Cy - the weird Cyclops like kitten
What was suspected to be a clever little hoax has turned out to be true...
A photo of a one-eyed kitten named Cy drew more than a little scepticism when it turned up on various websites, but medical authorities have a name for the bizarre condition.
"Holoprosencephaly" causes facial deformities, according to the US National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke.
In the worst cases, a single eye is located where the nose should be, according to the institute's Web site.
Traci Allen says the kitten she named Cy, short for Cyclops, was born on December 28 with the single eye and no nose.
"You don't expect to see something like that," the 35-year-old Allen said from her home in Redmond, Oregon.
Allen said she stayed up all night with the deformed kitten on her recliner, feeding Cy a liquid formula through a syringe.
She says she cared for the kitten the next day as well, until it died that evening.
Allen had taken digital pictures that she provided to The Associated Press.
Some bloggers have questioned the authenticity of the photo distributed on January 6.
AP regional photo editor Tom Stathis said he took extensive steps to confirm the one-eyed cat was not a hoax.
Stathis had Allen ship him the memory card that was in her camera.
On the card were a number of pictures - including holiday snapshots, and four pictures of a one-eyed kitten.
The kitten pictures showed the animal from different perspectives.
Fabricating those images in sequence and in the camera's original picture format, from the varying perspectives, would have been virtually impossible, Stathis said.