Esmeralda, our blind gypsy princess kitten has an open window to fix her deformed legs. The shortened tendon and soft tissue issue with her legs can be fixed with a minimal invasive surgery but we need to act fast. The surgery needs to be performed before her growth plates complete closing and her bones are in their final position. We have already spent $1,700 for her spay, to remove both eyes, and initial visit at UF.
A volunteer for Candy's Cats received a call from her mother's care home -- a mama cat and her kittens had moved into the backyard. Due to a warm winter, 2017 produced a bumper crop of kittens, and the rescue was overflowing, but our volunteer went to investigate anyway. She discovered that there were three kittens, Esmeralda and her brothers, Clopin and Phoebus. The kittens were immediately caught and taken to our founder, Candy, for evaluation
The boys were normal feisty 4-week-old kittens, but Esmeralda was blind and had deformed back legs. Candy knew we couldn't turn our backs on them, so calls were made, fosters were shuffled, and room was found for Esmeralda and her brothers (Mama, who had also been trapped, was spayed and returned to her colony). Very early on, we realized that Esmeralda doesn't know she has any disabilities. She is a loving, energetic, happy kitten who knows no limitations. She torments her brothers, chases balls, wrestles with toys and loves to climb. She embraces her life and gets the most out of every day. As one of our vets said, "She is a little gypsy princess, and as everyone knows, gypsy princesses have magic". He was so right. Everyone who meets her is seduced with her magical charms -- and big purr-sonality.
Now that you know her, this is where Esmeralda needs your help. When Esmeralda was about 7 weeks old, we noticed that her eyes were enlarging slightly. A trip to a veterinary ophthalmologist revealed she had Congenital Glaucoma, and the only treatment available was surgical removal of the eyes. On July 19th she had a visit with the orthopedic specialists at the University of Florida's Veterinary Hospital.They confirmed what our other veterinarians suspected. Esmeralda had been positioned badly in the womb, creating what we affectionately call her "pretzel legs" and is technically known as Contracture- Flexor Tendon, Subluxation-Intertarsa.
X-rays revealed an optimistic prognosis. What was originally feared to be bone deformity, and would have required multiple invasive surgeries, was in actuality a shortened tendon and soft tissue problem. Her bones are perfect. Although not without risks, the surgery to correct her condition is minimally invasive, but we have a very small window of opportunity. The surgery needs to be performed before her growth plates complete closing and her bones are in their final position. You may ask, if she's so happy and doing so well, why risk leg surgery?
This is the dilemma. To do nothing holds great risks too. The leg bones she currently walks on aren't designed for that type of wear and tear. As she matures, the added weight can cause permanent bone damage, creating chronic pain for her. Calluses have already started to form, because leg skin is thin and not for walking on either. The possibility of developing sores that won't heal is high, and those sores could lead to possible sepsis. Surgery offers her the best hope of a normal, pain-free life, and we want to give her that chance. To prepare her for the leg surgery, she was spayed, and had her eye removal last week. Her recovery is going great, and she in on schedule to be ready for her next surgery in mid-August.
The financial impact for Esmeralda's care has already begun, so we ask you to please consider donating towards her surgeries and rehabilitation. We have already spent $1,700 on Esme for her spay, to remove both eyes and initial visit at UF. Any donations received that exceed the costs for Esmeralda's medical care will go to help the other Candy's Cats kitties. From Esmeralda to you, purrs and hugs for your love and help.