Pinocchio the cat goes viral on Instagram for perfectly imperfect face

Los Angeles, California - In Pinocchio the cat was born in California with a genetic defect that gave him a seriously deformed face. Now, Pinocchio has gone crazy viral on Instagram.

Pinocchio the cat was born with a rare genetic defect.
Pinocchio the cat was born with a rare genetic defect.  © Collage: Screenshots/Instagram/@mellamprey

In 2020, little Pinocchio was born with a unique face. As Love Meow reported in June, when Pinocchio was three months old he was the size of a kitten just five to six weeks old.

His owner, an elderly lady, was unable to care for the kitten's needs and called a local animal rescue organization, Friends for Life Rescue Network, for help. A veterinarian diagnosed the four-legged friend with a congenital genetic defect that, among other things, caused his jaw to be misaligned.

Pinocchio was also dehydrated, malnourished, and covered in fleas when he was rescued, but after only a short time in care, his condition improved visibly.

Pinocchio the cat still can't be adopted

At a young age, Pinocchio the cat had many health problems.
At a young age, Pinocchio the cat had many health problems.  © Collage: Screenshots/Instagram/@pinocchioswish

Pinocchio quickly made friends with people he met. "He runs up to anyone who enters the room and climbs up to their shoulder to perch," Jacqueline Santiago of Friends for Life Rescue Network told The Dodo. "He rubs on you, loves to play and bounces around. He's a really happy guy who loves everyone — other people, other cats and dogs."

While Pinocchio the cat appeared well cared for on the outside, the vet found more problems during medical examinations. In one case, an umbilical hernia had to be repaired with surgery, in another, his sternum had to be repositioned.

It is not clear what other problems Pinocchio might have, the four-legged friend is not available for adoption at this time. It may be possible, though, for the cat to move into a loving family when he reaches adulthood.

If all goes well, Pinocchio the cat may be up for adoption in a few short months. Sadly, though, there is still a possibility that he may stay forever in the hands of his loving and skilled caretaker.

Cover photo: Collage: Screenshots/Instagram/@mellamprey

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