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Cross-Eyed Cat Raises Awareness For Pet Adoption

Feb 16, 2016 02:17 PM EST
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Meet Bum, an adorable cat from San Diego, California. Due to a condition that makes him perpetually cross-eyed, Bum appears worried all the time.  

Despite his anxiety-ridden expression he is "actually super-silly and happy," his owner Courtney Morman told ABC News. "He just has perpetually crossed eyes."

Morman recently created an Instagram account worried_cat_aka_bum for her funny-faced feline friend. The hope, she says, is that Bum's story helps bring smiles to people's faces and encourages people looking for a new pet to adopt, rather than "shop."

"I wanted to put it out there that I got this really cool cat at a rescue," Morman told The Huffington Post. "There are so many awesome animals at rescues and I want people to know that they can get a special pet at a shelter, too."

Last year, Bum and his five-month-old litter mates were found abandoned and brought to the San Diego Humane Society's office in Oceanside, California, where Morman worked.

"I fell in love with him instantly," she said in the article. "When I first saw him, I thought he was the cutest kitten ever, and his personality matched his silly looks. His eyes and lids are also shaped a little funny, but other than that, he's totally fine. He's been seen by a vet and nothing is wrong with him."

Strabismus is a condition in which one eye appears to look off at a different angle, unable to focus in the same direction as the other eye. This can occur with one or both eyes, depending on how the muscles attached to one's eyeball have grown.

In Bum's case it occurs in both eyes, which is why he appears cross-eyed.

If both of the eyes are directed towards the nose, the pet is referred to as cross-eyed or convergent strabismus. This is also common among Siamese cats.

On the other hand, if the eyeballs deviate away from the nose, it is referred to as divergent strabismus. This is common in Boston Terriers.

Generally speaking, if the condition is inherited no treatment is recommended, as the abnormality is cosmetic and doesn't affect the quality of life. However, if animals become cross-eyed following an injury or disease of the nerves, they can be treated with an anti-inflammatory. 

"Bum can be shy at first with new people, but when he gets to know you, he's so loveable," Morman said. "He's really smart and he loves to go under the covers and cuddle in the mornings."

Morman, who has fostered several pets, added that Bum loves all animals and has been a great big brother.

"He's helped raise a few litters and is a wonderful companion to other cats we take in who are recovering from injuries," she said in the article. 

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