ESMERELDA WAS ADOPTED APRIL 8, 2003!
right after having all but 4 teeth pulled, due to congenital periodontal disease and bartonella.   She can now be happy and pain-free for the rest of her life.  Esmerelda went off with lots of medications and instructions for her recuperation.  As you can see by the updates, her new mom is doing a fantastic job getting Esmerelda back to 100%!
UPDATES:
April 9, 2003
Essie's doing better than I expected.  She's hiding a bit in her room, but I left 'hiding spaces' on purpose.  I can always find her to give her meds and snuggles.  She doesn't back away from me or run from her meds.  Guess she's figured out pretty quickly that she's getting her meds, no matter how much she wriggles and grunts.  She's eating REALLY well!  I've been mixing wet food with baby food and then heating it for a scant few seconds in the microwave which gets the consistency really smooth and also releases the aroma - gets her little nose going!  
April 11, 2003
Last night when I brought her out of her room for her meds, we sat on the sofa in the living room with Moose keeping a respectful, but interested distance.  My little princess tried burying her head under my arm, but it soon turned to nuzzling and snuggling as momma scratched her head, neck and
between the shoulder blades - you know, the places kitties have trouble reaching.  We ended up with a full-blown purring fest within a few minutes which lasted for over and hour, when it was time for momma to get ready for bed. ;)
April 15, 2003
Little Miss Major Thang is feeling her oats these days!  Last night she decided to let Moose snuffle her nose to nose several times (no rending of fur, gnashing of teeth, rending of cat flesh), and went exploring - she doesn't need to be shut away at all when I'm home, since Moose is a gentle
soul.  He walked around chirping - and she had a blast checking out her new digs.  This morning after mixing up her breakfast, was heading upstairs to feed her - but there she was at the bottom stair making her way to the kitchen! We're definitely not having any food issues - she clearly feels much better than she used to.
April 17, 2003
Little Miss Esmerelda is truly settling in well, and Mr. Moose is an amazingly gentle boy, he never rushes at her, tries to creep up on her, startle her, anything!  He is such a good soul and what a love!  She now takes ALL her meals in the kitchen about 2 feet from Moose. She sleeps in the room with me, but not yet venturing up on the bed with mom and Moose, but will when she's ready.  She's gone far beyond the baby food thing, won't even eat it anymore.  Gives me an accusing look if she smells it, too. ;) She's eating REALLY well, even if it means mom mashes it up really good first.  Keeps her from honing in on Moose's bowl.  He walks away if she wants to sniff his bowl and waits for her to lose interest in it (told you, he's an absolute sweetheart). This morning, she walked up to Moose in the kitchen and initiated the nose to nose snuffling for an extended period of time.  He just sat there and then when she was done, she walked away.  Hopefully, she'll decide in the not too distant future that the big guy's worth being pals with.  He's being really patient!

ESMERELDA'S STORY:
 

One of our volunteers feeds a stray cat in her yard.  Several months ago she first noticed Esmerelda trying to come into her yard to eat but the big stray cat would not let her.  Esmerelda was not seen again until the frigid night of January 15, 2003 when she was sitting on the volunteer's front door step.  The volunteer opened the door and Esmerelda walked right in.  Her fur was very matted and she was very hungry.  When she was spayed, we also found out she was very pregnant.  Esmerelda has been professionally groomed compliments of Laurie's Love & Care Pet Grooming in Kenilworth, NJ.  She is a very sweet cat and welcomes human attention.  All you have to do is sit down and she crawls right into your lap.  Esmerelda is probably about 1 1/2 - 2 years old.