A black cat with a a deformed, bat-like ear and a twisted fang has been adopted, scoring a badly-needed win for underdog cats and proving once again you can't judge a book – or a cat – by its cover.
Named “Raphael'” by his late previous owner, this er, distinctive black cat was taken in by the local RSPCA Northamptonshire Branch shelter in the English East Midlands. His prospects for adoption weren't good as he had a number of strikes against him. Black cats are often passed up by potential adopters because they don't photograph well, for one thing.
That said, even the most flattering photo couldn't hide Raphael's bent ear and scary protruding lower canine tooth. “Poor Raphael had spent a total of 601 days in rescue (by late 2017) which is too long for any puss,” explained Emma Markham, adoptions manager at RSPCA Northamptonshire “While Raphael was gorgeous in our eyes, his unusual looks and distinguishing features seemed to put some people off.”
With Halloween approaching, however, shelter staff got a brainstorm: instead of trying to gloss over Rafael's “imperfections”, why not do the opposite and highlight his uniqueness? Thus “Count Catula” was born. “With his prominent canine tooth and his deformed ear - from a suspected old haematoma (a swelling of clotted blood within tissue) - he looked just like a bat so we felt Halloween was the best time to find him the right home - and it worked!”
Local news outlets looking for seasonal content were quick to notice. Someone else noticed the curious-looking cat as well – a 23-year-old nurse from Rothwell, Northamptonshire named Ashleigh Bird. “I saw him online and absolutely loved him for his unique look,” recounted Bird. “I grew up with a three-legged cat so it would be weird to have a ‘normal’ pet!”
Since Bird brought Raphael home on November 11th, things have been going swimmingly well. “He has been lovely,” confirmed Bird, “he settled in straight away. I think people were probably put off by his unique looks but it made me want him even more. I'm a sucker for an underdog!”
Staffers at the RSPCA Northamptonshire shelter may miss their former long-term guest but they share Bird's joy in her new companion. “We're so pleased Ashleigh fell in love with this lovely boy and that she appreciates him just the way he is,” said shelter adoptions manager Emma Markham. (via Northamptonshire Telegraph and HuffPost UK)