Sansa, a snowy white rescued cat living in NYC, isn’t your average feline. The cat’s unique look stems from heterochromia, a rare condition that lends her two different eyes colors. But Sansa’s bi-colored eyes aren’t her only unique feature. This pretty girl is also polydactyly, meaning she has an extra toe on both front paws.
These unique characteristics don’t just make Sansa special; they’ve also made her famous. Now the 6-year-old cat possesses a larger social media following than most humans, with more than 22,000 Instagram followers – and counting.
But this rescued cat hasn’t always had such poise and charisma, according to her owner Karen. When the special needs teacher first met Sansa at a Manhattan adoption event, the shy, frightened feline had to be coaxed out of hiding.
“Sansa was the only cat who was hiding and whose face we couldn’t see,” Karen told Gwen Cooper, recalling how anxious cat had been left at the shelter by her previous owners. “Her write-up stated that she had recently been abandoned by the only family she had ever known, and was suffering from anxiety and heartbreak.”
Even so, Karen felt herself drawn to the heartbroken cat, who – on top of everything else –also suffered from a seizure disorder. “Even though the other cats at the event were extremely friendly and affectionate and Sansa was the complete opposite, I really wanted to interact with her,” the teacher recalled. “I fell in love with her immediately.”
Karen and her husband, Jack, adopted Sansa that day and — within months — the frightened cat was beginning to blossom in her new home. As the rescued cat’s confidence grew, her anxiety also ebbed. Now Sansa is a sweet, playful, and affectionate gal who is smitten with her adoptive family and clearly loving her new life.
“She has really come out of her shell and has become an extremely loving and social cat,” Karen said. “She sits on our lap on the couch every day and sleeps on the bed with us every night. She seems to know whenever Jack or I aren’t feeling well, and will stay right by our sides. She is the most caring and loving cat I’ve ever met!”
Most importantly, Sansa’s new family loves their pet exactly how she is – extra toes, seizures, and all. “I love her huge personality,” said Karen, who has never regretted bringing Sansa home. “I love how unique she is with her gorgeous eyes and polydactyl paws,” she said. “I love how playful and mischievous she is, just like any ‘normal’ cat.”
J. Swanson is a writer, traveler, and animal-enthusiast based in Seattle, an appropriately pet-crazed city where dog or cat ownership even outweighs the number of kids. When the weather permits, she likes to get outside and explore the rest of the Pacific Northwest, always with a coffee in hand.
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