Shelter Gives Woman A Strange 'Warning' About Her New Cat That Has Her Rattled

The Los Angeles shelter said he'd never be an indoor cat. They warned anyone who approached him about the risks of bringing him home. The notorious "Kangaroo Cat" was in danger, and a forever home seemed almost hopeless for the odd looking feline. That is, until Grace Choi came into his life. Still, the heroine's generosity eventually forced her to make a difficult choice.

Hero For Furry Friends

Grace Choi was always more than just an animal lover; she was a hero. Not only did she foster animals in need while taking care of her own, but she also was a board member of a very important organization.

Boomer's Buddies / Facebook

Being There

Grace joined the nonprofit "Boomer's Buddies," a dog and cat rescue that specializes in saving vulnerable animals who need a little extra TLC before finding their forever family and home. Rising through the organization's ranks, Grace thought she'd seen it all.

Boomer's Buddies / Facebook

A Cat In Need

Grace is always on the lookout for any animals in need, so when her mom showed her a video of a particular cat named Rumble, Grace teamed up with her organization to save him. She took it upon herself to pick up the cat, but when she arrived at the Orange County shelter in late 2020, she was shocked at what she saw.

Boomer's Buddies / Facebook

Difference In Compassion

Grace already had the feeling this cat had been through a lot. Besides the irritation on his skin, there was a deformity that scared many potential rescuers away. Though Grace and everyone at Boomer's Buddies could tell the cat deserved a second chance, however, some of the shelter staff didn't quite feel the same way.

ocsheltercats / Instagram

A Second Chance

The "Kangaroo Cat" was flagged as feral and aggressive by the shelter, which is probably why no one wanted to take a chance at helping the little fellow. Despite the warnings, Grace took him home with her, but she couldn't shake off the worry that she wasn't enough.

kittyboyandfriends / Instagram

Giving Enough

Grace believed every animal deserves love, but with her own pets to take care of, among other responsibilities, she worried that she wouldn't give her new foster friend the attention he needed. Grace was seriously worried about his disability.

kittyboyandfriends / Instagram

Being Different

The nickname "Kangaroo Cat" came about because of a congenital defect. With his front paws too undeveloped to support him, he resorted to hopping and sometimes wobbling around on his hind legs. Looking like a marsupial, the nickname stuck at the shelter, but for Grace, a much more fitting name came to mind.

kittyboyandfriends / Instagram

Welcome To Home

Grace longed to help her new foster pet feel at home, so she started with fresh introductions, giving him the name Joey. That was only the start of the cat's rehabilitation, as Joey had a long way to go. Having that kind of disability couldn't have been easy, but his other conditions made life even harder for him.

kittyboyandfriends / Instagram

Road Blocks

Frightened around most people, Joey needed some time before he could settle in. It didn't help that he suffered from feline scabies, which caused his skin condition. Joey had a hard enough time with people and other animals, but with the unfortunately contagious skin disease, it would be some time before he could really interact with anyone.

kittyboyandfriends / Instagram

Finding Help

Grace took as much time as she could to rehabilitate her new furry friend, but she still worried about her ability to be a good foster mom for Joey. With support from her colleagues at Boomer's Buddies, she was able to pull through. Remembering why she got into the animal rescue business always helped bring Grace inspiration.

Boomer's Buddies / Instagram

A Booming Beginning

Back in 2017, Jessica Davis, the soon-to-be founder of Boomer's Buddies, took notice of a recurring problem in the world. There were way too many animals in need. It was around then she discovered Boomer, a stray black lab who, after four years straight in a Florida animal shelter, was still waiting for someone to take him home.

jessicaandheranimals / Instagram

Lonely Lab

Boomer was passed up by potential families one by one, in part because of his aggressive nature, but that will happen when you're locked in a cage for so many years. The Florida shelter did what they could for all the animals, but time was running out for Boomer.

jessicaandheranimals / Instagram

To The Rescue

Well aware of what happens to the animals who stayed too long in shelters, Jessica knew Boomer was in danger. Jessica, who lived in California then, rushed to buy a plane ticket all the way down to Florida just so she could adopt the very lonely Boomer. His levels of energy may have been hard to handle at first, but Jessica and Boomer became quite the pair.

jessicaandheranimals / Instagram

Hope Found

During her time with Boomer's Buddies, Grace looked up to Jessica and saw a chance to foster an animal that was truly in need. Grace held onto hope that everything would work out for Joey, despite the odds.

