But this woman found herself in a strange situation when she rescued two cats. One of the cats seemed to have an odd look as it grew up. Then, she had an idea to shine a UV light on the cat's fur. What she found shocked her.
Nicole Bohm from Germany is an animal lover. So, when she saw two thin and dirty stray kittens in an old barn, she could not help but to give them a place to stay. She knew she could not just pass by and ignore the fact that the kittens were there and needed help.
Nicole immediately decided to take the kittens to her house, where she lived with her husband. She felt that it was fate that she had passed by the barn that day. She had no idea at that time just what she had invited into her own home.
Meet Elli and Rosie
As expected, the kittens were not in good shape. When Nicole got home, she gave them a bath and found that they had ear mites. From their scrappy fur, it seems like they have been in the barn for a couple of weeks.
Nicole fed them after and the kittens ate with much gusto. They were clearly starving and grateful for the meal. It did not take long for Nicole to fall in love with them. She immediately named them Rosie and Elli.
Nursing the kittens
The very next day, Nicole took the kittens to the vet. The kittens were de-wormed and had their shots. Treatment was administered for the ear mites. And a high-calorie diet was prescribed so that the skinny kittens will gain weight.
Nicole was determined to nurse the kittens back to good health. Under Nicole's care, the kittens started to improve and they began to gain weight. She was happy with the vet's prescriptions but she was also not aware that the vet had missed something.
As the kittens grew, they doubled in size. Soon enough, the kittens became very active and playful. They started going through the stuff in the house and Nicole made sure she put away anything that could be harmful to them.
Nicole was very careful with the kittens. She made sure all kitchen cabinets and the bathroom door stays closed at all times. But no matter how careful she was, she did not notice that there was something strange happening with Elli until it was too late.
A few months had passed and it was easy to tell that the kittens thrived under Nicole's love and care. They were healthier, gained weight, and had the softest fur. The mites were gone and Nicole was free to give them lots of hugs and kisses.
It was clear to see that Nicole had given a lot of effort to raise the kittens. Their green eyes were now beautiful and more expressive. The cats started to move around comfortably around the house. However, Nicole was still not able to notice Elli's secret.
Nicole was starting to see how different Elli and Rosie are. Rosie was the well-behaved one who loved to take naps all the time. Elli was naughtier, always running around and ripping up everything she could find.
No matter how different the two kittens were, Nicole loved them equally. She was very pleased about their progress. There were no regrets about the impulse decision to adopt them. She could not imagine living in a world without them at this point.
A closer look at Elli
One day, Nicole had a closer look at Eli and noticed something strange. The day started just like any ordinary day. Rosie was on the corner taking a nap while Elli had been going around the house, ready to wreak havoc.
Soon enough, Elli grew tired and decided to rest on Nicole's lap. She fell asleep right away, purring contently as Nicole stroked her fur. Nicole was appreciating the markings on Eli's fur when she noticed something.
A new mark
Nicole noticed a strange marking on Elli. It was hard to notice right away but it looked like she had a patch around her eye. It was a white ring. Nicole felt bothered because she was pretty sure that the mark was not there before.
Nicole did not mind at first but then she started to feel uneasy. She was sure none of the kittens had white patches by their eyes when she brought them home. She eventually called over her husband, Hans, and asked him to take a look at it.
Taking a closer look
Hans took a closer look at Elli's fur. Nicole moved the fur aside on the spot so that he could see it. Hans was unable to see the patch. Knowing how much Nicole cared for the cats, Hans had an idea.
He soon came back with a UV light that he used to look for scorpions when they were out for a hike. Nicole was confused at first. But when Hans turned it on and shone it on Elli, her eyes widened.
Elli's skin was practically glowing under the UV light. The light showed a lot of swirling patterns on her skin, including the white patch around the eye that Nicole detected earlier. What could this mean?
Hans then brought the UV light over to Rosie to see if she had the same markings. They found that it was not the same for Rosie. What did these markings mean and why can they only be seen under a UV light?
A long sleepless night
It was too late to take Elli to the vet at that time so Nicole had to wait till morning the next day to have her checked. She had given the kittens all her love and it would hurt if something would happen to any one of them.
