because the way I see it you did your best for her.

Thank you for answering the questions regarding whether her cancer actually improved from the vegan diet and the supplements you were giving her. I also appreciate your insights regarding the valuable lessons about cancer from observing Callie.

Sean

  Comment was last edited about 7 months ago by Sean Carney
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