Boomer's Buddies / Facebook

First Friends

That hope was soon rewarded. The once antisocial cat began to beg for pets from Grace, who found him quirky and hysterical. After he warmed up to Grace and finally got used to his home, it was time for Grace's pets to meet Joey.

kittyboyandfriends / Instagram

Meeting The Family

Grace owns two dogs and a cat called Kitty Boy who's famous on Instagram. The dogs took their time in warming up to Joey. They probably sensed he needed his space, but no one pushed harder, for better or worse, to befriend Joey than Kitty Boy.

kittyboyandfriends / Instagram

Persistent Pussycat

Once Joey recovered from the skin disease, Kitty Boy came running in to meet him. Grace knew better than to rush things, so she kept Joey's door closed until he was ready. It's good that she did because as soon as he heard Kitty Boy's meowing, Joey was a bit panicked. The end result, however, was a real shock.

kittyboyandfriends / Instagram

Behind The Door

Kitty Boy called out repeatedly to Joey, hoping to become friends right away, but Joey was surprised to hear another cat in the house. Curiosity took over and he approached the door. Kitty Boy wouldn't stop his meowing, and surprisingly enough, Joey joined him. Having a short conversation with another cat was great for Joey, but Kitty Boy wanted more.

funnyplox / YouTube

Overwhelmed By Friendship

The very friendly tabby was so eager to make a new friend that Grace had to keep an eye out for him as well as Joey. The moment Joey's door opened, there was Kitty Boy, trying to jump right in. Not the best second impression, but Joey wasn't too upset about it either.

kittyboyandfriends / Instagram

Sealing The Deal

After more than a dozen attempts to close in on Joey, Kitty Boy took a chance to cuddle with him. This time he knew to take it slow, but his eagerness brought him closer than any other of Grace's pets. It paid off in the end. The two cats became best friends, and Joey showed a talent no one thought possible.

kittyboyandfriends / Instagram

To Higher Heights

Like any cat, Kitty Boy liked to roughhouse and run around the house with vigor. With a disability like Joey's, you'd think he'd have a hard time keeping up, but that was not the case at all. He roughhoused like any other cat and even showed an incredible jumping skill. He proved those folks at the shelter wrong. He was a fantastic indoor cat. Then came the end of Joey's foster journey.

kittyboyandfriends / Instagram

The Perfect Cat

So it seemed Grace might have been worrying a little too much about Joey. He was such a well-behaved and loving cat, and very smart too. Still, Grace had always intended to give the feline to a loving family after the foster period had ended.

kittyboyandfriends / Instagram

Adoption Game

The animal rescuer shared the unusual kitty's story far and wide. Joey was put up for adoption for almost an entire month. The few who applied were just not a right fit. If only Joey could speak and tell Grace what he really wanted.

kittyboyandfriends / Instagram

Happy Ending, Happy Home

Grace could feel that Joey was sending her signals to not let him go. After several weeks of looking for an ideal home for him, she saw things more clearly. She was the perfect owner for Joey all along. She signed the adoption papers, and the two have never been happier. She learned Joey was purr-fect just the way he was.

kittyboyandfriends / Instagram

A Day of Exploration

And Joey was far from the only rescue cat who underwent a stunning transformation. In 2016, a woman named Nicole and a few friends were exploring a barn in their native Germany. They didn't come across anything remarkable, just scattered hay and a sour farmyard odor. Then, Nicole heard a faint crying coming from the corner.

YouTube / big daddy 1992

Strange Sounds

She crept over to investigate and found two kittens nestled against the wall! Their mother was nowhere to be seen, and both looked like they were in a sorry state. Nicole felt she couldn't leave them, so she scooped up both cats in her arms.

Twitter / William Woods University

Rushing to the Vet

Nicole got the kittens straight over to a veterinarian, who said she hadn't come a moment too soon. Both felines were dealing with mites, ear infections, and malnourishment, but the vet promised to get them back to full health. Though Nicole wasn't a professional animal caretaker like Grace, she knew what she had to do.

Elli and Rosie

After their recovery, Nicole happily brought them home for the first time. Now named Elli and Rosie, they settled right in. They all lived happily together for nine months, until something strange started happening with Elli.

Instagram / Elli

A Spot

The whole mystery began when Nicole spotted a strange white spot on Elli's side. Maybe she had gotten into something outside that got stuck in her fur? It just didn't seem to belong there.

Instagram / Elli

Brushing Away

Nicole figured the white spot might be removable. Brandishing her cat brush, she pulled it across Elli's side until she could no longer feel her hand. The white patch didn't fade one bit. However, it changed a couple weeks later.

Streaks and Specks

By that time, white streaks and specks formed all around Elli's face. The cat hadn't even turned a year old yet, so Nicole didn't think that she was simply going gray. She tried not to panic.

Instagram / Elli

Changing Color

Any hopes that the unusual patterns would go away soon vanished. The white spots blended together until large parts of Elli's coat totally changed color. At the same time, the kitty otherwise seemed like her happy playful self.

Instagram / https://www.instagram.com/elli.vitiligo/

Cat Chameleon

On one level, Nicole felt put off by the whole situation. Though she watched the change gradually unfold before her eyes, it was like a completely different cat wandered into her home! Nicole decided to consult her vet.

