Ming and Bambina arrived at the Humane Rescue Alliance in the spring of 2016. Although they were each found separately by different people on different dates, they both faced similar challenges. They were very young - about four weeks old - when they were found and they had a common congenital condition called eyelid agenisis. This means one or both eyelids fail to develop properly and the cats are therefore unable to completely close their eyes. This causes the eyes to become dried out, leading to irritation and possibly infection. Sometimes the eyes themselves appear abnormally small. Depending on the severity of the condition, surgical correction is typically advised to prevent continual eye irritation.
Ming and Bambina were too young for surgery of any kind when they came to HRA but, like all very young kittens, they needed the care of an experienced foster guardian until they were. Ashley Young, HRA transfer coordinator, was happy to take on that responsibility.
"I was immediately drawn to Bambina," Ashley explains. "She was so dirty and crusty and just so little when she arrived. I had her scheduled to go to a rescue but when she tested positive for FIV, they declined to take her. I was so sad; I went back to the shelter the next day and took her home myself to foster. Soon afterward, I found out about Ming and thought, 'Wouldn't it be great for Bambina to have a sibling?' They ended up being the best of pals. Bambina was shy and introverted while Ming was rambunctious and fearless. They were perfect for each other!"
In addition to providing basic kitten care, Ashley regularly applied warm compresses to soothe their eyes and remove any ocular discharge. When they were each about six months old, Bambina and Ming had the first of several surgeries to reconstruct their eyelids. One of Ming's eyes required three surgeries while the other one was declared a success after just one. Bambina needed three procedures on each of her eyes.
While Ming and Bambina will never look "ordinary," their unique appearance didn't stop them from finding a forever home - together! Today, they are happily enjoying life in a loving home with two other feline companions.
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