Lola and Fifi: Life Changers

Happy Story Posted Nov 10, 2020
How two RSPCA cats are helping Tamara get through a traumatic time in her life

Tamara Peters is no stranger to the hospital scene. Having been born with cystic fibrosis, she's spent her whole life weaving through them in one medical nightmare after another. She's lived through two double lung transplants, a coma, a period of no motor ability, a liver biopsy, lymphoma cancer, chemotherapy, cyclic neutropenia, and a kidney transplant. All by the age of 26. For Tamara, she's been pushing through it for her family, friends, and her two beautiful cats, Lola and Fifi.

Early in 2017, Tamara had received the news that she would be needing a second lung transplant, after having her lung functioning percentage decline dramatically. In April, Tamara turned to RSPCA Queensland for a furry friend to keep her spirits up, and it was then when Tamara believes Lola, a cuddly white calico cat, found her. 

The two hit it off right away, and Lola needed Tamara as much as Tamara needed her. Lola had been an unwanted stray cat, found roaming the streets. But it was with Tamara that Lola got the love she deserved. "On a scale of one to ten in smoochiness, Lola is an 11." Tamara says. "She is the perfect companion and sleeps cuddling right next to me under the covers every night".

"I was dying very fast." Tamara says. "She kept my spirits up, until I got my call for my second transplant." The second transplant happened in August 2017, just a few months after Lola came into Tamara's life. “It was a tremendous surgery, very touch and go, and a long recovery, and the thing that kept me going was getting home to Lola”.

In October 2017, while still recovering in hospital, Tamara had the chance to FaceTime Lola. Lola could see and hear Tamara for the first time in ages. Lola had been missing Tamara so much that she rubbed up against the iPad as they called.  The two were reunited later in the month with cuddles ensuing!

Yet the battle continued for Tamara. 2018 saw a myriad of issues and hospital trips including a liver biopsy. And, unfortunately, 2019 wasn't much better for Tamara, bringing the need for a sinus surgery and a kidney transplant! But Tamara's family and Lola's cuddling were there for her through it all. On Tamara's Facebook blog, Breathing In Grace, Tamara writes a post for Lola, telling her, "Thank you for coming into my world and being a light in my life that keeps me going. Love you Lola!"

In December 2019, Tamara adopted another fur-child, Fifi – an adorable black-and-white kitty – from RSPCA Queensland. Fifi was another critter in need of Tamara's love after being saved by RSPCA Inspectors. At the time RSPCA Inspectors found her, Fifi was riddled with fleas and underweight. 

Fifi's entrance into Tamara's life initially brought the annoyed scepticism of her big sister Lola who wasn't used to sharing the limelight. But after keeping them separated and by slowly introducing them to each other, they've warmed up like a house on fire. Tamara says that after just three months they do everything together. “They groom each other, they eat dinner together, I can leave them alone when I go out, and they sleep together on my bed next to me, every night!". She adds, “[Fifi] is a good companion for Lola, she has a funny personality and brings lots of joy to the house.”

Recently, Tamara has made an outside ten-metre cat run with the help of her loving parents giving the two cats ample space to play around in get up to all kinds of feline mischief. One thing's for sure, these are two very loved (and spoilt) kitties. As for Tamara, 2020 has its ups and downs. While still  frequenting hospitals now and then, Tamara seems to be doing a bit better: her kidney has been doing well and her lung capacity is sitting around 60 percent. Only just over a month ago she even managed to go on her first hike since grade six!

We wish Tamara all the very best and are glad to see that Lola and Fifi have been a wonderful support during the tough times.  You can follow Tamara's journey (and Lola and Fifi's) here.

To adopt your very own Lola or Fifi, have a look at the RSPCA cats up for adoption here.

Jake Allwood
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