Matilda the cat is well on her way to becoming an internet sensation, thanks to her large, glassy, ‘alien’ eyes. Her mysterious appearance has earned her over 33,000 followers on Instagram and that number is about to skyrocket now that her photos have gone viral.
Sadly, Matilda’s story isn’t as amusing as it seems. The two-year-old tabby suffers from a rare condition that’s only getting worse as she grows older. Matilda’s anonymous owners, who refer to themselves as her ‘servants’, have revealed that she used to be pretty normal as a kitten, with the exception of having a ‘squinty eye’ from time to time.
“Matilda lives with her loving servants who include The Bearded Man, The Lady and Dog,” the servants write on Matilda’s official site. “She was born on Valentine’s Day in 2013 in a hoarder house in a small town, and was quickly picked up by a rescue society. When she found her forever home she was only 12 weeks old and the cutest, teensiest thing that anyone had ever seen.”
But shortly after her first birthday, her right pupil became enlarged and stayed that way for several minutes. They consulted several vets, and one of them diagnosed her with feline leukemia. Concerned and saddened, the owners contacted the rescue society to find out how Matilda could have contracted the disease. That’s when the found out that the society had been trying to contact them too! “As it turned out, two of Matilda’s littermates had developed a mysterious eye condition, and they had been trying to re-find Matilda,” the website reads.
“The Lady contacted the people with the other cats right away to gain more information about the eye problem and then took Matilda back to the vet, where she was tested again for feline leukaemia. This test came back negative (phew!), and an appointment with the veterinary ophthalmologist was set up right away. This specialist came with her many sophisticated instruments and tests, and confirmed that Matilda displayed signs of spontaneous lens luxation, just like her siblings.”
Lens luxation is a condition in which the eye lens completely dislocates from its normal location. The lenses in Matilda’s right eye had spontaneously detached. Faced with this new information, the owners weren’t sure of what to do. One of Matilda’s sisters had undergone surgery, but it didn’t prove to be very helpful. And the genetic disorder includes a collagen deficiency, which makes healing from surgery a very slow and difficult process.
“After much discussion and consideration, The Lady and The Bearded Man decided with the veterinary ophthalmologist’s support that we would let Matilda’s eyes do what they naturally would, and would not intervene with a traumatic surgery that did not appear to be helpful,” the servants said. “As long as Matilda remained happy and healthy, that was the only thing that mattered.”
Since that decision, Matilda’s eyes have “changed and evolved constantly”. Her left eye soon followed the right, and the lens luxated, rendering her blind. This made the poor cat sad and she became withdrawn for a couple of days. Despite using eyedrops to reduce the pressure and pain, she was visibly distressed. The owners got very worried, but thankfully, Matilda became her regular self again after two days.
Still, the owners have set up a GoFundMe page for Matilda, just to be prepared in case she does need surgery some day. “To prepare for the day that she needs serious medical care, we are hoping to put away some funds so that help is readily available as soon as she needs it,” the page reads. “She takes medicine to make sure she can keep her eyes functioning as well as she can, but inevitably will need surgery to remove them.”
In the meantime, “Matilda’s servants take her to see a vet regularly and to see an ophthalmologist when necessary. She is always up to date on her checkups and shots, and they watch her very closely to notice any changes in behaviour that might suggest that she’s uncomfortable.” And her latest Instagram caption revealed great news: “So happy to have had a super great check-up today with my eye doctor! Confirmed that I am NOT in pain and NOT suffering from glaucoma. Surgery will wait another day.”
However, every cloud has a silver lining, and Matilda’s case is no different. The cat’s rare condition has given her a very unique, if somewhat creepy alien look that people can’t get enough of. It has helped Matilda join the ranks of feline Internet stars the likes of Garfi a.k.a. the grumpiest cat on the Internet, the irresistibly cute Snoopybabe, or Choupette – Karl Lagerfeld’s modelling pet cat.
Photos: Alien Cat Matilda
via ABC News