Lady Esther: The Cat that Was Not a Cat

woman in holiday poinsettia sweater

Last night I met a remarkable woman at a downtown Christmas party in Kansas City.

Her name is Betty.

She has always lived in Kansas City. When she was a young girl, she lived on Country Club Plaza.

She really wanted a pet cat. However, her mother did not like cats. So her father brought Betty the next best thing.

A pet skunk.

vintage photo of girl with pet skunk

Lady Esther’s scent glands had been removed, but she was still named for the perfume Betty’s mother wore and that her father didn’t like.

When Betty put a harness on Lady Esther and walked her around the neighborhood, people crossed the street to avoid them.

“She walked with her tail straight up!” Betty says.

When she wasn’t walking or cuddling with Betty, Lady Esther lived in their use. She used a litter box.

“She was just like a cat,” Betty says.

When Betty went to college, Lady Esther was given to a man who ran a barbecue restaurant. Unfortunately, Betty says Lady Esther must have eaten too much barbecue, for she didn’t live long after that.

After college, Betty went on to do work at a local nature center, helping orphaned squirrels and other creatures get strong enough to go back out in the wild. She also spent many years serving lunch to students in a Parkville, Missouri, cafeteria.

Sometimes she runs into them, when she’s out hunting hedge apples for craft projects.

Thanks for the lovely conversation, Betty! I wish you a very happy holiday season!

Readers: What’s the most unusual pet you have ever had or encountered?


About Crystal K. Wiebe

I live with two formerly wayward dogs, and helping other dogs find new homes is my passion. I recently founded the company Beer Paws to help celebrate the relationship between people and pets.

Posted on December 14, 2013, in Cats, Wayward Living, Wildlife and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Thanks for a great post about a wonderful woman. The most unusual pet I had was a wild boar, named August, we found hurted from a car on the street. I had it for 9 months before we gave it to a wild park :o)

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