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Pets and Peeps: Knitting Shop Cat

Bibi survived a scary bout with cancer about a year ago.

The people: Carrie Dodd, owner of , a knitting goods shop at 335 W. Ponce de Leon Ave.

Pet's name, nicknames, breed and age: Bibi, short for Bibliotheque (she was found near a library), pronounced bee-bee. The Beeb, Biberino, Bibalicious, Bean Burrito (came from a mis-hearing of Biberino), Neapolitan Nose. Mixed long-haired cat. Around 3 years old

How I met my pet: A few Thanksgivings ago, my oldest son had been helping out at my shop. After work he and a young lady that works here went out to get some dinner. I get a call from him that a “kitten” had wandered up to them looking pitiful. We already had a house full of cats, so they took her to my shop. I came in the next morning to find her hanging out in the back. She was not a kitten, but rather an adolescent cat with fleas, ear mites, and a gash on one of her paws. From the beginning she did not mess with yarn, and after a flea treatment and wound wash it was clear that Bibi was destined to be our shop cat.

I love it when my cat does this: Snorts very unladylike when she bathes herself.

I wish my pet would stop doing this: Hacking up hair balls in the shop window!

What my pet eats: She thinks she wants fish tacos from Taqueria del Sol, but when finally given the opportunity to eat some, she promptly snubbed it! I have seen her eat a goldfish cracker, however.

What people say about my pet: She's a Maine Coon! She looks just like my Ragdoll! She's a Norwegian Forest Cat! She's the friendliest cat I've ever met!

Most exciting moment with my pet: This is more traumatic than exciting. Early in 2011 we were petting Bibi and we noticed a lump about the size of a marble on her side. I called my vet and made an appointment to have it checked out. When she went in they scheduled a surgery to remove it. When I talked to the vet afterwards she was pretty certain that it was cancerous and aggressive. The biopsy confirmed that, and two weeks after the first surgery Bibi went to St. Francis Animal hospital for a more thorough removal. She had a fibro sarcoma, a type of cancer often associated with animal vaccinations. I had a crash course in things like “clean margins.” Bibi came out of this second surgery with a 10-inch scar and over $3,000 in vet bills, not to mention having to wear a cone of shame (particularly repugnant for a beauty queen like Bibi!) I cannot express how generous folks were when they learned about her situation. Our regular customers overwhelmed us with donations, but most amazing were the people who had never met us — folks that walked their dogs by at night, people with kids who loved seeing Bibi in the window. One morning we found someone had stuffed an envelope with a twenty in it under our door overnight. Over half her vet bills were covered by donations! As of now, Bibi has been cancer free for over a year. There is always a chance it could come back, but the longer it's gone the better chance she has. I will never be able to thank everyone enough for helping us out. It is so good to have her back to her normal self — greeting customers, humoring kids, being the general diva that we know and love!

How my pet has enriched my life: Bibi's ordeal with cancer brought out the best in people and really made me realize how many kind, generous, loving people are in the world.

If my pet could talk she would say: Why aren't you petting me now? Have you noticed my Kibble is low? Say, is that a fish taco you are eating ...

LaurelFaye April 18, 2012 at 11:40 AM
Beautiful story ! Fingers crossed that the cancer doesn't come back.
Michele Ritan April 18, 2012 at 12:23 PM
Sheepish is one of the places that make downtown Decatur special. Thanks for this lovely story that reveals one reason (of many!) that it's a great place to shop.
Eileen Drennen April 18, 2012 at 01:24 PM
great story, ralph!
john kramer April 18, 2012 at 01:53 PM
I will pass the story on to Foxy (in Mexico) and when she and Mariana come up in June they will come for a visit. JK
Mariana Kramer April 19, 2012 at 01:04 AM
Well, Carrie, here I am in Mexico...and just read your great story. I'll be there soon to come visit you and Bibi with Foxy. Mariana Kramer

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