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Lifestyle & Human Interest

Arizona Animal Rescue Witnesses Rare Birth of 5 Conjoined Kittens

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When Little Whiskers Animal Rescue in Maricopa, Arizona, agreed to take in a momma cat and her babies, they didn’t expect what they were brought instead: over 29 cats of all ages, including some that were pregnant.

The sheer number of cats was staggering, but just a few days after they were brought in, a new problem came to light.

On April 1, one of the cats gave birth to a tangle of kittens — five of them, joined by the skin on their stomachs, possibly a result of inbreeding.

Despite the date of the post, the story was sadly not a joke, and the rescue made a plea for help on its Facebook page.

“These kittens are in critical condition!” the rescue wrote. “We’ve rushed them to the vet this morning 5 of the kittens were all conjoined to each other by the skin in the belly.

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“All 5 of these kittens shared a placenta as well as one very tiny cord! 2 of the kittens have a conjoined body. We’ve seen a lot of crazy things but this is probably one of the most out there ones yet!”

“Mom and babies are at the vet now working to see how to separate them and if they’re viable. While at the vet mom decided she wasn’t done and started having more kittens!” the post continued.

“This is a very big unexpected expense on the rescue and any help would be deeply appreciated! We are fighting for these little ones and mama to pull through this.”

The kittens, referred to as the “April Fools’ Quintuplets,” couldn’t stay joined together, but the operation would be tedious and dangerous with no guarantee any of the five would make it.

In the process, the smallest of the five kittens had to have half of one of its legs amputated.

“Our vet did an amazing job and they defeat the odds so far!” the rescue added in an update later that same day. “We are pretty concerned about one of our little ones who had a foot amputated. He’s extremely tiny and is struggling.

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“What a rough first day at life!”

On April 4, they gave a sad update. Two kittens, including “little foot,” hadn’t made it.

“We have a update to give … it’s been a long weekend of ups and downs,” they shared. “Our hearts are beyond crushed to notify that the 2 sweet peas who were still at the vet passed away at the vet hospital.”

“[W]e will provide more updates as they come. We never expected this to blow up as big as it did and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts! Please send babies and mama many postive thoughts and good vibes!”

For now, the other three kittens are holding on, and the single kitten that was born after the quintuplets is doing well, as is the momma cat — though the rescue did mention that she was tired and stressed out (what cat wouldn’t be after all that?).

Momma cat is also taking care of the remaining babies and feeding them, but volunteers are supplementing to make sure the kittens get what they need. So far the rescue has received over $2,300 in donations to help with the little feline family’s care, and they promised to keep followers updated through the Facebook page.

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking