Stray cat shoots to cyberstardom in China after ‘double eyelid’ surgery

Stray animal was found on the streets of Chengdu and had operation to correct eye problem

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 27 July, 2017, 2:45pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 27 July, 2017, 4:40pm

Before and after photos of a stray cat called Feifei, or Fatty, found on the streets of Chengdu have been widely shared online after it had surgery to correct an eyelid problem, making its eyes bigger.

“My friend’s vet clinic just helped a stray cat that could barely open its eyes because its eyelids folded inwards,” the person who posted the photos wrote on Weibo, China’s version of Twitter.

“But after ‘double eyelid surgery’ it looks like a different cat.”

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Double eyelid surgery is a common cosmetic procedure in China that adds a fold to make the eye seem larger.

The photos show the cat before the surgery, in which its eyes look half-closed and irritated.

Post-surgery photos show the cat with swelling and stitches below its eyes, while another photo shows the cat looking relaxed and healthy after the wounds have healed – and able to fully open its eyes.

Feifei has won plenty of fans online – the photos have garnered some 35,000 “likes” since they were posted in mid-July.

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He Jinyi, the vet who operated on the cat last month, told Chengdu Business Daily that it was not cosmetic surgery, as many internet users believed, but a necessary procedure to correct its abnormal eyelids, which folded inwards. The condition could cause irritation or infection because the cat’s eyelashes were constantly rubbing against its cornea, He said.

“We discovered the problem when the cat was brought into the clinic,” He was quoted as saying. “The surgery ... took about half an hour. The photos are a hit online because the changes in the cat’s eyes are so dramatic.”

Two volunteers from an animal welfare group in the Sichuan capital found the cat in March, the report said. “We saw that there was something wrong with its eyes and the vet said it needed surgery after we took it in for a check-up,” one of the volunteers, surnamed Chen, told the newspaper.

The procedure cost nearly 2,000 yuan (US$295) and Feifei is now happily living with a local family, Chen said.

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Feifei’s new look has been met with approval on social media. “Now I understand why so many girls are so obsessed with double eyelid surgery,” one Weibo user wrote.

Another person described the transformation as a miracle. “I think other cat owners should start saving so their cats can have this operation too.”