When a mother cat is about to give birth, it’s always a time for celebration. After all, who doesn’t start smiling just thinking about a cute and cuddly litter of mewing kittens?
However, things don’t always go as expected. Just like humans, animals can be born with rare or life-threatening conditions that can turn a joyous occasion into a troubling one.
When one mama cat in South Africa recently gave birth to kittens, everything seemed totally normal—until one of the babies lifted her head. Just wait and see why everyone who lays eyes on this little kitten, named Bettie Bee, falls head over heels in love with her…
One day, a mother cat from Eastern Cape, South Africa, gave birth to a litter of three kittens. The cat’s owner was delighted as they inspected the babies. However, that delight turned into a different feeling altogether when they saw that their were four noses among the litter instead of three…
It turned out that one of the kittens, who they would name Bettie Bee, was born with two noses, two mouths and three eyes as part of an extremely rare congenital condition called craniofacial duplication. This caused certain facial characteristics to be doubled in the womb.
While Bettie Bee was totally healthy, having two mouths made nursing very difficult. Her owner decided to give her the best chance at a happy and healthy life by placing her with a new family that had experience caring for very special cats.
“She was born on December 12 and I went to fetch her the very next morning,” Bettie Bee’s rescuer, who wished to remain anonymous, said. “I took her to the vet that day and his first opinion was to put her down. But she was, at one day old then, very feisty. We wanted to give her a chance. And she’s been thriving.”
Bettie Bee’s owner was so pleased with how well she was doing after just one week that they shared photos of this exceptional kitten online. Before too long, Bettie Bee and her amazing set of faces were taking the Internet by storm!
Although feeding with both mouths was difficult, her new owner found a clever way to make sure the kitty stayed healthy; she ate through a tube system. Interestingly, both of her mouths connected to her stomach, so she could technically use both!
While Bettie Bee’s condition was pretty rare, it did occur from time to time. In addition to affecting cats, the condition can also affect pigs, cows, and even human beings. While the condition itself isn’t fatal, the complications can be dangerous.
So far, little Bettie Bee is really beating the odds. She may have a long way to go, but with every day she survives, the chances of her living long into adulthood increase. It’s enough to make you stand up and root for the little kitty and both her faces!
Bettie Bee’s chances of survival certainly wouldn’t have been the same had she been born on the street. Even though she had all of the bodily functions of a normal cat, her special condition would’ve undeniably scared her mother, leading her to abandon the kitten.
Thankfully, because of the kindness of her new owner, this cat will get every chance available to live the long, happy, and healthy life that she deserves. She also joins a pretty awesome and unique club: the Janus cat club!
Cats born with craniofacial duplication are often called Janus cats, named after the mythical two-faced Roman god. While some of them don’t survive past kittenhood, others like Frank and Louie—aka Frankenlouie (pictured)—can live very long lives!
Frankenlouie’s two faces never slowed him down, even if they did make him a little notorious. He lived to be 15 years old and was only put to sleep when he was diagnosed with terminal cancer.
Janus cats like Bettie Bee and Frankenlouie might not look like the average pet, but that doesn’t make them any less lovable. In fact, some might argue that their special and very rare condition makes them even more worthy of human devotion!
Sometimes these special cats just can’t survive. That’s often because, in addition to having doubled facial characteristics, they also have abnormalities in their brains that make living close to impossible for them. It’s a heartbreaking reality of the condition…
Frankenlouie’s long life was credited to his owner’s excellent care for him. He also benefitted from his one esophagus and one trachea, which made complications during eating and breathing much less of a major concern.
While these cats can live long and fulfilling loves, very often veterinarians will suggest putting the animal immediately to sleep. That’s because they are afraid of just how much stress a special needs cat may cause a family.
Of course, it’s up to every pet owner to make the decision for themselves based on what they believe is the best choice for their cat. Some of these pets can go on to become Frakenlouies or Bettie Bees, but there are no guarantees.
Adopting a pet is always a tremendous responsibility, and adopting one with special needs even more so. That said, those folks who choose to keep a Janus cat in their lives enjoy a bond like nothing else on planet Earth.
In the case of Bettie Bee, the future couldn’t look brighter! This beautiful little kitten may not have looked like all the rest, but that didn’t mean she was any less worthy of all the love and affection that any other cat would receive.
Just see Bettie Bee in action! It’s one thing to look at photos of this special cat, but it’s another thing entirely to see her walk around. What a total sweetheart! Thank goodness she found someone who loved her so much…
Isn’t this one of the most heartwarming stories you’ve ever heard? Bettie Bee is certainly lucky to have such a special person in her life helping her along.
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