For this week’s Monday Miracle, we come to the curious case of Bilbo — or Skullcat Bilbo, to give him his full social media honorific.
As you’ll notice as soon as you see this striking white kitty who lives in South America, he’s missing his nose.
Yep, where most felines have a dainty little snoot, Bilbo has what looks like a mysterious black hole.
Here’s how his unique look came to be.
Bilbo’s story begins like many kitty rescue missions. He was found roaming the streets of Arapongas, an inland city of Paraná state, Brazil, when he was just a two-month-old kitten. According to Jessica Dias Aldo, he was small and malnourished and ran with a clowder of feline friends: “There were others with him, but he was the only one who survived the cruelty of abandonment and indifference by some people.”
That happened around five years ago, and Bilbo was settling into life in his forever home just fine — until earlier this year when he escaped and disappeared for a few hours, no doubt getting up to the usual sort of feline mischief.
“He was apparently normal when we found him,” recalls Jessica, “but on the following days he had a constant fever and stopped eating. We hospitalized him, but after four days the symptoms only got worse.”
Specifically, Bilbo’s nose began to swell up and take on a disturbingly dark color. It turned out he was suffering from a sort of necrosis and his body tissue was dying.
“It happened very quickly and there was nothing much to be done besides remove it,” says Jessica. “When the doctors did it, they found a serious fracture. For three weeks he only survived through force-feeding by the veterinarians, and every day I was afraid of getting bad news.”
Thankfully, Bilbo soon returned to eating normally and regained his strength. He was just lacking a nose.
As for the circumstances surrounding Bilbo’s mishap? Well, Jessica speculates that he may have been hit by a car — a theory backed up by the broken paw and tail he also suffered. But, she adds, it took around four days for his nose to begin to deteriorate. Peculiar, indeed.
Now that he’s recovered from his puzzling accident, Bilbo is back to being his normal self.
“He’s very active, loves to play and, of course, loves to eat,” says Jessica.
Then she adds, “I think this is what motivated me to make his profile on Instagram. Many people think that he’s suffering and they always ask me, “How does he live?” or “How does he breathe?” I’ve even found some people don’t even like to look at him.
“So I want to show that he may be different, but he’s still a cat with a completely normal life.”
Visit Bilbo’s Instagram account to check out his wonderful adventures in normalcy for yourself.
About Phillip Mlynar: The self-appointed world’s foremost expert on rappers’ cats. When not penning posts on rap music, he can be found building DIY cat towers for his adopted domestic shorthair, Mimosa, and collecting Le Creuset cookware (in red). He has also invented cat sushi, but it’s not quite what you think it is.