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Humane Society of Greater Rochester

When Clara arrived at the shelter for a second time, one of her eyes had mysteriously changed colors.

We first met Clara the calico in 2009. She was brought to Lollypop Farm by a good Samaritan who had found her as a stray in Spencerport, NY. After spending about two months at the shelter and in foster care while she received treatment for lungworm, Clara was finally adopted. But this wasn’t the last we’d see of this curious calico.

In mid-November of 2017, Clara, now 10 years old, found herself back at Lollypop Farm due to no fault of her own. Problems in her home led Clara’s owners to make the decision that the best thing for Clara was for her to find a new family. Clara at first seemed happy, healthy, and ready for adoption – but there was something slightly off about this kitty.

Our Veterinarian and Medical Director of the Clinic here at Lollypop Farm, Dr. Cristina Cadavieco, came to a confounding realization. When Clara had been adopted from Lollypop Farm in 2009, she had two green eyes. Upon her return, one of her eyes was still green, but the other was dark brown.

Clara when she first arrived at Lollypop Farm, with two green eyes.

With her original photo still saved in our pet database (see photo above) as evidence, it was clear that something unusual was going on with Clara. Dr. Cadaveico suspected that cancer may be at play, specifically melanoma, and decided to contact an ophthalmologist specialist in Buffalo, NY. She sent along several photos of Clara’s eye, including the original image, and awaited the results. The specialist agreed that melanoma was very likely the culprit and recommended the removal of the eye to prevent the cancer from spreading.

Clara successfully underwent a challenging enucleation surgery in the shelter’s clinic, and a biopsy confirmed that the cancer had not yet spread to any other part of her body and was completely removed. Clara’s medical paperwork and biopsy results were prepared for her new adopters to share with their veterinarian to ensure Clara’s continued health and wellness.

Clara just after her enucleation surgery, cancer free.


After her long ordeal, Clara was finally ready to be available for adoption a second time, and just before Christmas, found her happy home.

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