Following a horrific accident, Duchess the cat was almost put to sleep by vets who weren’t sure their efforts to save her would work. However, while the incident left her fighting for her life, it also helped her find a new smile. And the incredible kitty has since melted the hearts of thousands.
It all began in October 2015, when stray cat Duchess was rushed to the Adobe Animal Hospital and Clinic in Texas. She had been brought to the facility by a kind stranger after she had been hit by a car – and if that person hadn’t stepped in, it’s possible the poor puss could have died from her injuries.
In fact, the little Siamese cat was in such a bad way that euthanasia was a possibility. Fortunately, however, the kitten was spared. “Most places would’ve just euthanized her but, by some miracle, Duchess got lucky,” Crystal Tate from the hospital told The Dodo in May 2016.
Among her injuries, Duchess had a severely broken jaw. And as a result, she was rushed into emergency surgery to have her fractured face repaired. Still, even after her operation, the white kitty’s road to recovery was far from complete.
Indeed, the unfortunate feline would need to stay in the hospital for a number of weeks, where staff could monitor her recovery. She would also need help eating and relied on many medications. Duchess, then, was far from out of the woods just yet.
However, once again fate was on Duchess’ side, as she survived and proved she could muster the energy to keep living. Still, the furbaby was left with one permanent reminder of her terrible ordeal. “Duchess’ jaw is still crooked, and it will be for the rest of her life,” Tate revealed.
What’s more, as a result of the disfigurement, Duchess lost all use of her jaw – so chewing was no longer an option. And even if it had been, the cat was now missing several teeth, as the surgeons had to pull most of them to wire her jaw. But there was still one thing no one could break – Duchess’ amazing spirit.
And, in the end, her crooked mouth only made Duchess even more adorable: the way it had been broken had left the cat looking as though she had a permanent grin plastered across her face. It’s perhaps understandable, then, that Tate ended up falling head-over-heels for this friendly-looking feline.
Vets noticed the incredible bond between Tate and Duchess and asked her if she wanted to become the cat’s adoptive mom. Tate found it hard to resist her charming expression and agreed. Duchess, then, had found a home.
“I met her the day I arrived at the clinic for my first day and ended up bringing her home with me less than a week later,” Tate explained on Facebook. “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.”
Tate continued, “Everyday I would spend time with her, petting her, talking to her – and when the doctors asked me if I could give her a home a few weeks later, I knew immediately we were meant to be in each other’s lives. It was a transition for us both: I had never cared for a special needs kitty and she had never experienced life as a special needs kitty, but we learned together.”
Since adopting her “miracle kitty” in November 2015, moreover, Tate has documented Duchess’ new life on Facebook. And not only did the cat have a new mom, but she also gained some siblings in the form of Tate’s other dogs and cats. What’s more, it didn’t take Duchess long to find her feet in her new home.
Images on the Facebook page, for example, show Duchess enjoying cuddles with her human, curling up for naps and generally causing mischief. And her adorable antics have earned her legions of fans: she now counts over 23,000 people among her Facebook following. Tate, meanwhile, hopes the page will give her fans the opportunity to keep up with her progress.
“She has been a part of our family since November and she walks around like she owns the house, sitting where she pleases and warming hearts wherever she goes. She loves cuddling and playing with her toys,” Tate wrote on the page.
“We are still learning her quirks and helping her live her new life, but we wouldn’t have it any other way,” Tate continued. “She has had a few more procedures since coming home with me. She is getting stronger everyday and we couldn’t be more proud.”
Furthermore, it seems as if Duchess’ unique facial features have helped put smiles on the faces of all those who see them. “Flaws make people/animals better souls,” cooed one of her online followers. Another gushed, “When I first looked at her I just wanted to melt. She’s so adorable! Bless you for giving her a new life and bringing back her spirit!”
But although her wonky smile adds to her charm, Duchess may still have more reconstructive surgery in the future to help her eat. For now, however, Tate is happy to attend to her Duchess’ every need. That includes blending her cat’s food at every meal so that Duchess can lap it up with her tongue.
October 2016, meanwhile, marked one year since Duchess’ tragic accident. And while no animal should have to deal with the trauma that she did, Duchess has recovered amazingly. “Look what love can do,” Tate wrote on Facebook, alongside a video of a thriving Duchess.
“Thanks to some amazing people I was given a second chance at life,” she continued, writing from the cat’s perspective. “It’s been an amazing adventure ever since! I’m so thankful we have been able to share my journey with all of you, your kind words and big hearts make everyday a great one! Enjoy this video of some of the memories I’ve made in just one short year.”
When seeing the joy Duchess has brought to her new family and all her online followers, then, it’s hard to imagine that vets almost put her down. And from the most tragic of circumstances Duchess has gained the most charming of grins, which has in turn put smiles on the faces of many.