Her name is Bettie Bee, and she was born on Dec. 12 to a normal house cat in Eastern Cape, South Africa. She was an exceedingly rare kitten, and now she is gone too soon.
On Dec. 29, the celebrity kitten’s rescuer posted this grieving note to Facebook:
“Bettie Bee is an angel now. I took her to the Vet to let her go peacefully. I’m shattered,” writes her (anonymous) rescuer. “She was doing great until 2 days ago, she started with pneumonia, we suspect somehow some milk came up and went into her lungs, started with treatment immediately and thought we were winning until she vomited (probably nauseous from the antibiotics or mocus [sic]) and got more milk in her lungs, she was struggling and I said to myself from the beginning I would not let her suffer. For 16 days I gave my all and so did she, I would do it all over again, she deserved to have a chance at life but sadly it was not meant to be. Thank you so much for everyone’s love for her, kind words, prayers and encouragement.”
Bettie Bee was one of three kittens in the litter, but clearly, she was unique.
The baby, known as a “Janus cat,” died on Dec. 28. Sadly, many of these cats struggle (due to problems nursing, among other health issues), although others can live long, prosperous lives — like the famous Frank and Louie, who lived to the ripe old age of 15 years.
Since she was an at-risk kitten, the mama cat’s owner brought her to a nearby cat rescuer known for taking in special-needs cats, reports Newsweek.
Bettie Bee’s rescuer, who opted to remain anonymous, wrote in an email to Newsweek that she started tube-feeding the kitten and that she “can feed either mouth, both are functional, both lead to the stomach.”
The rescuer has also started a Facebook page for Bettie Bee, “because of high demand from people to see her progress and too many strangers on my personal profile. So everyone who sent me messages and friend requests to follow BB can like this page.”
“She is thriving, growing like a normal kitten,” her rescuer told Newsweek on Dec. 20. “She has been to the vet when she was one day old. We decided it’s best to take her back for scans, etc. when she is a bit bigger.”
Unfortunately, Bettie Bee’s short life took a tragic turn, but the special kitten acquired a fan base of over 50,000 followers on Facebook in her brief time in the spotlight.
“Thank you for all the messages and comments,” her rescuer posted to Facebook. “I will not delete the page. Will keep it up for people who still want to come see her pics and videos.. Maybe even to bring awareness to other special needs kitties who need help.. not 100% sure yet, but not right now, still so sad.”
Our condolences go out to Bettie Bee, her rescuer, her cat family and her human family during this sad time.