Sphynx Cat with Rare Condition Resembles a Bat — But Has the Most Relatable Moods
"I fell in love at first sight," said the cat's owner
Thousands of Instagrammers can’t help but look at Lucy.
That’s 22,000 followers and counting for this unique kitty, who turned one on Saturday. Lucy — who lives in Israel with her owner Zilla Bergamini, 44, according to Metro — is a nude Sphynx cat who was diagnosed at birth with hydrocephalus, a rare condition that involves excess spinal fluid.
When Bergamini first saw Lucy, she was swept away by the special needs pet.
“I fell in love at first sight,” Bergamini told meowAF in October. “… I began reading everything I could about hydrocephalus and all possible outcomes. I looked for the best veterinarian neurological center in the country, and I already started setting up a fund to pay for her surgery, if needed or medication.”
In the first few days of adopting Lucy last March, Bergamini said she noticed the cat hadn’t emptied her bowels and constantly needed eye drops. After a few vet visits, Lucy was treated and her pooping became overactive.
“She practically leaked poop 24/7 for more than two weeks straight,” the patient pet owner said. “I was putting her to sleep in a tiny baby diaper and I was always holding her.”
Further specialist appointments indicated that Lucy’s eye troubles were due to her expanded and misshapen skull caused by her condition. The animal had surgery on her eyelids to save her vision.
Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE’s free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories
Once her health conditions were under control, Lucy quickly became Insta-famous thanks to the Instagram account her owner started for her. Here, fans can enjoy Lucy’s everyday adventures. Followers can even get a glimpse at Lucy’s coronavirus self-isolation mood, with one recent post captioned, “I #stayhome waiting for the 🦠 to pass …”
Though some fans were at first off-put by the cat’s bat-like appearance, they quickly came around to the sweet pet’s personality and charm.
“Some people just see her strangely shaped skull and weird eyes and think she is too ugly to be a pet,” Bergamini said. “One of her biggest admirers confessed to me that she had very negative thoughts about her the first time she saw her.”
Added Bergamini: “Like humans, pets can have disabilities but live happy lives, and they can give as much love as any other pet, if not more.”