Boy With Cleft Lip, Different Color Eyes Meets Equally Rare Kitten

A boy and a rescue cat with the same rare conditions -- a cleft lip and palate, and heterochromia iridum (where the eyes are different colors) -- take a fateful journey to becoming family.

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Christina Humphreys
","id":"461122","thumbnail_url":"https://nbcots.go-vip.co/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/danryanmanshot.jpg?fit=1200%2C675","type":"image","focusedSlide":""},{"caption":"Madden was born with a bilateral cleft lip and palate, and in addition to having a scar from repair surgeries, he has heterochromia, which means his eyes are two different colors. Madden's bilateral cleft lip and palate have both been repaired since he was born, but the scar remains.
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Now 7, Madden faced a difficult school year in the first grade last year for the way he looked. His mother, Christina Humphreys, told NBC News that students wouldn't play with him, and an older student on the bus said "really ugly things to him."
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Christina Humphreys
One day, Christina was browsing a closed Facebook group for mothers of children with cleft lip -- and learned of a rescue kitten named Moon who had the same condition, including the different color eyes. She decided to take her three kids on the road trip from Tulsa, Oklahoma, all the way to Mankato, Minnesota to meet Moon and hopefully adopt him: "This kitty was meant to be in Madden's life."
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Christina Humphreys
When the family arrived in Minnesota, the kitty went right up to Madden -- and Christina says the two took to each other right away: "We were meant to love that cat," she tells TODAY.com. Since returning home together, "Madden has been beaming. I tell Madden all the time he is magical, and I think Moon helps him realize how special he is."
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Christina Humphreys
Christina says she's glad Madden and Moon are teaching others that being different is awesome: “Spreading awareness about craniofacial differences and bullying is absolutely incredible. I love that those two things are getting attention,” she told TODAY.com. “I am blown away by how wonderful people have been.”
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