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These two kitties were truly meant to be.

By Madison Pincombe
Updated December 21, 2020
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cross-eyed cat
Credit: trapdacat / Instagram

After living in a PetSmart cage for more than a week and shuffling between foster homes, cross-eyed black cat Fern has officially found a forever home. Almost as if by fate, the kitten’s new family includes another black cat who is also cross-eyed.

Fern, Forrest, Flint and their mother were trapped by New Orleans trap-neuter-return (TNR) group Trap Dat Cat in October. While the kittens were being spayed and neutered, the veterinarian requested an additional week to treat what appeared to be eye infections. After the eye infections cleared up, it became apparent that all three kittens had large underlying issues.

All three had eye issues, but only Forrest and Flint required treatment. "It was determined that Fern’s eye problems were only cosmetic, with weak eye muscles giving her a cross-eyed appearance, but in an up-and-down direction, instead of the traditional side-to-side direction," Trap Dat Cat founder Theresa Bridges says.

Fern was separated from her siblings as they underwent reconstructive eye surgery to save their eyes and prevent vision loss. Fern spent more than a month jumping between foster homes. Fern’s foster parents were concerned that the kitten’s skittish nature and goofy eyes might make finding her a forever home difficult.

Trap Dat Cat volunteer Emma Fink fostered Fern and worked to help acclimate the kitten. “She was the most scared kitten I had ever met,” Fink told Gambit. Fink recognized that Fern wasn’t aggressive, just shy and nervous. According to an Instagram post from Trap Dat Cat, eventually Fern’s sweet side emerged.

However, when it was Fern's turn to go into the PetSmart Charities adoption window (thanks to a partnership with the Louisiana SPCA), Bridges says she reverted back to the shy and fearful kitten she initially was. Hiding from view decreased Fern's chances for adoption.

Fink and Bridges turned to social media to promote Fern to potential adopters. They posted her adorable face across PetFinder, Facebook, Instagram, and even Nextdoor. They created fundraisers to help pay for Forrest and Flint's multiple surgeries, and shared the kittens' story on other rescue pages. "All of this sharing is how Frank Sanford found us, and found Fern," Bridges says.

50-year-old Frank Sanford was searching online for a companion for his cat Morty as he prepared to return to the office after months of working at home. Morty just so happens to also be a cross-eyed black cat.

“As soon as I saw Fern’s face, that was it,” Sanford told Gambit. It was a match made in heaven! “I thought she was just adorable, and I had to have her,” he said. "Frank contacted us and we went straight to PetSmart and got Fern out of that window," Bridges says.

Fern joined the Sanford family just over a week ago, and according to Sanford, Fern is settling into her new home well.

"Now we turn our sights to finding the same perfect home for her brothers, Forrest and Flint," Bridges says. "I really hope someone will look past their outward appearance and see them for the beautiful kittens they are." For more information on these adorable kitties, visit Trap Dat Cat's website or Petfinder page.