Kitten with Two Faces Does Not SurvivePublished June 21, 2010
I was disturbed last week while reading a rather bizarre item published on Petside.com announcing the birth of a kitten with an unusual condition called Diprosopus.
I felt terribly sad and sorry for the newly born tiny grey and white kitten's plight. How would the world appear to her? I had lots of questions about her future.
Diprosopus literally means, "Having two faces". The kitten, born in a litter of six had two mouths and four eyes. Shortly after her birth she was taken to the local veterinary clinic. Veterinarian Erika Drake informed Jeffrey and Tammy Oxley, the kitten's owners, that she was unlikely to survive. Dr. Drake told People Pets, "Both mouths would meow independent of each other, and at the time, she -- they, I'm not sure which -- did drink from each mouth without any trouble. What the main thing is, if there are other abnormalities inside, we don't know. You can't tell without having some imaging there."
And as the days passed, I found it difficult to stop thinking about what I considered an unfortunate kitten. I kept wondering if she survived how she could possibly have any semblance of a normal life. So when the opportunity presented itself the other day, during a lengthy drive with a friend who is a cat only veterinarian, I brought up the subject.
Her opinion was the kitten was a conjoined twin that did not even develop completely. She felt the kitten's survival depended on how her internal organs had developed; her chances of living? . . ."Highly unlikely."
While I outwardly expressed my hopes the kitten would die quickly and peacefully, due to the potential number of genetic abnormalities since I could only foresee major problems ahead for this little one, my friend, a deeply spiritual and loving woman countered my fears by sharing her faith that the kitten would live if it was meant to be.
But the Rainbow Bridge dwellers must have had a greater need for the kitten to be with them. According to an article in washingtonpost.com, the Oxleys reported that the kitten had been doing well, but on June 10 she stopped moving. Rest in peace, little one.
On a more cheerful note, the remaining kittens born in the litter are doing well.