Tabby’s Place cat Bonnie to get cutting edge robotic radiosurgery for nasal cancer

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Bonnie the conqueror


Rescued cat to have state-of-the-art radiosurgery

A courageous cat is hoping to enjoy eight more lives.

Green-eyed Bonnie was adopted from Tabby’s Place: a Cat Sanctuary in Ringoes, New Jersey in 2005, only to be returned when her beloved owner died 7 years later. Since that time, Bonnie has overcome a life-threatening infection and a rare, near-fatal reaction to steroid medication. Through all these challenges, Bonnie remained sweet and serene, eager to share her purr and affection. The Tabby’s Place team was overjoyed when Bonnie’s struggles seemed to have finally subsided.

Heartache engulfed Tabby’s Place when Bonnie was diagnosed with aggressive cancer in her nose. Given the proximity of the cancer to Bonnie’s brain, traditional surgery was not an option. Without treatment, Bonnie was unlikely to survive six months.

But there was hope for Bonnie: a cutting-edge therapy called CyberKnife®.

A form of radiosurgery, CyberKnife has been highly successful in cancer patients for whom traditional surgery is too risky. This non-surgical, pain-free treatment uses a robotic arm to deliver focused radiation, precisely targeting the cancer while sparing surrounding tissues.

For Bonnie, it’s a likely life-saver.

Bonnie is too valuable a Tabby’s Place employee to even consider checking out. (Here she is seen managing the desk of Danielle, her favorite human in all the land.)

Tabby’s Place development Director Angela Townsend wrote in a blog post:

Bonnie has an aggressive form of cancer in her nose. Traditional surgery is not an option. We can’t even use steroids, since in the past they’ve caused Bonnie’s stomach to perforate.

The best case scenario if we do nothing? Six months.

Six months scarcely scratches springtime.
Six months is less than a full season of Scandal.
Six months is…scandalous.

But Bonnie is a gladiator, and six months ain’t the only option.

After Dr. Fantastic reviewed the foul facts with us, she cracked the door open to light: “There is one option.” Every ear around the table strained towards the speakerphone and a word of hope: “CyberKnife.”

Simply stated, CyberKnife® is stereotactic radiosurgery. (OK, not so simple.) It is neither a cyborg nor a knife nor surgery. It is very likely the thing — o happy thing! — that will save Bonnie’s life.

What will this look like when it all goes down next week? Run this through the garden of your mind: A robotic arm dances around Bonnie, controlled by a computer. This modern marvel focuses radiation precisely on the area where it’s needed. Outrageously accurate, CyberKnife can even adjust in the middle of the procedure. Meanwhile, Bonnie’s healthy tissue, including her brilliant brain, is spared from exposure to radiation.

There’s no pain. There’s no cutting. There’s no need for the usual 17-20 blasts required for radiation.

And there’s every reason to believe that Bonnie can enjoy 2+ more years of healthy, cancer-free snuggles after this is all over.

Two years is a veritable sea of time for Bonnie. She’s approximately fourteen now — skirting “old,” but far from cold. She’s beaten The Tragic Bereavement of 2013, The Terrible Upper Respiratory Infection of Later 2013; the Dastardly Stomach Perforation of 2014; and literal hundreds of kittens encroaching upon her space. Nose cancer is not a match for her.

So, kittens, please pray with us that the ‘bot does its best on Bonnie’s behalf next week. We’re not done loving this girl, and she is not done winning at life.


Bonnie will benefit from Tabby’s Place’s promise to give each cat the care she needs, regardless of cost.  Bonnie’s CyberKnife treatment will be costly, but Tabby’s Place believes this tender cat’s future is priceless. The sanctuary seeks the support of compassionate donors to help cover Bonnie’s expenses. Donations can be made online HERE, or by or by mailing a check to Tabby’s Place: a Cat Sanctuary, 1100 US Highway 202, Ringoes, NJ, 08551.

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