Eddie the 11-year-old Lilac Siamese (affectionately known as "Eddie the Lilac Lion") loves treats, belly-rubs, and curling up for a nap with his sis-fur Daisy. His human mom, Jennifer Blakeslee, says the best word to describe him is serene. "The serenity we saw in his face at the shelter is who he is at his core," she tells HiHomer.
But Eddie's life wasn't always so easy. For this deaf, toothless, vision-impaired kitty, the road to happiness has been a long one.
Jennifer recalls that Eddie was "a hot mess" back in 2013, when he was rescued by Mid Hudson Animal Aid, a no-kill shelter in upstate New York. Eddie had been part of an outdoor colony, where he'd been having a rough time.
"He was as mean as they come," Jennifer says. "From what they tell me, you could barely touch him. He had severe ear infections, as well as stomatitis."
Getting Eddie proper medical care was the first step in soothing his savage temper—including a full dental extraction of his rotting teeth and, after a 2015 fundraiser, removal of his painfully infected ear canals.
"That's what made him deaf," Jennifer says, adding, however, "After that, Eddie was a completely different cat! He was sweet and approachable, loved belly-rubs, the whole shebang."
It was in the Spring of 2015, after Jennifer lost her beloved special-needs kitty Shackleton, when she knew she was ready to open her heart to another special-needs cat—one who'd been passed over for adoption again and again.
"We walked into the shelter and saw Eddie, with his tiny ears and serene face. We fell in love instantly."
"Last year, we noticed he started scratching his ears a lot, until they bled. We consulted our vet and a specialist, and decided he needed to have the remaining ear flaps (pinnae) removed."
"Now he's earless AND toothless, and happier than ever!" Jennifer adds.
Once Eddie was completely comfortable—and knew he was secure and loved forever—the last traces of his infamous temper melted away.
"He's friendly but also a little skittish, we think because he spent so many years being able to hear," Jennifer says. "He'll follow you into the depths of hell if you have treats in your hand. He also loves sitting on cat-dad's lap."
"And he especially loves our orange tabby girl, Daisy," she adds.
"If Daisy's around, he'll curl up next to her and achieve bliss. He's also very cross-eyed, and has something called nystagmus, which means his eyes move rapidly back and forth, so he doesn't see very well."
Eddie's an up-and-coming Instagram star these days, with a large and faithful following who love being kept up-to-date on his latest antics and exploits.
Not that fame has gone to Eddie's head. "He sort of lives in a bubble," Jennifer says, "but since he had his ear flaps removed, he has started breaking out of that and playing more. He's more relaxed, because he's finally not in pain anymore."
"Seeing how special-needs cats respond to love, affection, and warmth," Jennifer concludes, "it makes it all worth it. Eddie's taught us that miracles really can happen. No one wanted him, but now he's inspiring others to adopt senior and special-needs cats."
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