United Kingdom

Feline who looks permanently startled becomes a social media sensation after being found as a kitten

An adorable cat with a facial condition that makes him appear permanently startled has taken the internet by storm. Natalia Zhdanova from Rostov, Russia, found her weak and sickly stray cat, Fedya, abandoned in her back garden when he was just a few days old, nursed him back to health, and turned him into an internet sensation. 

Natalia shared that his back legs were wonky and his eyes misaligned. She decided to take in the orphaned animal and nursed him back to health with the help of her neighbor's cat, Handsome. The feline visited the poorly kitten daily, becoming a 'father figure' to him and often appearing alongside Fedya on his Instagram page, which has gathered thousands of followers since it launched. 

The reason for Fedya's unusual appearance is still unclear, but Natalia suspects that it's the result of a genetic condition or being dropped by his mother as a kitten while climbing over fences. 'He was very weak and was dying. Handsome cleaned and licked Fedya and became like a father figure to him', said Natalia. 

Natalia, who writes educational books for children, added: 'We're not sure if it's a genetic deformity or if he was dropped by his mom as a kitten.'

'Now he is much healthier,' Natalia said. 'He is a very sweet, gentle, playful and intelligent cat. He purrs very loudly.' 

Fedya is a healthy adult at one year and nine months and his owner says the cat is still the best of friends with the neighbor's cat.

'He is inseparable with Handsome,' said Natalia. 'They are the best of friends.'

Natalia says she's been pleasantly surprised by the reaction her cat has had online, and says she values her pet's 'kindness and spontaneity' the most. 

'We were very surprised by the popularity of Fedya! For us, he is an ordinary, simple cat, with a unique appearance, no more', said Natalia in an interview with Bored Panda . 

'It is very nice, of course, that so many people love Fedya, this is so encouraging for us!' 

Pictured: Natalia and her beloved cat, Fedya.

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