Teeny Esther with her brother right after we adopted her.
Do you believe in miracles? I have a miracle living at my house. More than one actually, but that’s a story for another day. This one is Esther. I adopted her on the way home from the ACFW conference. She was teeny – less than a pound. When I held her it felt like I was holding a baby bird. She was extremely underweight and looked at me with such sad eyes. When she nestled into my elbow, I was helpless. She needed me – and I needed to help her.
Her littermate was adopted by our youngest son who just graduated from high school this summer. We’d had him for three weeks. He was twice her size – but otherwise identical.
I thought good food would put her to rights. I called the vet the next day though. I was worried. She almost never moved and didn’t play. They told me to be patient – that she needed to adjust. A day later she was at the vet again. She had an upper respiratory infection. That’s not unusual for rescue kittens. We got some meds and I had to start feeding her watered down food with a syringe every two hours (even at night).
After a couple days she was still lethargic and I noticed her breathing was labored.
That was when I first heard her diagnosis – congenital heart failure. My vet said there was nothing he could do. He suggested we see a specialist from the college in a neighboring town. He didn’t expect her to live.
The specialist ran some tests and told me hers was the worst case of heart failure they’d seen in such a young cat. She had fluid around her heart and in her lungs, none of her valves were operating normally and she had at least one blood clot in her heart.
After her visit to the specialist. You can see all her shaved spots.
I was crying constantly. I think they took pity on me. They gave her some meds and told me to come back in five days, unless she got much worse or died. They didn’t expect her to live. Even if the meds helped her heart, she was still underweight and the blood clot could kill her instantly.
I continued my syringe feedings and watched the clock to make sure she got her meds on time.One day later it was as if we had a new kitten. She played with anything from her tail to a spot on the carpet. She was curious about everything and started eating on her own. They wanted me to keep her quiet and in a kennel – but she would run circles chasing her tail and climbed all over inside the kennel.
Esther (looking at camera), her brother, and one of our older cats snuggling.
She is a reminder not only to take joy in every day, but that God is in charge of everything. Whether it’s the orbit of the earth, the money we need for bills, or the life of a tiny kitten that nobody but God could see having a future.