Meet Merlin: he is currently taken over the internet – but his face is nothing short of angelic. With milky bluish eyes and luxurious dark gray fur, this kitty looks like a plush toy.
Merlin rose to internet fame thanks to his human parents Nathanial Green and Elliot Green, two visual artists that curated a visually stunning Instagram page dedicated to their beautiful pet, which has amassed 28k followers.
The Greens first laid eyes on Merlin in 2017 at the Lynchburg Humane Society on their “Free Cat Friday.” And while it was love at first sight, Elliot said that Merlin hadn’t been his first choice. “It actually was my coworker that convinced me to go in–she had just adopted a beautiful kitten from there. Browsing through the site, Nathanial and I had our hearts set on a Siamese kitten, but by the time I got off work, they were all either on hold or already adopted.”
Not to be discouraged the couple continued their search. “The lady who had shown us around eventually noticed us indecisively meandering; she stopped to tell us that she had a favorite, but that he had some issues and was sick. She took us to the medical wing to show us this little kitten who was recovering from a head cold. When I was first told that he was blind, I was a bit worried. As a full-time student also working two jobs, I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to provide Merlin with the attention he needed. As soon as I got to hold him, I think it was pretty obvious that he was perfect.”
The Greens couldn’t be happier that they found Merlin, “He’s an affectionate cat that loves being acknowledged and held. He’s never destructive or petty, either,” said Elliot, “Because he was born blind, he really has no concept of fear and so he’ll attempt to jump off of pretty high places. He doesn’t hide or avoid people–he’ll run up to the door to meet us and climb all over guests sitting on the couch. His preferred place is on someone’s lap.”
That’s right this loving ball of fur can’t get enough of his human dads. “Anytime we sit on the couch or the bed, he jumps up and is ready to be cuddled. He loves having his face and ears scratched; we aren’t quite sure why, but he loves having the areas around his eyes massaged. If someone puts their hands up to his eyes or nose, he’ll usually awkwardly press into it as if he’s trying to push them away, but it’s his way of feeling loved,” said his other dad Nathanial
Looking at Merlin you can’t help but notice his unique features, that’s because he is a rare mixed breed of a Munchkin and a Persian cat, called a Napoleon. “It’s a pretty new breed–by new I mean 20 to 22 years,” explained his owner, “Napoleons are pretty small, but they’re able to move around as easily as normal sized cats. For the most part, they inherit the Persian’s physical characteristics.”
Merlin’s milky white-walker style eyes, however, are not a characteristic of his breed but due to his blindness. But even with his poor vision, his dad said this handsome guy still lives a full life. “Honestly, we forget that he has trouble seeing. When we first moved to our apartment, he definitely had trouble navigating, but he learns quickly and really knows how to own the space. His greatest recurring struggle is from our coffee table’s glass edges: Every now and then, he’ll jump or walk into it, but we think he’s learned. All he really cares about is where the food is and how far away it is from his dads.”
While his blindness hasn’t been an issue, Merlin did suffer from some other health issues, “For a while, he was having seizures, and we really couldn’t figure out why,” recalled Elliot, “Through some research and trying out alternatives, we learned that his food was causing it. We removed wheat from his diet, and he’s been perfectly content since then.”