Sometimes looks can be deceiving. Some pets have genetic abnormalities that make them appear to have a certain “mood” at all times, whether or not that’s really how they feel: the forever-annoyed-looking Grumpy Cat is one famous example.
Sushi was adopted by his owner Larissa Yamaguchi in 2016 when he was just a kitten, found on the street after reportedly being thrown out into a street flood by a cruel owner.
While his genetic condition wasn’t known at the time, Larissa could tell he had a “different face,” but fell in love anyway.
“I knew I wanted him straight away,” she told Daily Mail.
But over the years, Sushi’s condition became more apparent, and Larissa spent four years trying to diagnose her pet cat. Sushi had sensitive, drooping skin, but no vets or medication could help.
“We believed that he was just getting fat,” Larissa told Meow As Fluff. “Then we realized his whole body had flexible skin.”
“He went through this big infection in 2018 that made him lose part of his neck skin,” she added. “It was very scary… There were so many tests and medicines and going to the vet frequently because of the wounds.”
Finally, last year Larissa found out that Sushi had a genetic condition called Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (EDS), a disorder of the connective tissue that can cause abnormally stretchy, sensitive skin.
The condition is so rare that it took years for a cat dermatologist to finally diagnose Sushi. His owner says she was glad to hear it wasn’t anything fatal, and after the diagnosis she has been helping Sushi manage the condition.
The cat has to be moisturized regularly and wears a collar to protect him from scratching his skin.
But otherwise, Sushi, now five years old, is a happy, content with a loving home — even though strangers can’t help but think he’s “sad” due to his face.
“People say he looks sad all the time,” the owner says. “Some people get shocked or scared, some love his face at first sight and others laugh at him.”
But Sushi is living his best life, and Larissa hopes that her cat — who now has over 3,000 followers on Instagram — can shed light on this rare condition and show how beautiful even the most sad-looking cats can be.
“The problem is people usually don’t know about EDS,” Larissa told Meow As Fluff. “It’s very rare to see a person or animal that has it.”
What a unique, beautiful cat! We’re so glad that Sushi has a loving home and owner who will help take care of his rare condition — while he may not look it, we know Sushi is a happy cat.
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