A few years ago, when Nicole Böhm rescued a pair of black-and-white kitten siblings living on a dirty farm in Germany, she had no idea that one of the cats would eventually go on to ditch her traditional look for one a bit more interesting.
But that’s exactly what Elli did.
“She had a tuxedo coat like her sister. Nothing unusual,” Böhm told The Dodo. “The changing began about one year after birth.”
One day, Böhm noticed something strange on Elli’s coat. There, where her fur was once solid black, a few flecks of white hair had appeared.
“It was just a little white spot on her back,” Böhm said. “I didn’t know why, so I took her to the vet.”
Turns out, Elli was diagnosed as having vitiligo — a rare condition which causes a loss of pigmentation, leading to white patches of skin and hair. Though it’s sometimes linked to other medical issues, Elli was otherwise totally healthy.
But what began as a few patches of white on Elli’s body soon increased into something uniquely beautiful.
In the weeks and months that followed, Böhm watched as the black portions of Elli’s coat slowly began transforming to white.
“I was surprised,” she said. “I’m still surprised.”
Elli’s appearance just kept changing …
… and changing.
Despite undergoing a dramatic physical transformation, however, Elli’s sweet nature remained unchanged.
“Her personality is the same as ever. It doesn’t matter to her,” Böhm said. “She is as cute and lovely and as playful as the first day.”
Elli’s sister, whose coat hasn’t changed at all, still treats her exactly the same as always.
What matters most, of course, is that Elli is healthy and happy. Her special look just makes her all the more lovable — and it hasn’t slowed yet.
Böhm said Elli’s fur continues to whiten, but she suspects that some black markings, like those on her face, will remain.
Looking back, though, it’s clear that she’s already come a long way.
For Böhm, seeing her rescued cat’s adorable transformation has made sharing a life with her all the more delightful.
“Her changing still goes on every day, and I love her more and more,” she said.