In the fall of 2016 a woman detected sounds emanating from a pile of trash. Upon investigating, though, she may have been distressed to discover a minuscule, abandoned kitten. Still, in time, she would discover exactly what a wonderful treasure the poor creature would turn out to be.
Before the woman had come to the scene, however, the kitten hadn’t been in a good state. At only around seven days old, the poor creature had been blind, dependent and doubtless in need of someone to care for it. And, even more heartbreakingly, one of its legs had been broken and another paw hurt.
As a consequence, the kitten could only meow to draw attention to its plight. Thankfully, though, its luck changed when a woman who happened to be nearby heard its cries of distress. She was likely sad to find the dumped animal, especially upon seeing that it was in such a bad way.
The kitten’s tragic situation served to spur the lady into action, though, and she brought the injured creature back to her home. The kindhearted woman subsequently became a constant caregiver and set about tending to her charge at all hours. It seemed, then, that the animal had been given a second chance at life.
And all the woman’s love and care appeared to pay off as, despite losing a paw, the kitty began to recover from its wounds. In a short period of time, it also gained some weight and the break in its leg healed. Eventually, in fact, the young cat appeared to be on the road to full fitness.
The lady herself, meanwhile, was no stranger to rescuing animals in need and helping them out. Indeed, she had such a big heart that she’d rehomed multiple creatures over the years. So there might be many households that all have this woman to thank for the addition of their purrfect pets.
This time, however, the kitten’s rescuer was completely smitten by the animal that she’d fished out of the trash. So, she decided to house the furry creature permanently. And, naturally, that meant giving a name to the plucky young cat, who was eventually dubbed Martyr. Now, the adorable Martyr was truly part of the family.
Then, in January 2017 the woman’s niece, who goes by the user name Vodkaholy, posted on imgur about the episode and received hundreds of comments in return. Some focused on the brutal nature of whoever deserted the kitten in the first place, with one individual even going as far to state that they should “rot in hell.”
The cute snaps in the imgur post, however, show the kitten holding a bottle of milk, which it needed as it couldn’t feed from its biological mother. The cat has mainly white fur on its front, with beautiful tortoiseshell markings on the top of its head and the back of its body.
What’s more, Martyr’s continued growth spurt was so quick that its new owners reported on imgur in January 2017 that it was “growing up super fast!” And in another post, they declared that Martyr was “a normal happy kitty, healthy as a horse.”
It seemed, then, that Martyr was thriving in the new environment. That certainly appeared to be the case three months later, when the people providing for the kitty appeared again to say that their patient was “doing great, getting fatter by the day” – no doubt reassuring online followers of the sweet story in the process.
But there was to be another twist to this tale. It’s usual to delay identifying a kitten’s gender for a month or so after their birth, as otherwise there’s a chance that there will be a mistake. And when the day finally came for the lucky kitten’s new owners to find out the sex of their pet, they discovered that Martyr was in fact a boy.
Perhaps that revelation came as a surprise to Martyr’s owners, too, since calico cats are almost always female. This is the opposite of the pattern in ginger toms, which are – as the name suggests – almost always male.
So not only was the chance encounter between Martyr and his new mom really quite fortuitous, but he also beat the odds genetically, too. And an expert in the field apparently confirmed that the kitten was indeed a rather unusual animal.
Writing on imgur, Vodkaholy repeated the professional opinion, “The vet said it’s really rare for calicos to be male. What a special boy indeed!” Statistically speaking, only a single cat in 3,000 calicos will be male, which are about the same odds as a human being hit by a meteorite.
And an imgur user would express their amazement at the news, writing, “That’s actually incredible. You would usually seek those out from breeders.” Another commenter seemed thrilled to come up with a pun for the occasion, calling Martyr “a cali-bro” cat.
Martyr’s rarity came at a cost, however. Because of his quirky calico chromosome, he’s infertile. So, as he’s unable to reproduce, there won’t be any mini-Martyrs running around in the future. Still, we can at least rest assured that he himself should enjoy a good standard of living.
But Martyr isn’t the only male calico cat to have received coverage on social media in recent years; a similarly marked kitty named Sherman has come to wider attention, too. Sherman was a candidate for relocation through the Humane Society Silicon Valley Neighborhood Adoption Center; fingers crossed, then, that he has found a new home as delightful as Martyr’s.
As for Martyr himself, his unfortunate start in life is hopefully now just a distant memory. Apparently, he has become partial to perching on his owner’s shoulder like a parrot and is quite clingy. According to his owners, he is “loving and cuddly, too.”
So thank goodness Martyr meowed loud enough on the day of his discovery and that the stars aligned for his happy ending. In this instance, he was saved from an uncertain fate; now, though, he seems to be living a good life. And hopefully other cats in terrible circumstances can become beloved pets like him as well.