“Most places would’ve just euthanized her, but by some miracle, Duchess got lucky,” Crystal Tate, an employee of the Adobe Animal Hospital, told The Dodo.
Hospital staff decided to take a chance on Duchess, a flame point Siamese, and repaired her badly broken jaw.
But Duchess’ journey wasn’t over yet — she remained at the clinic for a month to recover after her surgery, during which she had to eat through a feeding tube and take several different medications. Her chances for survival were slim.
But Duchess was a fighter. She managed to make it through the worst but, in the aftermath, was left with a crooked jaw, a mouth that would not open or allow her to chew and just a few teeth.
But that didn’t stop Tate from falling in love with her.
“I met her the day I arrived at the clinic for my first day,” Tate said. “Her mouth was just beginning to heal, the feeding tube had just been removed and she was very thin. The lowest meow caught my attention — her eyes showed so much sadness, but her purrs showed so much love and hope.”
Every day, Tate spent time petting Duchess and speaking to her. When doctors asked if Tate would be interested in taking her home permanently, Tate said she knew the two of them were meant to be in each other’s lives.
“I had never cared for a special needs kitty and she had never experienced life as a special needs kitty, but we’ve learned [together],” Tate said.