When a mother cat in the Eastern Cape, South Africa, gave birth to three healthy kittens last week, her owner was shocked to see four tiny newborn noses sniffing around her home, not three.
She saw that one of the kittens, Bettie Bee, was born with two noses, two mouths, and three eyes: an incredibly uncommon congenital abnormality known as craniofacial duplication, in which some facial characteristics are doubled in the womb.
Bettie Bee was apparently healthy, but feeding her was tough due to her two mouths, so her owner realized she needed to find someone to assist her nurture her. That’s when she came upon a local rescuer who had prior experience rearing special-needs cats and was eager to take her in straight away.
Bettie Bee’s rescuer, who prefers to remain unidentified, told The Dodo, “She was born on December 12 and I went to retrieve her the very next morning.”
“I brought her to the vet that day, and his initial recommendation was to euthanize her. She was, nevertheless, a spunky one-day-old baby. We wanted to give her the chance she deserved. And she’s been doing great.”
Bettie Bee, who is now one week old, didn’t take long to win her rescuer’s heart, and she’s doing the same for everyone who sees her on social media.
Bettie Bee’s rescuer received so many letters and friend requests about her that she decided to make a fan page for her, where she can post updates as the wonderful cat grows up.
Bettie Bee, who had difficulty feeding naturally, is doing well with a tube and, amazingly, can eat with both of her mouths. She hasn’t had any trouble filling her stomach because both lead to her stomach.