Nicole could not stop worrying about Elli. She recalled reading about how discoloration in a cat's fur was one of the signs of a health issue or deficiency. It was a long, sleepless night for her.
Trip to the vet
Nicole took out the travel crate and rounded up Elli first thing in the morning. Elli was clearly not happy when she saw the crate. Elli knew that it meant only one thing – she was going to the vet.
Nicole made sure she had copies of Elli's pictures on the phone in case the vet needed comparisons. Upon seeing Elli's old pictures, Nicole knew she was right that the white patch of fur by Elli's eyes was not there before.
The vet listened to Nicole's concerns and examined Elli. The vet did not seem alarmed while Nicole told him the situation, which comforted Nicole. Maybe it was nothing serious. Nevertheless, the vet ran some tests just to be sure.
The vet took a skin scraping from Elli and looked at it under a microscope. He then told Nicole not to worry – Elli had a ringworm infection. The spiral markings that they saw under the UV light were most likely marks made by the ringworm.
Ringworms in cats
The vet then continued to explain that this is a common fungal infection. He assured Nicole that she should not worry since this was not a major issue – and it is very common in rescued cats.
Most cats do not develop any obvious symptoms when they get it. The ringworm's patterns can be detected under UV light because of skin inflammation. The vet prescribed medication for the ringworm.
A mystery remains
However, a ringworm would not cause discoloration in the fur. There had to be a separate reason for that. The vet said that more tests needed to be done to determine why Elli's fur was turning white. The vet ordered a skin biopsy to be done.
Nicole suspected that maybe Elli's discoloration was caused by stress. After all, Elli was very hyper and often had the need to tear things up in the house. The vet suspected that there was more to this than what meets the eye.
They had to wait a while before they could get the results of the skin biopsy test. Nicole was starting to feel anxious. Elli had started to grow more white fur all over her body. The cat looked totally different now.
When the test results of the skin biopsy were ready one week later, the vet's eyes widened. He was surprised. He immediately gave Nicole a call. It turned out that Elli had a rare condition called vitiligo.
This is a long-term condition and it is extremely rare. Vitiligo shows itself as patches of white hair that spreads all over the body. This is caused by the loss of skin pigmentation. Vitiligo comes with other complications such as autoimmune disease and this concerned Nicole.
Vitiligo can also happen to people. In fact, Michael Jackson had the same case. It can happen to all skin types but is more noticeable for those who are dark-skinned. For now, there are no treatments for vitiligo to go away permanently. All that doctors can strive to do is to try to bring back color in the affected areas.
Thankfully, the pigmentation disorder Elli had did not have some major effects on her health, as far as Nicole and the vet could tell. She also seems to be blissfully aware of the changes that were taking place.
Two years had passed since the diagnosis and Elli remained to be in excellent health. Over this period, her transportation progressed quickly. Most of her black fur had turned to white.
Nicole was amazed by the changes Elli was going through that she decided to document them. Nicole set up an Instagram and Facebook account dedicated to Elli. Soon enough, Elli became an online sensation and Nicole took the chance to spread awareness about vitiligo.
By then, the black and white tuxedo coat fur markings that Elli was born with soon turned to white with flecks of black and gray patches. A lot of people were amazed by Elli's changes, regarding them as a beautiful metamorphosis.
Celebrity cat brings comfort
Elli was oblivious to how famous she is of course. She still remained as playful and sweet as she has always been. She was a very unique, beautiful cat and a lot of people found her adorable.
With her fame, Elli soon became a spokesperson and inspiration for humans who were struggling with vertigo too. A lot of followers on the comment sections have expressed their admiration for the cat and how they also have struggled with vitiligo. Soon, her social media accounts turned into a community of comfort.
The change continues
Nicole shared that Elli's fur continues to change up to this time. Nicole records every transformation in photographs and shares them with the world through Instagram. By now, she looks totally different from her sister, Rosie.
The day Nicole welcomed two kittens into her home, she had no idea that she would end up with a cat that has a unique condition. Through Elli, Nicole helps people realize that being different and unique can be beautiful.