Meet the Community Cats #6: Esme the enigma

Meet the Community Cats #6: Esme the enigma

Darling EsmeSome cats won’t give a scary diagnosis the time of day.

Tabby’s Place is blessed with a wealth of these death-defiers, and perhaps none is more charming, more adorable, or more downright peculiar than our tiny Esme.

EsmeFrom the moment she arrived, Esme had “Community Cat” written all over her petite, perplexed face.

When you look at Es’ pointy little face, you can’t help but notice that she has perpetually sleepy-looking eyes. Set back unusually far in her head, and veiled with scar tissue, Esme’s golden eyes are the half-open windows to her sweet, mellooooow soul.

Es’ optical issues are “souvenirs” from her early-life woes. As best we can tell, a skull deformity led to chronic upper respiratory infections, which haunt Esme in the form of daily snufflitude. Like Yasmine and Raja, teeny Es sounds like she’s snoring a good bit of the time (including her waking hours). But, between a low-dose steroid and daily “steam treatments” with a vaporizer, we were able to get Esme’s snorkliness under control enough that she could lead a happy (if noisy) life.

Tony & Esme, BFFWith what we thought to be Esme’s biggest problem solved, we happily moved this little love into the lobby, where she almost instantaneously attached herself to her new BFFs. She may seem quiet, but I do believe Esme was the one who rounded up Tony and Yasmine and spearheaded the Loud Breathing Society. Now, they’ve each got their own odd reasons for their rasping (Yasmine is President of the associated Rare Disease Club, with nasopharyngeal stenosis, and Tony is VP, with acromegaly), but when they nap together, it’s a symphony of snores. And, given how bonded these three have become, it’s a symphony we get to enjoy daily.

Esme (center) with Yasmine (bottom) and MozartWhen Esme first moved out to the lobby, her newfound zest for life Fancy Feast became the stuff of legend. Between constant human affection and the lobby’s all-you-can-eat buffet, Es was in her glory. Our delicate barely-tortie girl almost doubled in weight in record time, and her saggy, baggy belly invited many visitors to ask when her kittens would be due. We were happy to see the old, snuffly sweetheart who had been through so much enjoying life with such relish.

Alas, not every saggy, baggy belly is a happily food-crammed belly. In addition to all that Fancy Feast, something else had been building up in Esme’s insides: fluid.

EsmeIt was devastating to receive the weekend text message from Jonathan that Esme was in severe congestive heart failure. The emergency vet tapped the excess fluid – all three and a half pounds of it – off Esme’s long-suffering chest, but issued only grim predictions for her longevity. 

I did a double-take when I walked into the lobby that Monday and saw a tiny almost-all-black cat with a stripe of orange down her nose, only to realize that this skinny malink was our Esme. Gone was the saggy, baggy belly; gone was the 10-pound plumpette. Little 7-pound Esme looked so fragile now. Reviewing Esme’s test results, a specialist conceded that it was something of a shock that, in her condition, Esme was alive at all, let alone clearly quite content.

And yet, there she was, flourishing and quite evidently comfortable.

And here she is, months later, with no intention of going anywhere.

Esme & Tony relaxing this morningWhen we carried this little snuggler out to the Blessing of the Animals in October, I don’t believe any of us would have guessed that Esme would still be here, would still be doing so grandly, in January.

Actually, I take that back. I’ve learned to expect and to pray for the best when it comes to Tabby’s Place cats. Ever the optimist, I’ve had my hope bolstered by the cavalcade of “miracle cats” who annihilate grim predictions in a blaze of life. Where there is life, there is hope, and there’s almost more hope here than the heart can hold.

Almost. But, in the company of cats like Esme, I find my heart growing each day. Here’s to the enigmas whose hope grows our love beyond limits.

6 thoughts on “Meet the Community Cats #6: Esme the enigma

  1. Esme looks just like my Nellie, who I lost in June of 2008. I hope she continues to do well. She looks so sweet.

    I have a cat at home who was diagnosed with colon cancer in June of last year; she was given a month or so, but she is still here…Her last vet app’t indicated she is GAINING weight.

    I wish the same for sweet Esme, that she will continue to beat the odds.

  2. It’s wonderful to read blogs such as this one, it is amazing how many of the Tabby’s Place residents defy the odds on a daily basis and lead a good life for longer than anyone expected.

  3. I love that sweet Esme has made such wonderful friends of Tony & Yasmine. I really think they enhance each other’s lives. I’m so glad they have each other and Tabby’s Place.

  4. I guess no one bothered to tell Esme that she wasn’t doing well! That’s one of the great things about cats — when we see the gloom and doom, they just keep on going and living each day to the fullest (a good lesson for all of us). And I can see that Esme learned having a few special friends makes everything go better!

  5. I wish little Esme and her lobby buddies all the best! As unmedical as it sounds, sometimes love is more effective at keeping illness at bay than any treatment a vet can dish out. I’ve seen it before, and here it is again…

Leave a Reply