Monty, a rescue cat, comforts a young man dying of bone cancer and his wife on his passing

Cats Protection have a beautiful story on their website about Dave who at the young age of 25 became terminally ill with a rare form of bone cancer. His wife, Olivia, had been thinking about adopting a cat for some time and they agreed to take the plunge at this very difficult time.

They met the rescue cats for adoption at Cats Protection’s National Cat Adoption Centre in Sussex. It was important that they adopted a cat who did not become nervous around Dave’s power chair. In the socialising room Monty chose them. The first cat was a bit nervous but Monty jumped up onto Dave’s lap straightaway and confidently. Dave said that this was the cat for them. In the best traditions of cat adoption, the cat adopted the human.

Dave who was terminally ill with bone cancer and Monty being the companion
Dave who was terminally ill with bone cancer and Monty being the companion. Photo: Olivia or Cats Protection.
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They both fell in love with Monty from that moment and they took him home in October 2018 when he was 14 years old. The bond strengthened and Olivia found that “Monty is the most affectionate cat that I have ever known. Dave had been lying in bed one day and Monty laid next to his face on the pillow and started licking Dave’s hair attentively.”

It was one of many loving moments over the next six months before Dave was admitted to a hospice. He deteriorated quite quickly and Olivia had to make urgent arrangements to allow Monty and Dave to be together again at the hospice. Olivia’s mother took Monty to the hospice and he curled up on Dave’s chest. Olivia found the day heartbreaking but it is a wonderful memory for her.

Monty portrait
Monty portrait. Photo: Olivia or Cats Protection.

On Dave’s passing Monty is able to carry on his good work in comforting Olivia during a very painful time in her life. She said that in the “first weeks after Dave died, I found it too painful being alone. Monty was always there and gave me a reason to get out of bed. To this day, he brings me so much comfort and affection. If I need a cuddle and a cry, I can scoop him up – he loves it.”

Olivia regularly talks to Monty about her husband who she calls Monty’s daddy. Monty helped Dave and now he is helping Olivia. She thinks that Monty is the best cat in the world and here’s the deal: he is a connection, a tangible and loving bridge between this time and the time when Dave was dying of cancer.

It is a wonderful example of how a domestic cat can improve the lives of a family particularly in difficult and stressful circumstances. And I love the way they adopted an elderly cat. That’s a nice touch. We don’t know for sure why they did but perhaps it was because Monty is a particularly laid-back and experienced cat able to cope with those circumstances without a hiccup.


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