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A gray and white cat wears a white cone.

Cat has brain surgery at OSU Vet Med

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Mikey (pictured above) lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with his owners, Stacy and Drew Shouse, and two other cats — Sheridan and Odin.

By Stacy’s admission, Mikey is a bully. The soft, fluffy 11-year-old cat would purr and lure people in close to him before turning and slapping his would-be admirers in the face. According to Stacy, Mikey even sent both his "siblings" to the veterinarian on separate occasions. But in March 2015, that all changed.

“Mikey stopped attacking his siblings and started stumbling around, walking in circles and staring at the wall,” Stacy said.

Totally out of character for their bully, Stacy and Drew decided to have Mikey checked out, which led them to Oklahoma State University’s Veterinary Medical Hospital. Dr. Shane Lyon, small animal internal medicine, first saw Mikey. Lyon ordered an MRI and diagnosed Mikey’s problem.

“The MRI showed a huge mass on Mikey’s brain,” said Dr. Mark Rochat, small animal surgery section chief. “It was about the size of a large grape and was pressing on the cat’s brain, which basically affected Mikey’s behavior.”

Stacy said they struggled with the decision to have surgery because of his age and the risk of complications.

“However, I so enjoyed the rare occasion when he would curl up in my lap,"
Stacy said. "Or when I was sick or injured, he had to be close to make sure I was OK, even if it meant beating up the other cats to get a good spot.

"Every time Drew was out of town or deployed with the Tulsa Air National Guard, 138th Fighter Wing, 125th Fighter Squadron, Mikey would wait hours by the door before giving up and going on to bed. So, we decided to move forward with the surgery.”

Mikey’s surgery took about one hour. Recovery involved pain management and watching Mikey for any signs of brain swelling.

“This type of tumor is one of the easier types to deal with. Mikey came through surgery with no lasting problems,” Rochat said.

And to the surprise of his owners, Mikey’s behavior changed again.

“Mikey came through surgery great. He hated the cone around his neck with a passion but the weird thing is, Mikey is not attacking his siblings and is quite the lover,” Stacy said. “We hope this mellow side of him stays but even if it doesn’t, he is still a keeper — we love our evil cat!”

Several weeks out of surgery, Mikey returned to the hospital for a follow up visit.

“Mikey is doing great and for the first time after surgery, he played a little,” Stacy said. “Although he isn’t beating up on his siblings, Mikey has started growling and hissing which may be a sign of things to come.”

Maybe Mikey’s softer side is going to give way to his original personality. If so, sibling cats and visitors to the Shouse household beware — Mikey has been known to slap.

For more information on OSU’s Veterinary Medical Hospital, visit or call 405-744-7000.

Media Contact: Taylor Bacon | Public Relations and Marketing Coordinator | 405-744-6728 |

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