When a cat is born into this world, they are always unique. From their personality to their physical attributes, every single facet of their being makes them uniquely them. And when it comes to their health, some kitties don’t get as lucky as others. For Ladie Marmie, she’s a total sweetheart with a slew of health concerns. But that didn’t stop her from stealing her owner’s heart right from the start.
Thankfully there are people in this world who don’t overlook special needs cats because they’re afraid of all the work involved when it comes to caring for them. And, if anything, sometimes these people find it in their hearts to take them in so that these cats can rightfully receive the love they so desperately crave. Special needs cats like Ladie Marmie have so much love to give. Keep reading to learn her story, courtesy of her owner, Daisy.
From the first day, to two years living the life Marmie had always hoped for…
How did Marmie come into your life?
“Marmie came to live with me on August 25, 2017. I was working at an event called ‘Clear the Shelters’ in South LA as part of my work as an adoption coordinator at an animal hospital in West Hollywood, CA. I went in the feral cat room (which was off limits to public) and my eyes went straight to her. And I immediately started crying because she looked so horrible. She was very dirty, emaciated, covered in mats, had multiple tears in her skin, had black crust all around her mouth, and was sneezing nonstop. I stooped down to say hi to her, and she immediately came to the front of the kennel and started rubbing her face all over my fingers while purring.
“Tears were streaming down my face at this point. She was not feral whatsoever. She also had a red collar on, which made me think she was lost or abandoned years and years ago. Her condition did not happen overnight. I had promised myself I would never get another cat, because my senior calico was very cat-reactive. But I had to do something, and fast, because she was going to get euthanized in the next few days, so I made up my mind. I had to give her a second chance.”
What inspired you to save her life?
“Working at an animal hospital allows me to get huge discounts on veterinary bills. She was going to be euthanized in the next few days, and I couldn’t possibly let that happen looking at those very sad eyes.”
What was life like when you first brought her home with you?
“The first thing the doctor tested her for was FIV, which came back positive. The next step was to wash her. We gave her three (yes THREE) baths. And in the first one, the water running off of her was dark brown. We started shaving the huge mat,s but she kept bleeding. At that time, we didn’t know she had a complicated skin condition called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (a connective tissue disorder that makes skin extremely fragile) so when she was on my lap at home, I would gently cut the mats out while she purred on my lap.
“The doctor then scheduled her for full mouth extractions, which is the best way to get rid of the extremely painful inflammation in her mouth. The day that she got her full mouth extractions, she started eating! Her doctor even said, ‘Wow, I can’t believe this cat’ when he saw her eating after the procedure. A few months later, she was diagnosed with a diaphragmatic hernia and feline airway disease (asthma).
“At the time, I worked at an ER/general practice hospital, and they told me that there was nothing I could do for those conditions. She would cough and have asthma attacks daily and occasionally breathed very hard. I eventually got a job in Internal Medicine at a specialty hospital, where her specialist put her on steroids and antibiotics to treat her asthma. While sometimes she has flare-ups which make it very hard for her to breathe (it’s heartbreaking!), on a whole, I have the severe asthma under control with medications and air purifiers.”
How old is she?
“The shelter said she was about five, but when I brought her to her doctor, they said she is at least 10. She had severe stomatitis (inflammation/infection in the mouth), so they could not tell for sure. She certainly does not act like a 12-year-old, more like a two-year-old with how much she plays!”
What health concerns does Marmie have?
“FIV positive, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, toothless (stomatitis), asthma, diaphragmatic hernia, and a weird spine.”
What’s her personality like?
“As for her everyday life, she is quite a happy cat. Her biggest problem that she faces in everyday life is her asthma and her Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. She gets lacerations very easily, and I have to take her to the ER to get staples and sutures (already three times this year).
“She is always so playful, happy, cuddly, and now recently talkative! And she loves playing with her white cat tube and duck! Marmie also loves sleeping by my side every night and waking me up by making biscuits on me while purring. She also LOVES to eat. Even with her being completely toothless, she eats dry food, wet food, and anything else I accidentally drop on the group (ugh).
“She also LOVES going on walks (on a harness, of course). Her favorite place I occasionally take her to is Hollywood Forever Cemetery. And she loves to roll around on the grass while purring and loves watching the ducks, turtles, and peacocks. In our new apartment, she loves to roll around and bask in the afternoon sunlight.”
What is something special you’d like people to know about Marmie?
“She keeps me grounded, thankful, and happy, especially when I’m having a hard day. She follows me everywhere I go in my apartment. If I’m in the kitchen, she’s watching me cook. And if I’m on the couch, she’s on my lap. If I’m in the closet, she’s watching me fold clothes. She just stares at me and purrs. She was out on the streets starving with so many health conditions for so many years that I think she is really in love with me for making her feel better. And of course, I’m more than in love with her.”
In February of this year, Marmie and Daisy lost their 18-year-old kitty, Willow, from an accidental lily poisoning incident in their home. A friend had gifted her a bouquet, and with no lily label on the packaging, she was unaware of the danger that had been brought into her home.
Daisy started a petition on Change.org fighting for change so that any bouquet that contains lilies of any kind be clearly labeled as toxic to cats.
Sweet Willow died from acute kidney failure caused by lily toxicity, and this is something that can be prevented with proper labels. I’ve read several heartbreaking tales of lily poisoning, and I agree this necessary change needs to be implemented to keep cats safe.
Can’t get enough of this precious girl? Keep up with her on Instagram @LadieMarmie to fill your feed with her adorable antics and cute photos. I’d like to give a special thank-you to her owner, Daisy, for allowing me to share her sweet story with you all here on Cattitude Daily.