cat

Man Adopts All-Black Little Kitten. 7 Years Later, His Fur Begins To Change

by Laura Caseley
Laura is a writer, illustrator, and artist living in New York City.

When David first took Scrappy home way back in 1997, he had no idea that his cat would undergo a transformation that would, in his words, make him look like a “Nordic god.” Back then, he was just a cute, feisty black cat with lots of personality.

“Scrappy was sitting on his own,” David recalls, “and though he was cute, we didn’t think others would regard him to be as cute as his siblings.”

And while it sounds weird, it’s true that black cats are adopted at lower rates than other cats thanks to old superstitions. “I made the decision to take Scrappy as I knew he would be the last one taken, if at all,” David says.

Scrappy settled into his new home in London and immediately started living up to his name, bouncing around and clawing up David’s legs, but David was fine with it, and fell right in love with his new kitty.

Scrappy liked spending time outdoors, playing with his toys, and watching the world go by out the window.

But when Scrappy turned 7, David started to notice that his all-black coat was beginning to change, and that white patches, like frost on a morning lawn, were beginning to appear.

It turns out that Scrappy has vitiligo, a skin condition characterized by the loss of pigment in patches, leading to white or colorless areas of skin and hair. It can affect humans as well as animals.

Over the years, Scrappy went from a coal-black kitty to one that looks like he’s caked in ice, giving him the appearance of some mythical creature from the grim and frostbitten North. His unusual appearance also garnered him some fans.

[H/T: BoredPanda, 2; MeowBox]

Meet Scrappy.

He’s gained quite the following online thanks to his unusually patterned coat, which makes it look like he’s covered in snow and ice, and gives him the appearance, says his human David, of a “Nordic god.”

Scrappy’s striking black-and-white pattern is actually due to vitiligo, which first appeared when the cat was 7 years old.

A progressive condition, the white patches spread over the years, making him look increasingly covered in frost — and increasingly intense.

Today, Scrappy is an impressive 19 and still going strong.

Here’s how Scrappy looked at age 5, two years before the vitiligo began to manifest. At this point, he was just a black cat, and David adopted him out of fear that no one else would.

As silly as it sounds, black cats are less likely to be adopted thanks to the old superstition about black cats being “bad luck.” Of course, that’s nonsense, and luckily for Scrappy, he found a great forever home.

Today, his advanced age isn’t slowing him down at all. He still likes to be the neighborhood tough guy, and his new look really only amplifies his status.

“I guess you could say he rules the street and every other cat stays away,” David says. “We named him Scrappy because he picks scraps with other cats.”

However, for all his toughness and for looking like a son of northern darkness, David says Scrappy is nothing but loving and affectionate toward him. Sometimes he can be grumpy, but David chalks that up to his age.

Scrappy also had to adjust to some new kittens. “At first he was very hissy with the new kittens that came into his home, but has improved a lot over a month,” David says. “He used to hiss and swat for them to move out of his way and now he barely does that, even sharing his food and space with the kittens.”

He also likes spending time outside, lazing in the sun. While he might look wintry, he definitely likes to soak up some rays!

“He’s also a very vocal cat,” David says. “When Scrappy isn’t sleeping or eating, he can be heard meowing loudly because he wants to eat or go outside.”

He’s staked out a green tarp as a favorite napping spot in the yard.

And he won’t say no to a few belly rubs, either.

After sharing nearly 20 years with Scrappy, David encourages people not to overlook black cats: “With Scrappy technically being a black cat, I can vouch that black cats are fun, beautiful, wise-looking, energetic, affectionate, and loving, mysterious yet charming, and are definitely good-luck charms, like Scrappy is for me.”

Scrappy’s beautiful coat and big personality have garnered him quite a few fans on Facebook and Instagram, where you can follow his daily adventures.

SHARE Scrappy’s story if you think this cat is just beautiful!