A woman was walking outside one day, a few years ago in 2016, when she heard a familiar thin, whining sound coming from a nearby dumpster. Horrified her instincts were right, she walked up to the dumpster and peered inside.
She couldn’t believe what she found; a little calico kitten so young that its tiny eyes hadn’t even opened yet.
The mother was nowhere to be found and so the woman could only assume that it had been orphaned. The poor thing looked like he was only a few days old.
From the looks of it, this sweet little kitten had been having a rough go at life up to that point.
The calico was already suffering from some severe medical issues; a broken leg and gangrene in one paw.
Little did the woman know she was meant to play guardian angel that day as she had fostered stray and injured animals before, and she knew exactly how to help the tiny kitten. After bottle-feeding her every day eventually she began showing signs of health.
Unfortunately, her paw was far too gone to try and save, and so it was surgically removed right away before the kitten had ever opened its eyes. The beautiful calico is a survivor though and kept on fighting for her life.
Her strong will to survive earned her the name Martyr from her adoring rescuer and she was determined to help her make it through those first few critical weeks.
As anyone would expect when bottle-feeding any young creature, a strong bond began to form between the Good Samaritan woman and the sweet little calico survivor.
She had been taking care of the kitten for long enough that it managed to creep its way right into her heart and the woman got to the point where she couldn’t even think of letting her precious dumpster kitty go home with anyone else.
With that in mind, the woman had decided to adopt the kitten into her own family.
As time passed and Martyr became more and more at ease with her new loving, attentive mama, the kitten began to settle into her own personality and was always keeping her forever human on her toes.
One day Martyr surprised her human in the biggest of ways, though; she wasn’t even a girl at all!
Instead, it turned out that this sweet kitten who was once tossed aside like garbage was actually a male calico, one of the rarest breeds of cats in the whole world!
Apparently, the odds of finding a healthy, viable male calico kitten are highly unlikely, with the average statistic hovering right around 1 in every 3,000!
If that still doesn’t put it into perspective, consider that Andrea Berger, an animal health blogger with LoveMeow and a seasoned vet with over a decade of experience under her belt, has never come across a male calico herself, even with the thousands of animals she has tended to over the years.
“It’s like a unicorn! I’ve been involved with shelters for 10 years, and I have never seen one,” she explains.
Whether or not a male cat will turn out to be a true Calico all comes down to basic genetics.
Essentially, female calicos are the most common because the gene that determines a cat’s color all lies within the X chromosome. Now, females carry two X chromosomes as a rule, and so if one of those chromosomes are programmed to be orange and the other black, you have yourself a calico. Conversely, male cats generally only come with one X chromosome and one Y chromosome, so whatever color their “X” is programmed to be, orange or black, is the color they will be.
According to the Mother Nature Network:
“Because the X chromosome is responsible for both orange and black fur, female cats display both colors because they have 2 X chromosomes. But males, having only one X chromosomes, can be either orange or black.”
The world likes to throw one-off genetic coding into the mix on occasion, however, and in Martyr’s case, his XY pairing of chromosomes didn’t undergo a complete division process, ultimately leaving him with the unbelievably rare pairing of XXY chromosomes. Clearly, each X was carrying opposite color variations (one black and one orange) which produced the effect of calico patterning in the sweet kitten.
After finding out that Martyr was a true “diamond in the rough”, his rescuer’s niece uploaded the photo to Imgur to show the world what happens to kind people who do good things for others.
While everyone was beside themselves with gratitude for the compassion and kindness this woman went out of her way to show the kitten, none of them could believe that she had actually just managed to stumble onto a male calico.
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After all, she did basically just won the kitty lottery!
This rejected, helpless, and abandoned kitten hit his own lottery too, though, when his human found him balled up in the dumpster and decided she was going to do everything in her power to help him survive.
It would seem that they are both two of the luckiest creatures on the planet, and we are so glad they shared their story!
H/T: Animal Channel