Online hit Mr Norris feline fine after cleft palate operations
Published 30/07/2015 | 19:12
A cat born with facial deformities so severe that he was not expected to live for more than two weeks has survived two major surgical operations and gone on to develop a fanbase online.
The pet, named Mr Norris, was born with a cleft palate which left him physically disfigured and caused him severe difficulties with eating and drinking.
When he was two weeks old, his owners were told that the deformity was so severe it would be kinder to put him down.
But he is now fully recovered and leading a healthy life after undergoing two operations, both dental and reconstructive. Experts say it is now almost impossible to tell that the cat had ever suffered from the affliction.
Owner Sarah Ross, co-founder of the Sunny Harbour cat rescue centre in Lochgelly, Fife, where Mr Norris was born, said: "We knew straight away when we saw that he had a sizeable chunk of his lip missing; it would be impossible for him to feed from his mother or even from a standard bottle.
"Euthanasia just wasn't an option for us. He'd already shown so much strength and such a desire to live that we had to keep fighting for him."
Mr Norris has now developed an online following via a Facebook page, with fans travelling for miles to meet him, according to his owner.
Ms Ross said: "Every time we have an event there are always 150-plus people that show up to see him. People just love him - he's like a feline celebrity."
The surgery was carried out by veterinary dentistry specialist Norman Johnston, of Dental Vets in North Berwick, East Lothian, and Liz Welsh, of Vets Now Referrals in Glasgow.
Dr Welsh said: "When I first met Mr Norris you could tell that he was a very bold cat and it was obvious that he understood he was the centre of attention.
"Considering all the ups and downs he had been through to that point, it was a true testament to the love and care that he had received that his confident nature had continued to shine through."