A few weeks ago, Jerry noticed that she had a bit of a lump under the skin on her belly, so we thought "yup, better get that checked out." (Spoiler: everything turns out okay.)
We took her in two weeks ago on Saturday, and the vet took a couple x-rays, and said "yeah, that should come out." It turns out that it's not uncommon for female cats to get breast cancer. And it increases the risk if they don't get spayed before their first heat. We're not sure exactly how old Mimsy is, but probably that's the case for her.
The x-rays showed a lump, but no signs of it having spread, so two weeks ago today she went in and got a regional mastectomy. She is now down to 5 out of 8 boobs. (It was kinda surprising to me how quickly they scheduled the surgery, but it makes sense if you think about it. Cats don't need to evaluate a bunch of treatment options, or rearrange their plans to accommodate recover time, and the point at which something is noticeable as a potential problem is much further along for cats than for humans. So there's no reason not to proceed as immediately as possible.)
She had a big ugly incision along her belly, but it's just the skin, not into the body cavity, so recovery was fairly quick. Twice a day we had to catch her and burrito her up in a towel so that we could squirt a little syringe of painkiller and a bigger syringe of antibiotic into her mouth. Fortunately for us, she is a pretty cooperative patient. If you can get a hand on her she mostly stays still, and once you start draping the towel over her to wrap her up she kinda gives in. And it seems like she didn't find the antibiotic particularly unpalatable.
They sent a little onesie and an e-collar home with us to keep her from licking her stitches. We got the onesie on her twice. It is apparently the Heaviest Thing In The World, and is made of lead and hatred. Both times, she dragged herself under the couch and then managed to escape from it in less than five minutes. And we didn't want to traumatize her with a Cone of Shame if we didn't have to, so we just kept an eye on her, and happily she left the incision alone. (Fingers crossed that she continues to do so now that the sutures have been removed.)
We finally heard back from the lab this last Friday that the lump was non-malignant. Yay! It was apparent not actually cancer, but a "milk duct ectasia". Which is benign, but progressive, and will often turn cancerous if left untreated. So we're definitely glad we caught it early.
She has been healing well, and seems to be feeling pretty much back to normal now. Hooray! Hopefully it also won't take her long to get over being skittish because she thinks we're going to bundle her up when we reach out to pet her...