Cat's striking "Phantom of the Opurra" look leaves TikTok users stunned
California - This one-of-a-king cat is causing quite a stir online, but the only thing more amazing that his look is the story behind it!
In a TikTok video, Ashfur's owner Erin said that she hadn't gone looking for a cat. Instead, "He found us."
Ashfur "climbed out of a bush at [her] ex's house, when he was just about 6 or 8 weeks old."
When he came into Erin's life, the kitten was completely black.
After finding his way into her home and heart, this little fuzzball's face slowly started changing. Some of the fur fell off and half of Ashfur's face turned white, as if he had put on a mask.
It turns out this was caused by something called a fever coat, which is what can happen to a kitten when a mama cat either has a very stressful pregnancy or a high fever. That can end up leading to vitiligo, which means the loss of natural pigment in skin or hair.
Erin says his condition will cause Ashfur's coat color to change again. In fact, there's a chance he will turn snow-white at some point!
The cat's unique look made him into an internet star
Erin's love of cats and Ashfur's dramatic look inspired her Tiktok and Instagram handle: Phantom of the Opurra.
The reference is, of course, the masked Phantom from Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical The Phantom of the Opera.
For those unfamiliar with the show, it features a mysterious figure wearing a white mask that dwells in the catacombs beneath a Paris opera house. He terrorizes and seeks to influence the opera above.
TikTok users agree the similarity is striking, and a viral video of Ashfur turning to the camera while the Phantom of the Opera tune plays blew up for some 2.1 million views!
Despite the Phantom looks, this puss is definitely more adorable than scary.
Cover photo: TikTok Screenshot/phantomoftheopurra