On July 9, Mick and Bethany Szydlowski left their home in Omaha, Neb., to pick up an autoharp they’d seen advertised on Craigslist, but they came home with YouTube’s next famous feline.
When the Szydlowskis arrived at the seller’s house, he didn’t just show them the instrument — he introduced them to a tiny blind kitten, the last of the litter. The seller said that if no one adopted him, the cat would either stay on the farm a little while longer — where he’d likely become prey — or he’d be taken to an animal shelter. But after Bethany held the kitten in her arms, she knew she’d be taking home more than just an autoharp.
The Szydlowskis took the kitten — who was born without fully formed eyeballs — home to meet their rescue cat, Klaus, and dubbed the little guy Oskar. They worried because Klaus had never been receptive to other cats, but to their relief, the older cat accepted the kitten within a matter of days and began taking care of him. Today, Oskar and Klaus, a stray with a damaged ear, are inseparable. The Szydlowskis even say the two have a “feline bromance” going on.
Although Oskar’s new parents worried that his disability would make it difficult for him to live a normal feline life — that he’d walk into walls or be unable to find his litter box — the kitten quickly proved them wrong. Within a week, Oskar knew the layout of the house and had no trouble finding his food bowl or his litter box. And just like any other kitten, Oskar enjoys playing with his toys. The Szydlowskis bought him toy balls with bells, so while the little guy might not be able to see his toys, he can easily hear them.
“What really blew us away is that from day one, his other senses really took over, which you can see in the video of him with his toys,” Mick said in an interview.