Determined Dixie: Cat Cancels Cancer’s Plans

After the passing of her two longtime cats, Stephanie Taylor of Starkville, Miss. decided to adopt a 1-year-old cat, naming her Dapple. However, the adoption didn’t go as smoothly as Stephanie had hoped, because Dapple was used to the company of other cats and was having trouble being on her own. After nights of the cat bellowing for a companion, Stephanie decided to look for a second kitty. As fate would have it, a co-worker’s friend was housing a 10-week-old kitten and was looking to find her a home. Stephanie set out to meet the young feline and upon placing the purring kitten on her lap, knew she had found a new member of the family. Stephanie took the kitten home and named her Dixie.


The first few weeks were rough for Dixie. She was shy and underweight, spending most of her time hiding. But after a few good meals and some quality time with her new family, she became a complete social butterfly, wanting nothing more than to be held.

“Dixie loves human affection,” said Stephanie. “She used to hate attention, but now she walks around the house meowing at you until she’s picked up. She’s definitely a lover.”

The only person Dixie doesn’t enjoy is the veterinarian, but Stephanie knows the importance of veterinary care and makes sure her cats have regular exams. Stephanie also gives her cats regular precautionary checks for lumps, which eventually saved Dixie’s life.

“I was giving Dixie a little check while petting her when I noticed something on her leg,” said Stephanie. “It felt like a couple tiny bumps near her joints, but I couldn’t tell if it was serious or if she was just irritated by something.”


Stephanie kept a close eye on the bumps over the next several days, but when she noticed them become slightly larger, she knew that medical attention was required. Stephanie took Dixie to Smith’s Animal Hospital in Starksville for treatment. The veterinary staff examined the lumps and recommended a biopsy to determine if they were cancerous. Dixie was put under anesthesia and a sample was taken. The results of the sample came back undetermined, and a deeper biopsy would be needed to determine if the lumps were cancerous or not, but lead veterinarian Jeff Smith had another option.

“Dr. Smith gave us the option of just removing them all together and then testing them afterwards,” said Stephanie. “It was a ‘better safe than sorry’ option and it meant fewer procedures for Dixie. I really appreciated him taking Dixie’s comfort into consideration.”

Three days after the surgery, Stephanie received a call with frightening, yet relieving news. The lumps had come back with cancerous results, but the staff believed that they had removed it entirely before it had a chance to spread, meaning Dixie was cancer free.


Over the past six months Dixie has healed up and Stephanie has noticed a new pep in her step.

“I guess I never noticed that Dixie had lost some of her spunk before the surgery,” said Stephanie. “But now she’s more playful than ever! She’s giving Dapple a run for her money and plays with her toys non-stop.”

Without Stephanie’s early detection awareness and Dr. Smith’s veterinary care, Dixie may not be here today. Stephanie couldn’t be happier with the veterinary staff’s outstanding work and the pet insurance coverage she received from Nationwide.

“Dr. Smith spends time with his patients and really cares about their well being. He was wonderful,” said Stephanie. “I signed up both my cats with Nationwide because of expensive medical bills I’ve had with previous pets and I’m really glad I did. The coverage we had for Dixie’s treatment made it was worth every penny.”

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