The Cat Lady

Ok, we’re going to go just a tad bit off of the Foster City and/or Real Estate topic today, but I was talking to Lydia about this yesterday and she said I should write a post about this…and she’s right. We have this cat named Obi, he’s a 10 year old gray and white character who has pretty consistantly been a joy for our family. Now, I’m not some big cat freak but my wife Lesley and I along with our girls really love this fur ball. Well, awhile back Lesley took Obi to one of those pet stores that offer vacinations on certain days. He got four shots that day and about 2 months ago we noticed a lump on his left shoulder. Lesley took him to the Vet who told her it’s Cancer…and that the only thing that we could do was amputate his leg. Turns out this is a very common problem with cats and it even got a term associated with it… Vaccine Associated Sarcoma or VAS. We weren’t particularly crazy about the idea of amputation so we didn’t act on it immediately. Lesley learned more on-line..there’s a ton of info out there, as well as a large Yahoo group on this topic, and we learned that many folks have gone down this road and their cat’s have adapted well to 3 legs and are thriving.

We received a referral to a vet in Redwood City by the name of Monica Thompson who Lesley spoke to about this issue and we’ve been truly amazed at her…and her organization called the Nine Lives Foundation . She’s truly the cat lady! Monica has gone to bat for us with the pharmaceutical company who, she believes, caused this issue and it appears that there won’t be any charge for the procedure. She performed the amputation last week and stayed up all night with Obi because he freaked out when he discovered he had lost his leg. He had some complications since and he’s back at her clinic but he’s going to be fine. The Nine Lives Foundation is incredible, Monica won’t euthanize cats like the humane society will so there’s cats in all shapes and sizes and in all conditions living there…and awaiting adoption. There’s tons of little kittens (some that we saw, had been abandoned in a field and a good samaritan brought them in) there’s wounded cats, sick cats and cats in need of surgery, and lots and lots of healthy happy cats. There’s even a cat living there who had lost his left front leg (to a gun shot wound!) by the name of Magic. When we saw him running around happily we felt like Obi would be OK.

Monica is a saint! I don’t remember ever meeting anyone with as much passion and committment. She clearly lives a purpose driven life. She operates all of this out of a warehouse down on the service road to 101 south of Woodside Rd in Redwood City. Right near where Stanford Medical is rehabing the old Excite@Home HQ. Check out her website:

And if you have a cat…be careful with these crazy vaccinations! 


  1. Barbara says:

    Excellent post- anyone who likes animals is all right with us!!
    Hope OB is running around soon!!

  2. Hi Jim, I “met” your wife and Obi in the Yahoo VAS Support Group. Thank you for helping to spread the word about VAS, which has been called “feline medicine’s dirty little secret.” Vaccinations have saved countless feline lives, but many cats have died from vaccines, some of them from vaccinations they didn’t need. Cat owners can mimimize the risk by vaccinating only against diseases that are a real danger to their cats (this will vary depending on where they live, whether kitty goes out, etc.) and by boosting vaccinations only as often as really necessary, which is not every year for most vaccines. The can also seek out the new recombinant DNA vaccines that produce less inflammation and so are less likely to trigger cancer.

  3. Dr. Monica Thompson has been our veterinarian for us for years and she is great. The Nine Lives Foundation is amazing place and if you would like to help… it’s really easy!

    Go on their website and look at their Wish List for donations. They need everything from old towels & sheets, to cleaning items (like bleach & hand santizer), to office supplies (like copy paper & envelopes), and many other easy to donate things. Especially in this heat they needs fans, as their new facility has no AC. Anyone out there want to donate $ especially for that purpose would be an angel!

    In addition to the shelter, Dr. Thompson runs a cats-only vet clinic called Feline Well-Care.

    Please support this great place which saves so many cats! Don’t miss Nine Lives’ great blogsite, which has stories and photos about their work and success -it should not be missed.

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