In August 2014, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. The doctor told I needed 16 to 20 weeks of chemotherapy, which I started that October. By the second infusion, I'd lost all my hair. It was cold, and I was bald, and I felt so crappy.

Since Portia was a kitten, she'd always slept at the foot of the bed at night, though she'd never been particularly snuggly. If I tried to pick her up, she squirmed away. But after I lost my hair, I'd wake up in the morning and find her lying on my pillow, curled up just above my head. When chemo was over and my hair grew in, Portia moved back down again.

I can't imagine trying to get through an experience like that without my cat. Pets know when you're hurting, and they want to love you as much as you love them. I was feeling so awful, and I think Portia noticed that I'd lost my "fur." She was just trying to send more body heat my way.


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