Here’s your occasional reminder to GET YA WEIRD SKIN SPOTS CHECKED, courtesy of Nova. (BTW, if you follow me on Instagram, you’ll see these reminders more often, in addition to other stuff like more pics of Nova, plants, book updates, and whatever I’m eating/drinking that day, so if that’s your jam, DO IT.)
Anyway, earlier this year, I’d noticed a weird scab on Nova’s right ear that didn’t seem associated with any injury and, moreover, never actually healed, so I had her vet take a look at it. (After my run-in with melanoma, we don’t mess with weird skin stuff in House Holo, even when it comes to our cat. 😤)
It’s a good thing I did, too, because it turns out that it was a spot of squamous cell carcinoma. 😮
Which is to say, cancer. 😟
However, the important and encouraging part is that we caught it at a very early stage. 😮💨 There are still some steps to be taken – a check of her lymph nodes to make sure it hasn’t spread, and essentially, the removal of that one ear to make sure they got all the cancer cells – but given how quickly we caught it, it looks like the worst that’s going to happen is Nova’s going to look a little more badass. (All the better for cracking the #catboss whip.)
It’s also worth knowing, though, that this is apparently pretty common to cats that have light-colored or thin-furred ears like Nova does. 😮 This particular type of skin cancer is largely caused by sun damage, so her vet told me to put baby sunscreen on her ears, nose, and bridge of her nose whenever she’s going to spend a lot of time outside ☀️ (i.e. when she follows me to the writing porch).
All this to say, if you have a cat with pale ears, be sure to protect those ears during their sun time, and either way, be vigilant about odd things that are happening on their skin. The earlier you can catch these sorts of problems, the better, and in these cases, a little time often makes all the difference.
ALSO: Nova herself is doing well, with no apparent symptoms other than the one scab we had punched out. She’s in good spirits and doesn’t understand why she’s suddenly getting more treats, but SHE’S HERE FOR IT. 🤣
UPDATE 2/1/22: Read the follow-up here!