She looks a lot like the werewolf in Michael Jackson’s Thriller video, but Moony Strangecat of Longueuil, Québec, isn’t isn’t exactly a midnight beast about to strike. Unlike her 1980s MTV doppelganger, Moony is actually as sweet as can be, despite being dumped by her first family.
“She loves humans,” says her person, Luc Michaud, an apartment building caretaker who found Moony abandoned on his doorstep one cold morning in March 2014.
“It was not the first time someone dropped a cat at my place,” says Michaud, who found new homes for all the kitties previously dumped at his door. He’d shared his own home with a cat before, but after his last feline companion passed away four years ago, Michaud didn’t want to give his heart to another cat — until that cold day when Moony appeared.
“As my girlfriend opened the door, there was a carrying box — you know those, the plastic ones with a handle and grids — and inside was a terrified cat, about five or six months old,” Michaud recalls.
“At first I said to myself, ‘Oh no, not again,’ but when I saw that little hairball I fell in love. She just had been washed, brushed, and perfumed. I’ll never understand why, but I think the person who left her there knew that I could not resist.”
“At first I gave her the name of Minou,” says Michaud. The name means “kitty” in French, but soon Michaud decided another moniker was more fitting. With her yellow eyes and excessive facial hair, his new kitty looked more like a Moony than an Minou.
“One morning as I was sleeping, she wants me to wake up. So she put all those hairs and whiskers in my face to tickle me. I pushed and said, ‘Stop, Moony,’ and I started to laugh,” Michaud remembers. “Moony was her name, and because of her werecat look it fits perfectly.”
Moony’s extralong face fur may be good for tickling her human, but it also means she needs some extra help in the grooming department.
“I have to clean, brush, groom, and trim every day, because it’s going in her eyes, mouth, and nose, causing infections to her eyes,” says Michaud, who says the extra long hairs can also make Moony sneeze if they’re not clipped.
“I also have to clean her eyes and put drops in every day because of all those hairs!”
At first, Michaud was stumped about why his new kitty had such a werewolfish appearance. He knew she was a Persian, but thought perhaps she was some kind of sub-breed he’d never heard of.
Eventually, Michaud caught a TV news report featuring another cat with a similar look, and finally knew that Moony wasn’t the only kitty around with this condition. It turned out Moony’s excessive facial hair was caused by hypertrichosis, a symptom of a hormonal imbalance.
He took to the Internet to reach out to people whose cats had similar conditions. Michaud didn’t have a Facebook account of his own, so he started one just for Moony in February 2015, and soon Moony was attracting plenty of human fans. It’s not hard to see why Moony’s fans are just as in love with her as her own human is.
“She has a way to look at you sometimes — without moving the head, just her big yellow eyes — that makes her looks like an owl. It’s very weird,” says Michaud. “She also follows every noise with her hairy ears; it’s totally unreal.”
Moony’s hairy eyes and ears aren’t the only parts of her impacted by her hormonal imbalance.
“She also has dog-like claws, and her back teeth are smaller than usual.”
Moony’s veterinarian is very concerned about those deformed claws, as they’re growing in such a way that could easily lead to infections. And recently, another scary health problem led her to go under the knife. The emergency surgery wasn’t something Michaud had been expecting.
It all started when he noticed how Moony would quickly run out of breath when she ran around, and he made an appointment to take her to the vet. Unfortunately, Moony developed a fever before her appointment date, and so her human rushed her to the emergency animal hospital.
At first, the veterinarian suspected an intestinal issue, but after Moony was hooked up to intravenous medicine and booked into the hospital for the night, the medical staff confirmed a bacterial infection in her uterus was to blame. She was rushed into surgery first thing the next morning.
It was a scary time for Michaud, but his fears were eased when the vet called him, laughing. It turned out Moony had woken just as the vet picked up the phone, and was making funny faces at him as she came out of sedation. When Michaud heard that his adorable cat was up to her old tricks already, he was immediately revealed.
“Moony was a real star at the hospital,” he explains. “All the staff took selfies with her.”
Moony is busy recovering and is loving all the extra attention she’s getting from humans, which is good because she doesn’t have many cat friends. Moony is actually frightened of other cats, and they are scared of her as well.
She may not make a good first impression on other kitties, but Moony sure made a good impression on Michaud. Although the cat lover doesn’t know where Moony came from, or why someone would abandon such an adorable cat, he says it’s clear they picked the right doorstep. He doesn’t mind that she’s high maintenance, as long as he can keep her healthy.
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About the author: Heather Marcoux is a freelance writer in Alberta, Canada. Her beloved Ghost Cat was once her only animal, but Specter the kitten,GhostBuster the Lab and her newest dog, Marshmallow, make her fur family complete. Heather is also a wife, a bad cook and a former TV journalist. Some of her friends have hidden her feed because of an excess of cat pictures. If you don’t mind cat pictures, you can follow her on Twitter; she also posts pet GIFs on Google +.