Vitiligo

Finally, Nicole managed to get some answers. The vet informed her that Elli had a very rare condition called vitiligo. For the most part, vitiligo manifests itself in younger humans.

Affected Animals

But a smattering of animals get vitiligo too! It causes blotches of skin to lose their pigment, creating vivid color pattens all over the body. Nicole nervously asked if her cat was in any danger.

No Threat

Fortunately, the vet assured Nicole that vitiligo is completely harmless. There's a good chance Elli wasn't even aware it was happening! She would just go about her normal cat businesses: eating, sleeping a ton, and jumping everywhere she wasn't supposed to.

Instagram / Elli

Unrecognizable

When Nicole compares current pictures of Elli to old snapshots, her kitty is almost unrecognizable. She's gone from a tuxedo pattern to a snow leopard! And as Nicole learned from Instagram, people love her unique look.

Instagram / Elli

No Sibling Resemblance

Nicole regularly shares updates on Elli, whose fur keeps changing all the time. It's particularly striking to see her next to her sister Rosie, who is completely untouched by vitiligo.

Instagram / Elli

Seeking That Connection

Before you bring a new cat into your home, it helps to connect with them first to know if they are a good fit for you. Like Nicole proved, however, that's not always how things work out. Even your dream pet can turn out to be very different that what you imagine.

Instagram / Elli

The Great Sphynx

Take the Sphynx cat for instance. This is a designer feline developed through selective breeding in the 1960s. Their skin feels leathery to the touch. Their skin coloration also correlates to the color fur they would have had and follows typical cat markings like solid, point, tabby, tortie, etc.

Loki The Grumpy Sphynx

An Unusual Breed

Sphynxes tend to be a more social breed of cat and display extroverted behavior. They have high energy levels, extraordinary intelligence, increased curiosity, and affection for their owners. They can be described as a dog-like cat compared to other cat breeds.

Instagram: @best_sphynx_club

Shayla and Shaniya

Recently, two women, Shayla Bastarache (pictured below) and Shaniya Yung, from Alberta, Canada, were looking to purchase a new feline friend. Both women had done their research and decided the cat for them was a Sphynx cat.

Jeff McIntosh / Canadian Press

A Pretty Penny

They may seem like strange pets to some, but due to the designer aspect of this breed, they would need to go through a breeder to obtain their new kittens. Sphynx cats are expensive and can cost up to $1,000.

Adoption Troubles

So Shayla and Shaniya, separately, began searching the Alberta area for a Sphynx breeder. It was difficult to find a breeder due to the expensive nature of reproducing a hairless cat. So they looked elsewhere.

Charles Dharapak

In the process of hunting for kittens, both girls stumbled upon the website Kijiji.com, an online classified site. The price for a hairless kitten was about half of what others were asking for. It was a deal too good to resist.

Both women got in contact with the person responsible for the classified add and set up a pickup/drop off date to complete the transaction. They met in a nearby parking lot and paid cash for their new pet.

After receiving their new pets, both Shayla and Shaniya noticed bumps and cuts on their cats' skin, but, initially at least, didn't pay it much notice. After two weeks, though, it was evident something was terribly wrong with their kittens.

They brought their kittens to the vet. They were both utterly shocked when they were informed that the kittens' hair had likely been removed with a combination of a razor and the hair removal product, like Nair, which was causing the skin irritation.

Shayla and Shaniya were confused. But sure enough, soon after, hair started growing on the cats' skin! This should not happen to a true Sphynx, so the new cat owners realized what the breeder had really sold them.

hairless-cat-2
The Star

Unfortunately, it became clear that the online breeder was a scammer and that they purposefully shaved, by whatever means, these poor kittens to make them look like true hairless cats.

Scammers like this are quite skilled at their practice and commonly take advantage of people who don't know any better until it's far too late. While you're stuck wondering how you were duped, they're making off like bandits.

According to the Canada SPCA's community manager, Roland Lines, "Sphynx cats typically sell for more than $1,000 each. Because enough people are willing to meet in a parking lot to exchange money for animals, the counterfeiter can expect to get away with the deception."

Shayla and Shaniya have now turned their focus to warning others about the potential dangers of purchasing animals from unreliable online breeders. Not only is it a financial scam, but these cats were put in danger in an effort to pass them off as a true Sphynx.

Nevertheless, both women did plan to keep their cats despite being a breed they hadn't expected, as the animals were completely loving pets. The women were, however, quick to warn others of the troubles they may run into when purchasing pets online.

There are certainly several ways to be absolutely certain about the origins of a potential pet you're adopting. Chief among them is to adopt an animal from a shelter. That way, you get the exact animal you want, the shelter can screen you, and they get to give that furry friend a loving home — it's a win-win!

