Why Special Needs Kids Are Loving This ‘Diva’ Cat With a ‘Quirky’ Face

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Instagram: WillowtheBeautifulCat

A cat with an unusual nose appeared out of nowhere near Tampa seven years ago. Fortunately, she fell into the right human’s hands. And now, her inspiring story is building a global fanbase.

Doorstep delivery

About seven years ago, a woman  in Florida stepped onto her doorstep to head to work and was met with quite a surprise: a tiny, vulnerable kitten was sitting there on her doorstep.

The kitten, who was later named Willow, didn’t have any siblings around the yard, and neither was her cat mom, or dad in sight, so the woman took her in.

Does it get any cuter than Willow? / Instagram: WillowtheBeautifulCat

She quickly noticed, however, that Willow didn’t have a typical feline snout but “a fuzzy heart-shaped nose.” All the more reason to love her.

Diva of the house

Wanting to address any health ailments, Willow’s human took her to the vet. The kitten only weighed about 10 ounces and had a bloody nose, eye infections, and intestinal parasites. But with medical treatments and some TLC, the vet said she’d be back to 100 percent in no time.

The veterinarian also couldn’t explain Willow’s fuzzy nose but wasn’t too concerned.

“She was just born that way,” Willow’s human said.

Who runs the world? Willow. / Instagram: WillowtheBeautifulCat

Once Willow got settled in at home—a space she shares with another cat and puppy—it became pretty clear who wears the pants around the house, even with her fur siblings being significantly bigger in shape and size.

“She’s kind of a diva,” Willow’s human said, explaining that the cat pretty much gets to do whatever she pleases. “She runs the house.”

Willow goes global

Just like any diva, you can’t fault Willow for knowing her worth.

“She’s pretty famous,” her human said, “and she knows it.”

Willow’s Instagram page has become incredibly popular, with followers as far as Japan and Australia tuning in to see Willow’s every move. For many of them, the cat’s confident, girl-boss energy is especially admirable because of what Willow represents.

“Most people think she’s funny-looking,” Willow’s human said, describing her cat’s face as “quirky.”

“She has a lot of people with special needs that follow her. I think it’s because they think they’re a little bit different, and she’s a little different, that they connect.”

Who runs the world? Willow. / Instagram: WillowtheBeautifulCat

Willow’s human, who’s an early childhood special ed teacher, gets it. She understands the impact Willow can have on others because she’s felt it herself.

“I think Willow has changed our lives because she just kind of appeared,” Willow’s human said, noting that welcoming Willow into the family helped her crawl out of a funk herself. “She’s like a little angel cat.”

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