That’s not an optical illusion; this kitty’s eyes are the real deal.
Matilda the cat is gaining attention for her unusual look on Instagram, where she claims to be an adorable alien sent down to explore Earth and handle her human servants.
Her owner claims Matilda’s origin story isn’t quite as out of this world. The big-eyed meower was born on Valentine’s Day 2013 and was adopted by her forever family as a kitten from the animal rescue organization that removed her from a hoarder’s home.
When Matilda initially landed, her eyes looked like every other feline’s, except for the occasional squint. After her first birthday, her owners began to notice something strange. Occasionally, Matilda’s right pupil would expand wide, before going back to its original shape. Unsure what to do, her owners started going to different veterinarians for help.
“The regular vets were for the most part stumped. After she saw a specialist we learned that it is a spontaneous lens luxation, which means that the lens detached from the rest of the eye for no known reason. This is the mysterious part of the problem since she is an otherwise healthy cat,” her owner, who wishes to remain anonymous, told PEOPLE.
“In her litter of six kittens, three others were affected. Two of them had the lenses removed but recovering from the surgery was very difficult. The specialist believes that their disorder could also involve a collagen deficiency, which makes healing from injury or surgery very hard for them.”
Since the healing process was so hard for the affected siblings, Matilda’s owners decided to opt out of surgery and allowed the cat’s eyes to take their own course.
Eventually, both of Matilda’s lens detached, giving her the galactic look she has today.
“Unfortunately for Matilda, her lenses have rested in such a way that they have caused the eyes to become enlarged and the problem continues to progress. She is developing glaucoma and will inevitably have to have surgery despite the difficult healing process,” her owner said of Matilda’s current status.
To help prepare for this day, Matilda’s “servants” have started a GoFundMe page to help cover her medical costs, and they plan to donate any extra funds to animal charities so other pets can benefit from Matilda’s alien appearance.
While Matilda may have a long journey ahead of her, she doesn’t let that get her down. Her owner says that Matilda adores the extra attention she gets for her looks, and is quick to find the visitor who will dote on her the most.
“She also loves tissue paper, cardboard boxes, and her scratching post. She likes to make the dog uncomfortable by walking too close to his face,” her owner added. “She loves to eat and will cry like the world is ending if her dish isn’t full.”
Basically, she is like any other cat with a personality.
Instead of shying away from her differences, Matilda hopes her Instagram fame helps her connect to other kitties like her and lend a paw to animals in need.