A litter of kittens born in South Africa seemed to be like any other at first until people realized that one of the kittens was born with two mouths, two noses and three eyes. The kitten's two faces made it difficult for her to nurse, and fearing for her life, she was brought to a cat rescuer who had experience in bottle-feeding kittens. The rescuer immediately fell in love with this unique little soul and was determined to do whatever she could to care for her.
Constant feeding was a must for the little kitten, so her rescuer fed her around the clock every day. Both of the kitten's mouths worked, and she had no trouble swallowing. Both mouths led to the stomach, so the kitten could eat from either one and get much-needed nutrition. The rescuer took the kitten to a veterinarian who advised her to euthanize the kitten, but the rescuer refused. She wanted to give the kitten every chance possible.
The veterinarian told the rescuer that the kitten had a rare congenital disorder called diprosopus, or craniofacial duplication, and cats with this condition are often called "Janus cats" because of their two faces. Cats can live for years with this disorder, but it is challenging for them to survive the kitten stage as so many things can go wrong.
The rescuer named the kitten Bettie Bee, and noted that by day six, the "Middle two eyes are merged into one big eye." She went all out to do everything possible to give this kitten the best life she could for as long as she could.
Unfortunately, when she was 16 days old, Bettie Bee developed pneumonia; the veterinarian suspected that milk had somehow come back up the kitten's esophagus and become trapped in her lungs. Treatment was started immediately, but the kitten did not react well to the medication. She began to vomit and more milk leaked into her lungs.
The rescuer made the ultimate decision to let this miracle kitten go peacefully. "For 16 days I gave my all and so did she," she wrote. "I would do it all over again, she deserved to have a chance at life but sadly it was not meant to be."
Although Bettie Bee did not have a long life, she was loved and cared for every minute of those 16 days. Give thanks to all the incredibly selfless rescuers out there who give everything they have to help pets enjoy whatever time they have.