Elfie and Gimli are brother and sister. The tiny kitties live in British Columbia. Their diminutive size comes from the fact they were born with a form of dwarfism — although it hasn’t stopped them scaling the heights of Instagram stardom. Here’s how they did it.
“Elfie and Gimli were surrendered to a shelter at three months old along with their normally proportioned mother,” says the cats’ human. “The previous owner was concerned about their health and thought they may had been oxygen deprived at birth. I handled their surrender, and as soon as I saw them I just knew that they were special and unique.”
At that point, their human whisked the cats away on an initial foster basis — although barely a month later the situation turned into their forever home.
Asked to sum up Gimli’s personality, his human says, “He is super fearless and he has no idea he’s a bit different from normal kitties.
“He’s also super goofy and affectionate and is always looking for human attention.”
Compared with Gimli, Elfie is said to be “more cautious of the world around her.” She’s still a “frisky and playful girl,” though, and she absolutely adores her brother. As their human testifies, “Elfie and Gimli are very bonded to one another, and if you find one of them, you usually find the other.”
Both cats are afflicted with dwarfism, so Elfie and Gimli have each developed concomitant medical issues. They’re on a course of medication to battle hypothyroidism, and Elfie also takes extra medication to ward off a seizure disorder.
But when it comes to day-to-day cat business, Elfie and Gimli’s dwarfism doesn’t seem to cause them too much hassle. As their human says, “We have a lot of pet stairs around our house, as Elfie can’t jump or climb, but other than that they live pretty normal kitty lives.”
At first, you might assume that Elfie and Gimli are munchkin cats specifically bred to be squat and small. That’s definitely not the case, though. As their human explains, “Elfie and Gimli were born to a stray mom and an unknown dad; their dwarfism is caused by a genetic mutation, just like in people.”
“We do not promote the breeding of munchkin cats who have numerous health issues and shortened lifespans,” she rightly adds. “Instead, we urge people to look in their local shelters for their new best friend.”
If you check out Elfie and Gimli’s Instagram account, you’ll notice that these two kitties love to play fight with each other. When it comes to their individual battle tactics, Elfie is said to be “big on tackling,” while Gimli plumps for the honorable “let’s paw at each other from opposite sides of a door” tactic.
The cats’ human adds, “They both love to chase as well, and you can hear them flying around chasing one another at all hours of the night.”
Recently, Gimli discovered his reflection in the top of the coffee table. Hilarity ensued and was captured by Instagram video for posterity. (Seriously, you’re doing the cat world a disservice if you don’t watch it.)
Since then, our little champion has also discovered the alternate universe of mirrors.
“He’s convinced there’s a potential friend in there,” says his human, “and if he stares at it long enough, something exciting will happen …”
Follow along with Elfie and Gimli’s adventures over at Instagram.