Madden Humphreys, who is 7 years old and from Oklahoma, was born with a condition called heterochromia iridium. In layman’s terms? His eyes are two different colors. He also has a cleft lip. Heterochromia iridium is an extremely rare condition. Though it’s striking to look at and doesn’t cause any health problems, it can be a difficult thing for a child to have.
At Madden’s young age, he already deals with a lot of bullying.
He was feeling frightened and depressed due to the unkind things he heard from other children. Madden’s mother Christina Humphreys, wasn’t sure what to do for her son … until she saw a posting on social media for a cat with the exact same condition.
And he really does have the exact same condition — not just heterochromia. The friendly cat, Moon, also has a cleft lip. He and Madden are twins from two different species.
Humphreys said it had been an incredibly rough year for her son, who heard terrible things from other children about his condition.
Madden has scars from his surgeries to correct his cleft palate. His mother said that until the bullying started, her son had always been happy and uninhibited. Then, after hearing so many unkind things from his peers, he became troubled.
Madden’s mother was determined to adopt the cat.
There was one problem: Moon had been found living as a stray in Minnesota. He was now at a shelter, which required any prospective owners to schedule a visit before they took their new feline friend home.
The Humphreys family was faced with a drive of 22 hours, not to mention the cost of gas and a hotel. Christina Humphreys said she didn’t think she would be able to bring it together. But then some kindly benefactors stepped in.
To Madden’s delight, friends and family pulled together to make it possible for them to get to Minnesota to add Moon to their family.
Christina Humphreys said the two took to one another instantly and have been close companions ever since.
Now, he’s their newest happy addition, and he and Madden are best friends. At home, Moon looks for Madden when he’s feeling unhappy or stressed. Madden finds comfort in Moon when he hears nasty words from other children. They even have their own Instagram account.
“I’m stunned at how this all played out,” said Christina Humphreys. “It sounds silly, but fate willed these two together. There’s no other explanation. This kitty was so far away from us. I’m amazed that we found out about him, and even more amazed by the friends and strangers that helped us get to him, and adopt him. Everyone needs a friend, and to feel understood. I’m so thankful Madden has Moon. Not only so that both he and the kitty have a relatable and sweet companion, but also, I hope Moon helps Madden realize that being born unique is an incredible thing; that he is magic. These two handsome guys truly are a wonder.”
Meanwhile, the Humphreys family is using their time in the media spotlight as well as social media to bring awareness to those with cleft palates and combating bullying.
They recently released a video in which Madden has a few things of his own to say.
“Don’t be mean to other people that are different,” says Madden. “We’ve already been through a lot of hard stuff. Show everybody kindness! You’re missing out on a lot of awesome people if you’re being a poophead to them. If somebody’s being mean to you, be nice to them. Because the most unlovable people need love the most.”
It’s a surprisingly insightful observation from a boy who’s only seven.
Meanwhile, Christina Humphreys says she loves seeing the difference in her son and is happy they have the chance to tell the world about how great he is.
“Spreading awareness about craniofacial differences and bullying is absolutely incredible,” said Humphreys. “I love that those two things are getting attention. I am blown away by how wonderful people have been.”
As for Moon, he’s enjoying his new home and the love and friendship of a boy who needed him. The two boys are sure to be lifelong best friends, especially after all they’ve been through together.