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In 1999, we rescued two feral kittens, Tiki and her sister, Garfi.

In 2013, I was reading a book and Tiki was sleeping on my lap. She woke up, and started to knead my left breast (which she had never done before). She was very gentle, and it didn't hurt, so I let her continue. This went on for about 15 minutes, and Tiki had this very intense look on her face.

Suddenly, I felt this sharp pain deep inside my breast. I scooted Tiki off, and looked inside my blouse. There wasn't any sign of scratches on the skin. I went back to reading my book, but as time passed, my breast began to ache, with occasional twinges of pain.

When I went to change clothes to go to bed, there was blood on the inside of my bra cup. As I moved my breast, a red viscous fluid was discharged from the nipple.

I saw my doctor the next day. I went immediately for a diagnostic mammogram. Then had a biopsy. I was diagnosed with DCIS - cancer of the milk duct. I was stage 0, so I had two lumpectomies. The tumor was very large, and on the chest wall. I eventually had a mastectomy.

Because the DCIS was at stage 0, I did NOT have to have chemotherapy; and because I had a mastectomy, I did NOT have to have chemotherapy.

My doctor's theory is that the fluid sac around the tumor had started to leak, and Tiki may have smelled that. Her breast massage caused the fluid sac to rupture, which caused the pain, and the fluid was discharged.

So ... my cancer was first diagnosed by a CAT scan!

I thanked Tiki by cooking her a baked chicken weekly to supplement her cat food. She lived until October 1, 2015, when she passed away from stomach cancer. I miss her very much.

Morjana Coffman
Sacramento, CA

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