The tale of an injured cat with a striking resemblance to a popular "Star Wars" character has taken a strange turn.
The uplifting tale went awry when the cat dubbed Baby Yoda Cat (also known as Joy) was inexplicably released from Humane Society of Rowan County NC. As the group explained on its Facebook page:
"Update: It is with heavy hearts that we announce that Joy is no longer in our care. Joy was released without our knowledge or consent to a person claiming ownership."
The adorable feline was found by a woman in Kannapolis, North Carolina, and brought to Cabarrus Animal Hospital on Dec. 15.
Her foster mom, Jana Aviles, is a huge "Star Wars" fan and quickly noticed the cat's resemblance to Baby Yoda from "The Mandalorian," the new hit on Disney+.
And with that, Baby Yoda Cat was born.
Baby Yoda is a key character in 'The Mandalorian,' which is streaming exclusively on Disney+. (Photo: Disney)
It didn't take long for pictures of the rescued cat to go viral on social media, leading to the launch of Baby Yoda Cat's fan page on Facebook, which was quickly shut down after news of the cat's new situation spread.
"We wish we could provide more details but are unable to at this time," reads the Humane Society page. "We pray that Joy, still with unhealed wounds and not fully recovered, will be given proper medical care and make a full recovery. We hope to update you all in the future in regard to Joy."
The power of a movie
For Disney, the character of Baby Yoda has been a revelation. The popularity of "The Mandalorian" and its most admired star has lead to countless memes, a waitlist for Baby Yoda toys and massive ratings for the new Disney+ streaming service.
That popularity led many people to inquire about adopting Baby Yoda Cat and to understand what she would need in a forever home.
Baby Yoda Cat was under medical supervision — care that she still needs. She had been treated for a deep wound around her neck, as well as an upper respiratory infection. She also arrived with slight hair loss due to previous wounds, fleas and intestinal parasites.
Before her unplanned departure, Aviles and Cabarrus Animal Hospital had hoped Baby Yoda Cat could become "a spokes kitty for all of the homeless animals around the world that are being euthanized in animal shelters due to lack of homes."
We'll watch for updates on this special kitty. In the meantime, may the force be with you, Baby Yoda Cat!
Editor's note: This story has been updated since it was published in December 2019.