When Matilda the cat was just a kitten, her owners noticed that one of her eyes was slightly squinted. However, they had no idea that this was just the beginning of their pet’s incredibly transformation. Yes, by the time she was fully grown, this feline would look completely out of this world.
Matilda the cat has a very memorable birthday. She was born Valentine’s Day 2013, as part of a litter of six cats who lived in a somewhat unusual home. That’s because Matilda and her furry siblings originally belonged to compulsive hoarders. Shortly after their birth, however, the kittens were taken in by the town’s local animal rescue society.
Once at the shelter, it didn’t take long for a someone to notice the adorable tabby. And so when she was just 12 weeks old, little Matilda went to live with her new family. Intriguingly, her owners prefer to be known only as “The Bearded Man, The Lady, and Dog.”
“[She was] the cutest, teensiest thing that anyone had ever seen,” her humans later wrote on Matilda’s website. They contined, “She came home from the vet that day with a cone on her head. She showed no fear when she met Dog who was about 10 times her size.”
And it didn’t take long for Matilda to settle in and make herself at home. “She sat on the couch with her new people like she already owned the place while Dog whined on the floor,” her owners revealed. “She has always been a boss.”
At first, Matilda looked and acted like any other cat. But before long, her family noticed that one of her eyes appeared to have a bit of a squint from time to time. They didn’t think much of it, however, although they did begin nicknaming their pet “Quasimodo.”
But when Matilda turned one, the condition appeared to worsen. In fact, just after her birthday, the cat’s right pupil swelled up and didn’t go back to normal for many minutes. Concerned, Matilda’s “Lady” rushed her to the vet. But by the time they got there the feline’s eye had shrunk back down again and looked perfectly fine.
For the next few days, everything went back to normal. Then, however, Matilda’s eye flared up once more. The cat’s owners rushed her to the clinic, but when they got there she had once again recovered. By this time, though, her family were concerned that there was an underlying medical problem at the root of it all.
The vet advised them to seek the advice of an animal ophthalmologist, who would be about to tell them if there was an underlying issue with Matilda’s eye. So, the worried family sought a second opinion, and that’s when they learned that their beloved cat had feline leukemia.
Not only were Matilda’s humans devastated, but they were also confused. She had tested negative for the illness before they adopted her. Furthermore, she was a house-cat and so had very little chance of catching the disease.
Despite everything, however, the family tried to remain positive. “There were certainly worse things that could happen to a beautiful little kitten. With care, she would lead a happy and healthy life,” they wrote online.
In order to give Matilda the best possible life, then, her humans contacted the rescue society which had first saved her. They thought they could inform Matilda’s siblings’ owners so they could check their pets too. But instead, they discovered that the organization had news for them.
It turned out that staff from the animal rescue had been trying to contact them for months. However, someone had misplaced their contact details during an office move. But now that Matilda’s family had got in touch, they could finally relay the information that they had.
Two of Matilda’s siblings had developed a strange eye condition – just like her. As a result, Matilda’s owners consulted their vet once more, who retested the cat for feline leukemia. Astonishingly, the test came back negative. And the news prompted the family to make an appointment with a veterinary ophthalmologist, who confirmed that, like her littermates, Matilda had spontaneous lens luxation.
The condition had caused Matilda’s lenses to spontaneously detach. There was the option of surgery to correct the disorder, but the cat also suffered from a collagen deficiency. This would make it hard for Matilda to heal following an operation.
And so Matilda’s family made the difficult decision to let her condition progress. They would, of course, monitor her eyes. But by and large, they would allow her to get on with her daily life without interfering medically. “As long as Matilda remained happy and healthy, that was the only thing that mattered,” they explained on their website.
As time progressed, Matilda’s eyes began to transform until they both became permanently enlarged. That didn’t stop her owners from loving her all the same, though. In fact, they affectionately referred to her as their “alien cat,” and they even made an Instagram account to document her ups and downs.
Soon, Matilda boasted an impressive 148,000 followers on Instagram. Furthermore, any image her humans post is likely to garner thousands of likes. It seemed people couldn’t get enough of this kitty and her celestial cuteness.
Throughout this time, all Matilda’s family could do was give her medication to ease her pain. However, as her condition was progressive, they knew things would get worse. Indeed, surgery was a very real possibility at some point in the future, and in March 2016, that dreaded day came. So severe was Matilda’s condition, in fact, that the vets had had to remove the brave cat’s distinctive eyes.
But, once again, her humans vowed to stand by Matilda in the next chapter of her life. “No matter what happens, her servants think she’s perfect and beautiful,” they told ABC News. “And [we] will love and care for her the absolute best way that [we] can. However long this little alien is here.”