Reese: A Survivor Story



Reese has not only brought joy during a pandemic; she’s also survived cancer!

Hannah Popadin-Lesniak, Reporter

In July, my family and I were outside enjoying the hot summer day when we heard a noise from under our shed — turned out it was a two-month-old kitten. Being a calico cat of three colors —  white, brown, and tan —  the kitten looked like a Reese’s peanut butter cup, and Reese became its name. After days of feeding the cat, it finally approached us. The kitten was as playful as could be and chased us around the yard. After a month of feeding this stray kitten, we decided to take it to the doctor. At this time, the kitten let us pick it up and never left our property. 

We finally found out that Reese was a girl! But we also discovered that she has Feline Leukemia —  a deadly disease that can be transferred from cat to cat. Being that Reese was only a couple of months old, the vet told my family to stay hopeful and pray that she beats this disease. 

Our garage became Reese’s home —  we bought her a heated bed, toys, and transformed the garage into her own space. Reese never left our property. Yes, she explored the block but she always came back to the garage. We wondered where she came from and finally decided to post about her on “Wantagh Mommas,” but no one claimed her.

After months of having her stay in our garage, we decided to take her back to the vet for another check-up. Miraculously, the doctors have said her disease was declining at a rapid pace —  a miracle!

 My family and I have two other cats so we decided to bring her in our basement and isolate her from them. In December —  right before Christmas —  we got a call saying that she has almost beat the disease. It was a Christmas miracle! They told us in a couple of months we would be able to unite our cats and Reese. 

In order for our cats and Reese to live together, our cats need two doses of shots. And on March 16, we will finally be able to have all of our cats together. Don’t worry; we’re not a crazy cat family! 

Although this pandemic has been beyond challenging for everyone, I believe that Reese was our light at the end of the tunnel. I am eagerly counting down the days until we can unite our cats and welcome Reese into our home —  for good!