You all know the deal with orange cats. They’re the best! Their personalities are big, and their hearts are bigger. Little Popcorn is exactly the same! To know her is to love her, and to know her story is to want the very best for her.

Popcorn was born with a condition called megaesophagus – a condition where blood vessels are compressed around the esophagus near the base of her heart. This condition prevents food from easily passing into her stomach, causing it to come right back up. The medical team here at CHS suspected something was wrong with Popcorn when, combined with her inability to keep food down, she would have a “sneeze fest” after eating. They instructed the animal care team to feed her while she was being held upright to help her get the nutrients she needed while they worked out the details of her condition, and though that took getting used to at first, Popcorn came to love her mealtime with her favorite people.

For a condition like this, time is critical. Every meal she ate was dangerous and potentially worsened her condition, but as a young kitten, every meal was integral to her growth and overall health. After doing a special barium study to track her digestive system, and taking some X-rays that showed her heart was slightly enlarged, the medical team made a plan for Popcorn to see a specialist who could perform additional testing to confirm a diagnosis as well as and perform the delicate surgery to correct it. The results were clear: Popcorn needed corrective cardiac surgery to address that compressing blood vessel to allow her to properly eat and digest food and prevent her from a life of medical issues stemming from her condition.

Within just a few days, the specialist was able to diagnose her megaesophagus and squeeze her into their packed surgery schedule. But this invasive cardiac surgery and the long recovery to follow was going to cost over $7,000. Luckily for Popcorn, she had friends like you on her side, and CHS’ incredible community of pet lovers banded together to raise the funds for this surgery!

Now post-surgery, our little orange tabby friend is doing well and on the mend. She’s recovering in a foster home and getting frequent check-ups with the medical team here at CHS. (She purrs through her exams, so between heartbeats, our medical team reports firsthand that she’s one happy kitten!) While she can’t quite play or bounce around at her normal level just yet, it’s only a matter of time before she’s ready for that. It’s because of pet lovers like you that Popcorn is having a smooth recovery and will get to live her life as a normal cat, enjoying all her yummy food without any negative consequences.

If you’d like to continue to see updates about this itty bitty kitty, follow the Connecticut Humane Society on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter (X), to stay up to date with all of the pets’ updates, including Popcorn’s!