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West Norfolk Miracle kitten is a tortoiseshell against all odds

A kitten has been handed in at the RSPCA’s rehoming centre at Eau Brink that if not quite one in a million is certainly a rarity.

The tortoiseshell has been named Miracle because it appears he has defied the odds to be a male cat.

Male cats, like human males, have only one X chromosome in their DNA meaning they should be unable to inherit the different colour genes that make up the tortie colouring.

Miracle the kitten
Miracle the kitten

Indeed, there are 10.9 million estimated pet cats in the UK - and according to research only one in every 3,000 tortoiseshell cats could be born male.

Miracle and his brother Shadow were taken in by their owner and signed over into the RSPCA’s care.

Like all cats taken in by the RSPCA they were given a health check and an examination - where to the staff’s surprise they discovered the tortoiseshell was actually a boy.

Penny Skate, chairwoman of the Norfolk West branch trustees, said: “When the cattery staff at our rehoming centre told me we had a male tortoiseshell I just presumed they had made a mistake - and I explained to them you just can’t get a male tortie. But when I did take a look at him, it was clear we had a little boy and not a girl.

“I have worked with animals for more than 40 years through my work at the charity and I have seen hundreds if not thousands of kittens over the years and not one has ever been a male tortoiseshell.

“He’s caused quite a stir at our centre because no one has ever seen a male tortie before. We named him Miracle because to us he really is a one in a million kitten.”

She added: “He’s a gorgeous little character, he absolutely adores his brother Shadow so when we do look to rehome them they will be rehomed together because they are inseparable.”

Miracle and Shadow are currently not available for rehoming, so please do not call the branch. Anyone interested is urged to visit the branch website to see when the pair are available for rehoming.

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