After treatment for cancerous lump, 'chirping' cat adopted

Cricket the cat was found on the streets of Baltimore with no apparent family caring for her. Animal control picked up the black and white kitty with bright gold eyes, and brought her to Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter (BARCS), where she entered the Community Cats Project. From there, her life would change — in the best possible way.

Baltimore Community Cats Project

The project, a partnership of Best Friends and PetSmart Charities®, works with BARCS staff members, who alert project staff whenever a community cat enters their facility so the cat can be spayed or neutered, ear-tipped and returned to his or her neighborhood. The project saves thousands of cats (just like Cricket) each year. It seemed to be business as usual for Rebecca Sass-Crews, the community cat coordinator, until she got the call about Cricket. As Rebecca was doing her routine once-over of the sweet tuxedo girl, she felt an unusual lump. Cricket would need a thorough examination and possibly more.

Cricket the chirping cat who got treatment for a cancerous lump on her mammary area“The Baltimore Community Cats Project strives to handle each cat as an individual,” says Rebecca. “Our main focus is on trap/neuter/return, but on occasion we come across cats who we cannot release back outside.”

Cat with cancerous lump on mammary area

At the veterinarian’s office, it was determined that Cricket had already been spayed. Rebecca, still concerned about the unusual mass on her mammary area, had a biopsy performed. “I had a feeling about her and decided not to release Cricket until the results came back,” says Rebecca. “I'm glad I decided to hold her.”

The results confirmed the lump was cancerous. Rebecca attempted to get Cricket into a foster home or rescue group, but all available spots were full. “I decided to take her home with me to evaluate her and try to adopt her out to the right person,” says Rebecca. “I was not willing to give up on her just because of her diagnosis.”

A wonderful 'chirping' house cat

While in Rebecca’s home, Cricket adapted quickly to being part of the family. She was just as happy-go-lucky as she seemed. She enjoyed hanging out with her new people and loved being brushed. Her signature sound, a “chirp,” let Rebecca know she was appreciating all the newfound attention and feeling pretty good. Rebecca knew there would be a wonderful family somewhere who would adore this special cat.

With Cricket’s health stable and her personality as lovely as Rebecca had suspected, the Sass-Crews family started to network Cricket via Facebook, and it didn’t take long before her adoption posts caught the eye of just the right people.

Adopting a special cat

Cricket the cat with her adoptive familyVicky and Al Alluisi are big-time pet lovers and no stranger to adopting cats in need. They adopted one of their other two cats from BARCS just last year. Al saw the original post about Cricket and started thinking about her. When Rebecca added a few more posts touting Cricket’s continued availability, Al decided they had to meet her. “Al said she was sick and had never known the love of a forever home,” says Vicky. With a list of questions answered regarding Cricket’s health and care requirements, Vicky and Al sealed the deal. While Cricket is being fed premium pet food, she’s not on any medication and she acts like any other cat.

Cricket is chirping up a storm in her new home. She’s getting along great with her brothers and can’t get enough of family life. “Cricket comes running into whatever room we’re in,” says Vicky. “Once you sit down, she runs right up onto your chest and just starts her chirping purrs.”  

Al and Vicky feel fortunate to have the opportunity to make each day special for the cat who is bringing them so much joy. “Whether it’s for a few months or many years,” says Vicky, “we feel blessed to share our lives with Cricket.”

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Photos by Rebecca Sass-Crews and courtesy of the Baltimore Community Cats Project