Here's How Cats Born Without Eyelids Get A 2nd Chance At Sight
Last week, the internet fell in love with Felix and Dora — an extraordinarily cute and utterly unique pair of rescue kitties from New South Wales, Australia. At just five weeks old, the tiny siblings were found wandering along the road by a cat-loving couple who scooped the furballs up and brought them in from the elements. The couple immediately noticed something unusual about their eyes, and a trip to the local RSPCA shelter confirmed that they were born without eyelids — an uncommon condition called eyelid agenesis.
Patrick Jones of RSPCA New South Wales wrote on Instagram: "without corrective surgery, the kittens were likely to go blind within a year. Thanks to the amazing vets from the Eye Clinic for Animals, the surgery that Felix and Dora so desperately needed was made possible."
And how the surgeons did it is truly amazing. During a painstaking 8-hour procedure, tissue was taken from the cats' lips and transplanted onto their eyes to create fully-functioning eyelids. This explains why their lids are much lighter in color than they normally would be. The results are not only miraculous (their eyesight was saved!) but the the final look is truly adorable — wouldn't you agree?
But Felix and Dora aren't the only fortunate shelter cats to have gotten this life-changing surgery. Phil (below) was also born with eyelid agnesis and received the same procedure courtesy of MSPCA's Boston Adoption Center.
The photo above shows Phil before surgery. The poor guy was unable to blink! Even so, the lovable little trooper became BFFs with Vixen, another cat at the shelter, and the two were inseparable. Needless to say, it was hard on both of them when they were kept apart while Phil recovered from surgery.
When the two were finally reunited, the staff captured the touching moment on video. Dawww. Modern veterinary science is amazing, but there's nothing quite as healing as good old fashioned kitty TLC.