8-14-09 – The True Blood Kittens

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Okay, so. These kittens. After a few days of putting Terramycin in their eyes, and the goopiness going away, I came to realize that there was something odd going on with their upper eyelids. It’s hard to describe, but they kind of looked like there were pieces missing – like something had taken chunks out of their upper eyelids, or they’d gotten torn – but their lower eyelids were just fine. I made an appointment with the vet on Monday and took them in.

As it turns out, they all have something called “Eyelid Agenesis”, which basically means that their upper eyelids began forming correctly, but at a certain point they stopped – so where it looks like there’s a chunk of eyelid missing, there’s no eyelid, just fur growing down to the very edge. They all have it, some more severe than others. Terry’s the worst of the bunch – he can’t actually close his right eye all the way, which isn’t good for the eye; it gets dry and you can see that already his corneas are cloudy. There’s obviously some sort of damage to his vision at this point, but he still manages to get around pretty well. Bill’s the second worst, then Sam – and then the other three have much milder cases.

Right now, I’m not sure what’s going to happen next. The vet is going to consult with an ophthalmologist and see where we need to go from here; possibly there’ll be surgery for some if not all of them. For now, I have to put artificial tears in all their eyes to be sure that their eyes stay moist.

So, that’s what’s going on with these kittens and their eyes. Poor little Terry is just a mess, between the hernia, the wonky paw, and the eyes, but he is just the sweetest little guy on earth, and I do believe that all it’s going to take is someone to spend a few minutes with him and fall in love.

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Lafayette’s right eye is normal, but he’s got a spot on his left upper eyelid, if you look closely.

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Hoyt’s left eye is pretty normal, but if you look at his right eye, you can see about halfway across, the fur grows right down to the edge; there’s no eyelid on that half. Here’s a really good closeup picture, if you want to see detail.

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Bill’s got it pretty bad in both eyes. Add to that that he’s pretty cross-eyed, and he’s a mess. He’s a sweet little lovebug, though.

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You can see how bad Terry’s got it, too (you can see this picture large if you really want to see the detail). He’s the sweetest boy on earth, though.

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Sookie’s got it on her left eye, but her right eye is pretty normal. Is she not adorable?

I managed to not get a closeup of Sam, but he’s got it on both eyes – not nearly as badly as Terry and Bill, though.

And to hear the sad and demanding way Terry howls at me when I’m petting him:

YouTube link

The video itself isn’t that great, but you get the full sound effect of poor baby Terry objecting to my teasing him.


2008: Kara lets her Southern roots shine through.
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.



8-14-09 – The True Blood Kittens — 10 Comments

  1. Ok, how weird is it that I just read an article last night about a kitty who had no eyelids that had to have surgery. I saw the picture and immediately thought of these guys. It is an old article but here is the link (I am really behind on some of my rss feeds) if you are interested. It is mostly about how they raised the money for the surgery but it lists that she works for a cat hospital in Texas and she might be able to give you the vet who did the surgery’s info to help out your vet with these guys. No matter what though, they are cuties!


  2. Oh, man. Those poor kitties! They’re so lucky to have you.

    Are they on Catster? If you need help funding the surgeries, there are always plenty of people on Catster who are willing to help donate funds for veterinary care of other Catster members. And these guys are SOOOOO CUTE and your blog is SOOOOO AWESOME, I’m sure you’d get an overwhelming response.

  3. (((True Bloods)))

    Oh, no! The whole litter with a rare condition. Well, we will stay positive!! They are positively adorable kittehs, with sweet personalities, they found a wonderful person to care for them and they were diagnosed early – four pluses going in to this.

    Robyn, please keep us posted on what the doc says and let us know if there is anything we can help do to raise funds if surgery is appropriate for this little gang. Seriously, here… Laurie & IBKC raised so much, so fast, for a general cause, I can’t help but believe that there would be an outpouring for these little guys!

    To steal Aunty Pol’s signoff,
    Hugs and headbutts from the Maples, Aggie and everyone here at Space Paws

  4. Poor guys–I’m sure that must be painful. My mom has a similar problem with one eyelid not closing all the way and the dr has her put in ointment for moisture rather than just drops, which are not as efficient. So, the terramycin does that job, but you can get just plain moisture ointment, too (vaseline would work cheaply if you could figure out a delivery mechanism!) Good luck and fingers crossed!

  5. Oh, poor little babies…glad that they’re with you and can receive such good care! They are all absolutely adorable! Please keep us updated on how things go and in the meantime hugs to you and all the little ones!

    Oh, and that video of little Terry and his little “meows” made my old-lady kitty, Poppy, jump up and run around the room looking for *sigh* kittens!

  6. Poor little defective kittens! Well, not defective. More like the discounted goods the stores label ‘Slightly Imperfect.’ As long as the imperfection doesn’t affect what you want to do with them (cuddle them and talk nonsense to them and tell them they are good kittens, in my case), they’re a bargain!
    I hope they can still have happy, healthy lives, with adoptive families who can meet their special little needs, and I know you’ll do everything possible to take good care of them while they’re with you. Moistening dry, squinty little eyeballs is just part of the gig, I guess.
    When I’m better off and have a more suitable dwelling (ONE day, I swear) I hope to foster kittens, and it’s good to be able to see, through your blog, some of the difficulties that can occur and think about how I would deal with them.

  7. These little ones are absolutely beautiful. What a precious little bunch. I hope you get promising news from the vet. I’ve heard of an eyelid condition that is fairly easy to resolve, but I don’t know whether this is the same one.

    I have such admiration for you for doing everything possible for their well being. It can’t be easy, but boy is it rewarding!

    I have no doubt that this little brood will be loved like crazy by people much like yourself who understand that conditions like this in no way diminish the kittens’ ability to love and be loved.

    Hooray for you!!

  8. Hello! I’ve popped over from Hubble Space Paws. Aww – these poor little ones! They need extra helpings of love. I volunteered at my local SPCA a few years ago; I will never forget one wee kitten who had actually lost an eye. He had a permanent “come-hither” wink that made him even more irrestistible; I would have taken him home if I wasn’t already at my apartment’s pet limit. I second Sue – a condition like this in no way diminishes a kitty’s wonderfulness!

    Anyway – thank you for looking out for these extra-special little ones, and for giving them the love and care they need! I’ll be back!

  9. I came over from Hubble Space Paws. What precious little babies! I will pray for these little guys. They are in great hands, as I can see from reading what you wrote about them! Thanks to wonderful people like you, the world has a little less suffering. The are just so sweet!

  10. I am in love with a kitty with eyelid agenesis, but I am hesitant to adopt before I know more about the procedures and up-keep. Do you have any before and after pictures of the medical treatment?? Can you refer me to any on-line references?

    Much appreciated