Phil, kitten born without eyelids, is adopted

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Phil, with his new family

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Phil, the homeless kitten born without upper eyelids,  who made the news when he had corrective surgery at the MSPCA‘s Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston, MA last month, went to his forever home Thursday.

Little Phil was born without upper eyelids – a condition that would have led to blindness without intervention, his doctor’s said.

The MSPCA’s Boston adoption center manager, Alyssa Krieger, first came across Phil and his friend, another kitten named Vixen, at the Boston Animal Control shelter in Roslindale on Nov. 24. “I was immediately struck by Phil’s personality, in addition to the unusual situation surrounding his yes,” she said. “Even though his lack of eyelids caused painful irritation, he was still a typical and playful kitten. We were eager to get him back to Angell where we knew he could get the operation he needed to save his sight.”

Krieger agreed to take both Phil and his friend back to the MSPCA, after which she booked a consultation with Dr. Martin Coster of the Angell Ophthalmology team.

Dr. Coster agreed to perform surgery to repair the condition, known as agenesis, by way of a novel operation. “A cat’s upper eyelid is very similar in form and function to the tissue in their lip,” he said. “By taking some tissue from Phil’s lip and attaching it to the muscles that enable him to blink, we can, in effect, reconstruct his missing eyelids.”

Without the surgery, constant irritation brought on by dry and itchy eyes could lead to ulceration and, eventually, complete blindness.

We shared Phil’s story on December 18, with our post Homeless Kitten Born without Eyelids Gets Sight-Saving Surgery.

Phil spent the weeks following his surgery recuperating at the MSPCA’s Boston adoption center. He was temporarily separated from his pal Vixen for his safety, but was reunited with her once he was mostly healed.

The MSPCA wanted to make sure that Phil and Viven remained together, and looked for an adopter who would take them both.

On Thursday, the pair were adopted and went to their new home, with the Vazirani family in nearby Brookline.

MSPCA-Angell shared the news at Facebook yesterday, writing: “Phil – the kitten born without eyelids and who was given the gift of lifelong sight by Martin Coster DACVO at Angell Animal Medical Center – has been adopted, along with his feline bestie, Vixen!

“Phil and Vixen are now at home.”

Here (below) are Phil and Vixen together at the shelter, in a short video. MSPCA wrote: ” Vixen and Phil were separated for weeks while Phil was recovering from his eye surgery.

“We couldn’t put them together for fear that Vixen would try to groom Phil just after his sugery. But as soon as the two were reunited…THIS happened!”
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Phil, before his corrective surgery
Phil, before his corrective surgery

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