BURNLEY, ENGLAND – An hermaphroditic cat is awaiting gender assignment surgery – but only if a charity can raise $1,500 for the operation.
Little black and white tabby cat currently named Angel needs the treatment as cats with hermaphroditism may develop health problems otherwise.
Charity Friends of the Cats are now looking and hoping to raise the money needed for the op after they took in the part male, part female cat, writes the Accrington Observer
Andy Richards, who is the founder of the charity, which fosters stray and feral cats until they find new homes, said he has never seen anything like it.
Angel, thought to be approximately three years old, came to the charity when a friend of Andy’s called him to say that a cat had walked into a corner shop called the One Stop Shop, on Blackburn Road and simply refused to leave.
Andy, 54, told this story:: “Customers kept putting her out but every time the automatic doors opened Angel came back in and sat down.”
When Andy went to pick the cat up, he was confused because he was unable to establish its gender.
He said: “I thought I was just being stupid. On taking Angel for a vet check, the vet informed me, after a long examination, that Angel is both male and female.”
Hermaphroditism is caused by specific genetic mutation and happens when insufficient testosterone means a foetus’ testes are not able to develop properly, and it grows ovaries.
Andy added: “Angel will have to have blood tests to establish whether she has more male or female genes.
“Whichever she has most of, she will need gender alignment surgery to make her either Arthur or Martha.”
In the meantime, Angel is being cared for by one of Friends of the Cats’ fosterers, whose name is Zoe Whittaker, at her home in Burnley, and it is hoped that a permanent home will be found following the surgery.
Andy said: “Angel is a fascinating cat and definitely a first for Friends of the Cats.
“She is an absolutely lovely cat. Whatever it takes, we will move heaven and earth to make sure Angel gets the very best veterinary treatment available.”