1:39pm Friday 6th June 2014
By Will Mata
A MUCH loved cat is back to full health after money raised through an online appeal helped fund a life-saving operation.
The story of British Shorthair feline Tambolina is one which will restore anyone’s faith in humanity, and joyful owner Janet West said: “This is proof that good things do happen.”
Mrs West, from Bristol Road, Stonehouse, was horrified when her beloved eight-year-old Tambolina developed a fatal thymic branchial cleft cyst in her chest. The cyst was the size of a satsuma and was compressing the cat’s breathing, causing potentially fatal health problems.
However, thanks to the kind support of friends and family as well as the lifesaving work of a Stroud vet, Tambolina is now back to her usual catty self.
Mrs West, 66, has lived in Bristol Road for 22 years and was concerned Tambolina was poorly when her cat became less energetic and had difficulty breathing. She took the cat to Bowbridge Veterinary, Stroud, and was told the cat would need to be taken to a specialist centre for a £3,500 operation.
“It was awful. I was horrified when I heard how much it would cost,” said Mrs West, who was frightened Tambolina may have to be put to sleep. With all insurance money having been used for the initial test, the sum was much more than Mrs West could afford.
However when an American friend pledged $500 dollars to the care of Tambolina, Mrs West pleaded with experienced Bowbridge vet Mike Roger, who agreed to do the operation himself for less than £1,000.
“It was very kind of Mike to do the operation, but I still didn’t have anywhere near that kind of money. So pushed by friends I opened a Crowdfunder page for friends to donate and the money poured in,” said Mrs West.
Tambolina was so frightened after the nerve-wracking operation that Mrs West initially wondered whether she had done the right thing. For the next two months the fragile cat was kept in the close confines of a pen as her breastbone had been cracked open for the operation.
But now the lucky black cat is back to her old self and Mrs West, who is now writing a book about cats, is grateful for the “wonderful support.”
“It is a great story and while it really has been a rollercoaster ride, it is a wonderful feeling that so many people wanted to help out. I’m really happy both for Tambolina and myself.”
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