It’s Not a Hoax: “Cyclops Kitten”

Life is a complicated thing and when you are born, there are tons of factors that could affect the outcome of a birth. This leads to the possibility of coming into this world with a deformity. Three days after Christmas, a kitten was born with a large eye in the place of its nose; giving way to the name of “Cyclops.”


Cyclops was one of two kittens that were born in the litter, where the other kitten came out perfectly healthy and normal. The photo of Cyclops circulated on the Internet, prompting many to regard it as a hoax, but the kitten was born with a deformity known as Holoprosencephaly, which produces facial deformities. Those struck with the worse of it are born with a single eye positioned where the nose should be.


When Cyclops was born, his owner, Tracy Allen, nursed the kitten through the night by feeding it a liquid formula with a syringe. Unfortunately, he did not make it past the next evening. Allen managed to take photos of the kitten. These are the ones that were sent to The Associated Press to prove Cyclops’ existence. An AP regional photo editor carefully analysed and researched the photo’s authenticity, concluding that the picture was not a fake. Allen had sent the memory card to her camera to the photo editor, where four photos were available, showing the kitten in a variety of positions.


Since the condition that the kitten suffered from was so odd and unknown to the public, many doubted the believability of Allen’s story.  But humans also suffer from this condition, where the division of the double lobes of the cerebral hemispheres is hindered. In babies, the deformity is so drastic that the majority of them are stillborn. When this disorder is less severe, the eyes, upper lip and nose of the baby will display some sort of deformity, but the brain development will still be normal or near-normal.


For those of you who are more interested in knowing the ins and outs of this condition, there are three categorizations which this disorder falls into. They are:


Alobar: This is when the brain has not divided at all, creating severe facial deformities.


Semilobar: This is when the hemispheres of the brain have somewhat divided, presenting a slight showing of this condition.


Lobar: This is when the brain hemispheres have greatly divided, where the least amount of this type of deformity can be seen. The baby’s brain is close to normal with this type of deformity.


Out of all the facial deformities that come from this disorder, the median cleft lip is the least severe of them all. The most severe is the type of deformity that Cyclops the kitten suffered from. This is actually referred to as cyclopia, where one eye is in the same place where the nose should be on the face. Other anomalies that can be experienced include: ethmocephaly, which involves closely-set eyes; and cebocephaly, which deals with one nostril positioned below closely-set eyes.