A woman, who has rescued thousands of cats in her life, now needs to urgently find homes for 40 of them, after being diagnosed with terminal lung cancer.
Seven weeks ago, Marlene Brewer was given the devastating news that she would not live to see Christmas.
Marlene has run cat rescue charity, Cats in Crisis, for 21 years from her home in Bamber Bridge, Lancashire.
Originally, Marlene had to rehome 70 cats and has so far found homes for 30 of them.
Unfortunately, around 10 cats had health problems are were not able to be rehomed so were put down last week, which Marlene says was ‘just awful’.
As well as rehoming the cats, Marlene has completed her Christmas shopping so that her nine grandchildren have something to open from her on Christmas day.
Marlene, 64, said: “I found out I had cancer on 20th July after a phone call from my GP.
“At first we thought it was a blood clot on my lung, but doctors confirmed it was cancer and it has now spread to my kidney.
“I ended up in A&E and had x-rays and scans. I was also put on antibiotics. I had a brain scan but I said to my doctor I didn’t want to know – all I wanted to do was go home and have a coffee and a chat with my cats.
“The doctor told me the cancer was terminal and I asked how long did I have? I asked do I need to go Christmas shopping so my nine grandchildren have presents from me this year?
“The doctor looked at me and said I should go shopping. So that was that – I went shopping and completed it in two days.
“I am devastated – it is such a shock. At the moment I am very tired, especially in the mornings.
“I have finished two lots of chemotherapy and have another bout next week. I haven’t got a clue if it is working or not.”
Marlene, who has four children, says that her cats ease her suffering and help take her mind off her diagnosis.
She said: “The cats are keeping me going and taking my mind of things. I just love them. I enjoy watching them play and cuddling them.
“It is horrible saying goodbye to them. I am gutted.
“I know you shouldn’t have favourites, but my boy, Sonic, went to another family at the weekend.
“He once got lost after being locked in my husband’s car and escaped in Kendal.
“He had been missing for three months and a vet there recognised him from the posters and we got him back.
“It is so heartbreaking to see them go.
“I make sure they all go to good homes. I meet the new owner face to face and visit their home. There have only been two homes I have refused as I had a gut feeling.”
You can visit Cats in Crisis here, and if you could adopt one of the cats, ring 01772 498053.
Featured Image Credit: SWNS
This content was originally published here.