When rescuers found a baby cat under an Australian house, they were keen to help him back to safety. It was clear to see, too, that the creature was extremely young. However, when they took a closer look at the animal, he was nothing like any kitten they had seen before.
Georgia Anderson is by definition an animal lover. As a result, she volunteers her services at the Geelong Animal Welfare Society in Victoria, Australia. And as part of her work there, Anderson had fostered dozens of cats and kittens before handing them over to forever homes.
However, in 2018 Anderson came across a feline that she would become rather attached to. In fact, when he ended up in her care, she had no idea how she would be able to hand him back over. Why? Well, that’s because the kitten in question was rather special.
Before the tiny creature had arrived at Geelong Animal Welfare Society, though, rescuers had found the baby cat – later named Frankie – cowering under a house along with his brother. And, naturally, they wanted to help the animals. However, when they first caught sight of Frankie, they may have received quite a shock.
After all, it was clear to see that the kitten was suffering from a number of genetic deformities. He had a malformed right eye, for one, as well as a large overbite. And most unusually of all, Frankie had two sets of ears.
Specifically, the kitten’s second pair of hearing organs were placed right in front of his first ones – and although they were smaller in size, the furry flaps were nevertheless fully formed. As a result, Frankie’s appearance caused quite the stir when he arrived at the Geelong shelter.
And as word got out about the four-eared pussycat spread, Anderson decided to go and take a peek. “I’d heard that a kitten with four ears had come in and was in the vet clinic waiting for surgery to remove his eye. So I went up to have a look at him,” she told The Dodo in February 2018.
It’s unknown why Frankie was born with four ears, however. Indeed, the deformity is so unusual that there’s been limited research on that particular genetic trait. It’s thought, though, that the extra set of ears have no bearing on the feline’s overall health.
Nevertheless, Frankie did need treatment when he arrived at the veterinarian: specifically, it was decided that he would need surgery to remove his deformed eye. So, it’s perhaps safe to say that the kitten had been through the wars in his short life.
But despite his unfortunate situation, Frankie’s sweet personality shone through. “He would have been in a lot of pain, but the first thing he did when I picked him up was purr and rub his face on mine,” Anderson revealed.
And perhaps because of that immediate bond, Anderson volunteered to take the cat in during his recovery period. “I told the girls in the vet clinic that I would foster him for recovery after his eye removal,” she explained to The Dodo.
Following his surgery, however, Frankie now boasted a row of nasty-looking stitches spanning his face across his right eye. It was then that the feline earned his unique moniker, as Anderson decided to name him “Frankenkitten” – or Frankie for short.
Then, back at home, Anderson introduced Frankie to her kids and other pets. And it didn’t take long for the little one-eyed kitten to begin a charm offensive on the other residents. “When I got [Frankie] home, he was very dopey and in pain, but [he] still had so much love and affection for me, the kids and our other animals,” Anderson said.
Meanwhile, within 24 hours of letting Frankie into her home, Anderson had come to a conclusion about the new visitor. “By the next morning, I’d decided that I wanted to keep him,” she revealed to The Dodo.
That was despite the fact that Anderson already had three cats and a dog of her own – and that’s not even to mention the many felines she took in as part of her job. Nevertheless, she knew that keeping Frankie was the right decision. “I’ve probably fostered around 80 cats and kittens in the last year, and he was the first one that I knew I would regret giving back,” she said.
So, while it was shelter policy to keep animals for eight days before their adoptions, Frankie returned home with Anderson after the holding period was complete. And if Frankie’s Instagram page is anything to go by, the pair have been pretty much inseparable ever since.
What’s more, Frankie swiftly recovered from his surgery under Anderson’s care. But the little kitten wasn’t totally ready to move on: because of his overbite, it was likely he’d need dental procedures to prevent further damage to his mouth.
Anderson explained to The Dodo, “We are still waiting for his adult teeth to grow – roughly another five months. But when they do, his lower canines will need removing. If they aren’t removed, they will cause damage to his palate when he closes his mouth.”
But despite the complications Frankie was facing, he was just like any other kitten Anderson had ever looked after. “None of [the health issues seem] to affect his playing, as he is constantly tearing around the house,” she revealed. “At the moment, he is zooming around the house with three kittens I’m fostering. He loves rough-and-tumble play.”
And Anderson and her family aren’t the only ones to have fallen for Frankie’s charms. On Instagram, the kitten boasts an impressive 5,000 followers, for instance. Furthermore, images of the plucky feline regularly attract hundreds of likes – proving once and for all that even slightly unusual-looking cats have their fair share of fans.