Cat’s Joyful Transformation After Being Adopted by Her Forever Mom, Shown with a Bright Smile

Sad Mouth Sam lived clear across the country in Tucson, Arizona, when Kate Perillo spotted her photos online. The Siamese cat appeared to have larger-than-average lips and crossed eyes, giving her a very unique look. Perillo couldn’t get Sam’s face out of her head, so she took a chance and reached out about the cat — changing both their lives forever.

A cat with inflamed lips looks into the camera.

“I’m really not a superstitious person, but I always thought adopting a pet just had to feel right,” Perillo told. “And when I saw Sam’s picture, I got that feeling!”

Sam, who lived as part of a feral cat colony with Poet Square Cats, had eosinophilic granuloma complex — an allergy triggered by food or environment. In Sam’s case, it caused her mouth to become inflamed.

“With a steroid shot, an antibiotic and the move indoors, her mouth healed within a couple of months,” Perillo said. “She’s missing three of those little teeth in front, but that doesn’t bother her.”

A Siamese cat with crossed eyes and inflamed lips poses for the camera.

Perillo and her mother grew up with Siamese cats, so when the last of them passed — followed by the loss of her mom — Perillo felt it was time to adopt. That’s when she saw Sam’s photos and immediately flew from Massachusetts to see her.

“It took me a few years to feel like I was ready to start a new chapter with a new fur friend,” Perillo said. “Seeing Sam’s goofy little face [in the pictures] made me realize that time had come. I absolutely love her.”

A Siamese cat rests her hand on a windowsill.

Now that Sam’s feeling better, she’s showing more of her upbeat personality. She loves feeling the sunshine through Perillo’s enclosed balcony, and watching birds through her favorite window. But she’s also a big fan of playtime.

“She’s very smart and vocal, willing to hold back-and-forth conversations with humans and communicate what she wants,” Perillo said. “If she wants you to wave the feather wand, she’ll meow, lead you to the wand, and then use both paws to grab and lift it by the handle, showing exactly what she wants you to do.”

A Siamese cat looks directly into the camera.

After everything Sam’s been through, she’s finally living the life she deserves. And, according to Perillo, Sam’s presence has an even deeper meaning than companionship.

Cat lays on bed and looks up at camera.

“They say pets are good for you, especially your mental health, and I can confirm that’s been true for me,” Perillo said. “After my mom’s death, having Sam feels like a small way of keeping my mom alive, too.”

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