Dr. Alice Frei, owner of Southside Place Animal Hospital, said Tiny Tim, who weighed 35 pounds when he came to live at the hospital more than a year ago, was diagnosed with cancer in mid-January and a veterinary oncologist determined last week the feline had contracted a plasma cell tumor, an uncommon occurrence in cats, the Houston Chronicle reported Monday.
"There is no really good chemotherapy for it," she said. "The best thing to do if you catch it, if it's not up against a body wall, is to remove it."
However, she said Tiny Tim's cancer has already spread to his lymph nodes.
The veterinarian said Tiny Tim is being given light chemotherapy and does not appear to be suffering any ill effects.
"Tiny's handling it much better than I am," she said. "He's happy as a lark. I went through a pretty horrible three- to four-week period."
Frei said Tiny Tim has been taken off his weight reduction diet and receives occasional treats such as slices of rotisserie chicken.
The veterinarian said Tiny Tim is being closely monitored to make sure he isn't in pain.
"We will not let him suffer," she said. "When he's uncomfortable and unhappy, we'll let him go."