No, this baby cat isn’t just dressed up as an adorable pirate for Halloween. Scar the kitten is a rescue who was found by his mom, marine biologist Savannah Anas, in a remote area with a life-threatening eye infection.
“My best friend and I heard of a litter of kittens that had just been born 2 1/2 hours away from civilization,” Anas, an Arcata, California, native tells PEOPLE. “We drove out on a whim to see the kittens hearing of one that ‘didn’t have an eye.’ We got there to find that he had both eyes. While one eye was completely fine, the other was so incredibly swollen and infected. It was leaking puss like a fountain.
“I’ve done a lot of work with biology and diseases and infections,” Anas told ABC News. “I knew that with the infection being so close to his brain, it was most likely fatal.”
Weighing in at a teeny 8.5 oz. pre-operation, Anas said the veterinarian was uncertain the kitten would survive surgery as he was too small to be fitted with a breathing tube or hooked up to machines. The vet said Scar had a 50/50 chance of survival. Fortunately, this furry little fighter beat the odds.
Now, at 8 weeks old, this miracle mini-meower wears a stylish, handmade eyepatch (with his cute name etched on it, of course) to help aid the healing process. However, his compromised vision doesn’t slow him down.
Anas, who says she never expected to own a cat, brings him everywhere — including hikes (and games of hide-n-seek) through the forest, trips to the boat dock and jaunts to the beach to stalk seagulls while his mama goes freediving.
“Scar loves exploring new places and going on outdoor adventures with me. He gets along with everyone he meets. He loves playing with other animals especially big dogs and other kittens,” Anas tells PEOPLE. “Scar will follow me basically anywhere, even into the ocean, so I have to watch him. His only dislike that spooks him a little is the sound of a large crashing wave. Scar used to also hate the water (a.k.a. baths), but now he loves them. He was even purring during his last bath. I believe he trusts me and my judgement, knowing I wouldn’t ever let him get hurt.”
Can’t get enough of cats, dogs and other furry friends? Click here to get the cutest pet news and photos delivered directly to your inbox.
“He wanted to live and I needed to help him,” she said. “I’m so glad I found him. I became a mom overnight. It’s very fun, but it’s a lot of work. He’s so fantastic. It’s so rewarding.”
Anas tells PEOPLE that Scar will likely be a pirate for Halloween during the day (of course), but “dressed as something a little more spooky at night…”
You can follow more of Scar’s adventures on his Instagram, @kitten_with_the_eyepatch.