There are certainly several ways to be absolutely certain about the origins of a potential pet you're adopting. Chief among them is to adopt an animal from a shelter. That way, you get the exact animal you want, the shelter can screen you, and they get to give that furry friend a loving home — it's a win-win!

If a breeder is something you'd prefer, be sure to do your research first. Many breeders will allow you to visit their facility and meet with the potential parents first before placing your name on the waiting list for an animal. More so, they allow you to meet with your new pet prior to taking them home to be sure it's a good fit.

The two cats are well cared for and showered with love. Both Shayla and Shaniya have put this scam behind them to provide the best home for these fake kittens. And most importantly, the cats did not suffer permanent damage from having their coats removed.

The two cats are well cared for and showered with love. Both Shayla and Shaniya have put this scam behind them to provide the best home for these fake kittens. And most importantly, the cats did not suffer permanent damage from having their coats removed.

While these kitties' fur was thankfully growing back, another cat's fur was shockingly falling out. Though purebred Sphynx cats are highly sought-after, some prefer their felines with shiny, luscious coats; but sometimes you get what you get and you don't get upset.

Kitten Cuddle Room / YouTube

The cat caretaker had two cats up for grabs. Dasha liked one of the cuter kittens, but her mom preferred the other one—a scraggly little thing covered in patches of different-colored fur.

The cat caretaker had two cats up for grabs. Dasha liked one of the cuter kittens, but her mom preferred the other one—a scraggly little thing covered in patches of different-colored fur.

Dasha's mom opted to bring home her cat of choice, which the family eventually named Simina and whom they dubbed a "funny and disheveled tangle of energy." She was a scruffy-looking kitten, but still very cute. That is, until she started growing...

As Simina the cat grew older, she shed some hair in places she'd once had an abundance. The family, in a light-hearted sense, felt deceived. Their cat had grown out of her fuzziness and into something a little less, well... cute. And boy, was it bad!

Simina grew into such a strange-looking cat that Dasha's guests often asked if she'd found the animal in Chernobyl. They were referring, of course, to the infamous city that was abandoned after a meltdown at the nuclear power plant of the same name in 1986.

But in all seriousness, did Simina really look so disastrous that guests in Dasha's home genuinely mistook her for one of the mutated animals living on the site of a nuclear disaster? Well...

Over four years, Simina changed and changed, until fur only protruded in bunches from her underbelly like a bad woolen bedskirt. The rest of her coat was pretty much bald, save for a bit of peach fuzz.

For one, Simina loved ice cream! Apparently, she didn't mind the terrible stomachaches the dairy-based dessert was liable to give most felines; she, like a handful of other cats, couldn't get enough of it. But that wasn't even her strangest obsession...

Apparently, Simina also loved Hematogen, a Russian candy bar for children. With her excellent ears, she could hear someone unwrapping a bar on the other side of the apartment. Of course, once this happened, she'd run over for a bite!

On most nights, Dasha—now no longer a teenager—would sleep beside her warm, loving kitty, despite her odd looks. No one spent quite as much time with Simina as Dasha did—and for a good reason.

Simina at first didn't get along so well with the men of the household. Whenever she saw Dasha's younger brother, she hid, studying him and watching him. She only interacted with men after a great deal of caution.

Peculiar as Simina might have been, in a lot of ways, she was no different than your typical household tabby. She played with toys, was an avid cuddler, and of course, she ignored attempts to get her attention (unless you had a Hematogen)!

On top of that, Simina was dangerous in a way that only house cats could be. The family admitted she was cute and affectionate one moment, but in an instant, her mood would change and she'd lash out with sharp claws! All with a devious look on her face.

That said, caring for Simina did require a bit of additional work for the family. Dasha and her mother had to clean the cat twice per day and wipe gunk out of her eyes. Evidently, she was a dirty cat.

Because of all that dirt and gunk, people who didn't know Simina constantly asked if the unique cat came from Chernobyl—or they'd call her something from a nightmare. Those comments never changed how Dasha and her family felt about their cat, though!

The family just loved their strange and quirky cat. They loved the way she hunted flies with ruthless abandon. They loved the way she hid in the closet and blended in with old clothes. And Dasha even had a message to fellow cat-lovers out there...

Dasha wanted the world to know that just because Simina didn't have "a certain breed, a pedigree"—and let's face it, she wasn't exactly in the running for the most beautiful cat—didn't mean she was some kind of monster!

Dasha's message continued, and she admitted that it didn't matter what your cat looked like; you should love her like she's the most beautiful on the planet. Because, rest assured, your little feline will look at you that way!

While Dasha probably wasn't telling her friends she had the conventionally best-looking cat out there, at least she had plenty to say about the unique, loving sweetheart who loved to play and cuddle with her as only Simina could!

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