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Well-wishers send healing thoughts to Gov. Cooper’s cat, diagnosed with cancer

Well-wishers send healing thoughts to Gov. Cooper’s cat, diagnosed with cancer

A cat belonging to NC Governor Roy Cooper’s family has been diagnosed with lymphoma. The news about Alexei, a black cat, was announced on the First Pets of North Carolina Facebook page. He is being treated at NC State Vet School.
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A cat belonging to NC Governor Roy Cooper’s family has been diagnosed with lymphoma. The news about Alexei, a black cat, was announced on the First Pets of North Carolina Facebook page. He is being treated at NC State Vet School.

A member of Gov. Roy Cooper’s pet family is ailing, and animal lovers across North Carolina are sending healing vibes via social media.

Alexei, the Coopers’ 12-year-old black male cat, has been diagnosed with “an aggressive form of lymphoma,” according to a post on the First Pets of North Carolina Facebook page.

The trouble with Alexei was first reported on Tuesday, when a post revealed that the kitty wasn’t feeling well and was having tests performed. On Wednesday, a post noted that Alexei had an appointment with an oncologist at the N.C. State Veterinary Hospital in Raleigh and that he would probably need a biopsy.

The post continued: “He is in good spirits ... who am I kidding? He’s a cat and is really ticked off about the needles and cages! But he is comfortable and we hope and pray we caught whatever this is in time.”

The discouraging update came Thursday morning:

“Well, Alexei has an aggressive form of lymphoma. We have chosen to treat it as long as it remains a humane option for him. It is in other hands than ours now. The family, both two and four legged, deeply appreciates your support. Hug a loved one for us.”

The post immediately began filling with comments from well-wishers sending prayers and healing thoughts for Alexei and for the Cooper family.

The Facebook page chronicling the lives of the pets belonging to Gov. Cooper, his wife, Kristen, and their daughters Hilary, Natalie and Claire, has nearly 6,000 followers.

In a Facebook post from two years ago, the family posted this info about Alexei:

“Alexei (Alex) Cooper is a character! He came to live in the Cooper house ten years ago as a foster, along with his mother and his siblings. The rest went to other families (his mother and sister going to live with daughter Hilary), but Alex was determined to stay. He loves cuddling under the blankets and stealing food when we’re not looking. We think he can open cabinet doors with his mind. He may also have a bit of a catnip problem.”

The family also has Adelaide (Addy) Cooper, a medium-haired tabby, and Jenny, a tortoishell cat who showed up as a stray kitten at the Governor’s Mansion last summer. The Cooper “granddog” Benjamin also lives in the Governor’s Mansion.

The family has lost pets in the past couple of years.

In May 2017, Gov. Cooper and his wife said goodbye to their beloved rescue sheltie named Chloe, who was 16.

Then Winifred “Fred” Cooper, dubbed the “First Mantis of NC,” died in June 2017 at the age of 10 months. Another pet preying mantis named Daisy passed away in July 2018, at the age of 14 months and five days.

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Brooke Cain is a North Carolina native who has worked at The News & Observer for more than 20 years. She writes about TV and local media for the Happiness is a Warm TV blog, and answers CuriousNC questions for readers.
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