Cat helped owner detect ovarian cancer. Now the kitty is up for a Cats Protection national award

A 53-year-old woman from Huddersfield (UK) credits her cat for saving her life after the cat jumped on her stomach back in 2017. Five-year-old Humbug has now been nominated for a Cats Protection national award.

hero cat
Gill & Humbug (photo Reach PLC)
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Gill Kelly had no idea she had ovarian cancer, despite losing her mom Shirley at age 84 to cancer. Gill had symptoms which she ignored until the night Humbug jumped on her stomach and she cried out in pain. Her husband John insisted she visit a doctor.

The pain persisted and by August 2017 Gill could feel a definite lump. Until then she thought she was going through menopause and took up swimming to lose weight.

The night Humbug landed on her stomach was the night John and Gill knew she had to get treatment. Gill went to the doctor the next day and eight weeks later had major surgery to have a 17cm, 2kg cancerous tumor removed from her right ovary. The cancer was detected early enough and no chemotherapy was needed.

Humbug has been with Gill and John since she was a kitten. Humbug was the runt of the litter of a pregnant cat the family found living under their decking.

Examiner Live spoke with Gill, who has become a ‘poster girl’ for Ovacome, a cancer charity. A reporter covered the original story (found here) and Cats Protection was so touched they nominated Humbug. Gill said in a recent interview with Examiner Live

“As soon as Adam, one of the volunteers at Gildersome, read Robert’s story he wanted to nominate her. To me, she is the most special cat in the world!”

Even before the diagnosis Humbug had become clingy with Gill. She would sit on her lap whenever possible. Was it possible Humbug knew something was wrong and wanted to get her humans attention? Gill admits that, like her mother, she ignored vague symptoms and credits Humbug with saving her life.

Humbug rarely left Gill’s side as she was recuperating. It’s like the cat knew Gill was sore from the surgery and was as gentle as possible.

PURINA and a panel of celebrity cat lovers will hold the ceremony at London’s Savoy Hotel on August 8, which is also International Cat Day. Humbug is in the Most Caring Cat category for cats who make a positive impact on a person’s health or wellbeing.

This article is ‘condensed’ and more information, as well as photos into Gill and Humbugs story, can be found by clicking here and here.

1 thought on “Cat helped owner detect ovarian cancer. Now the kitty is up for a Cats Protection national award”

  1. And she should be up for the award to. Cats are not stupid! They are smart if just the parents would open their minds eyes to see this.


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