Back in 1996, Sue McKenzie of Scunthorpe, England adopted a stray kitten she found meowing all alone in the rain. Huddled outside her door, the black-and-white kitten was holding on for dear life.
Sue let the cat in her home despite her husband's objections. Ever since then, Tom the cat has become a part of Sue's family.
Despite becoming a housecat, Tom retained much of his street cat independence. He preferred to be alone and avoided others. He was often found outside at their yard instead of the living room. They lived together in mutual respect for 20 years – with very minimal physical interaction.
Last year Tom began showing odd changes in his behavior. He kept cozying-up to Sue – constantly pawing at and patting Sue on her right shoulder.
"Tom doesn't actively seek out human contact, so I thought he was behaving very strangely when he suddenly started pawing me," Sue told ITV News.
"He would pat my the back of my neck while meowing very loudly. He did it constantly for two weeks and was starting to drive me mad to be honest." She added.
Sue was naturally concerned about Tom's change in behaviour. She took him to the vet and was confused when she was told the cat was fine. It never occurred to her that perhaps Tom was trying to tell her something.
The 64-year-old, who previously worked as a nurse, began to ponder what the veterinarian said. Sue began to check on herself and felt something odd with her collarbone.
Doctors confirmed that a lump had indeed grown on her shoulder. Sue was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma - a form of cancer that affects the lymphatic system.
In August of last year Sue had an operation to remove the lump. Now Sue is fully recovered from the surgery and the chemotherapy. Tom basically repaid his life debt to Sue by warning her.
It just goes to show that even our most 'maldita' pets truly love us.
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