Born without a nasal bone, Monty is an affectionate and sociable kitty who is showing the world that appearances don’t matter.
With his widely-spaced eyes and unusual nose, Monty is no ordinary cat. But appearances aren’t everything. Despite his distinctive looks, this adorable little feline has a heart overflowing with love and curiosity, according to his doting guardians, Mikala and Michael Klein.
“The first time we saw Monty was at the end of August 2013,” says Michael. “Mikala was looking at shelter cats online – just for fun, since we weren’t searching for a new furry family member.” The Danish couple already had two other kitties, but when they came across Monty, they couldn’t resist his face and went to the shelter in Copenhagen to meet him.
“We could see he was a very social cat,” Michael says. “When I picked him up, he didn’t struggle to get away. I looked him in the eyes and blinked/smiled at him, as I have seen cats do, and started stroking him gently on the head. He got completely relaxed and I laid him down on his back in my lap – and then it happened. I saw his personality, and I’m sure he saw mine and liked what he saw. From that moment, Mikala and I started creating a very strong bond with Monty. We tend to think we did not choose him, but that he chose us.”
Michael and Mikala learned that Monty had been born with a missing nasal bone, the result of a rare chromosomal abnormality. Although it makes him look different, it doesn’t cause him any breathing difficulties or other ill effects, apart from a propensity to sneeze more than average. “People often ask us if he’s soft in the spot above his nose, or if it hurts when we touch it, but neither is the case,” says Michael.
Another of Monty’s hallmarks is his gentle, curious and outgoing nature, which helped him gain acceptance from the couple’s other two cats – Malle, “the gentle giant”, and Mikkel, who is a “tripawd”. “His personality is just as fantastic as you would expect it to be, going by his adorable face,” says Michael. “He’s a sweet, playful little fellow who loves attention and is always on the lookout for someone to snuggle with. He prefers to sleep by our side, and wherever we go to sit, he will follow and sit on our laps. He is not shy at all. He loves to meet other cats and dogs and is never aggressive towards anyone.” Michael adds that Monty remains calm and happy even at the vet’s office. “We don’t need to keep him in his carrying case. He just sits in our arms, completely relaxed and looking around.”
Monty’s social media presence and subsequent popularity came about in an unexpected way. When Michael and Mikala first adopted him, they discovered his bladder sometimes leaked in his sleep. The couple later learned that the problem was caused by his chromosome defects, but at the time, they thought it might be stress arising from being in a multi-cat household.
“We went online to find a new cat-free family for Monty,” says Michael. “We created a Facebook page for the search, and the response was massive – 100 a week. But we had a hard time trying to find the right family for Monty, and in the end we just couldn’t do it. Our love for him was way too strong, and we decided to keep him.” After having a major medical workup done on Monty, and learning that his bladder issue wasn’t stress-related, the couple was happy to accommodate it. “It’s not a problem for us since it’s just a few drops and it only happens two or three times a month.”
But even though Monty was no longer available for adoption, he had gone viral online. “People were in love with him and wanted daily updates, and during the next few months it simply exploded,” says Michael. “We have since used Monty’s online popularity to raise money for charities focused on animals. People also started asking for merchandise, so we got a deal with RageOn.com, which produces all kind of apparel and other items.”
Monty fans can visit the website to buy t-shirts, sweatshirts, mugs, a pillow and even an apron, all featuring the feline’s cute face in either photographic or cartoon form. “We receive almost half the income, which we donate to charity,” adds Michael. ”This past December, for example, we went to the shelter we adopted Monty from and gave them $1,646.”
Now four years old, Monty continues to delight his family, friends and fans with his loving, sociable personality. “He is as rare as a diamond,” Michael says. “We want him to be an ambassador for ’crooked’ cats that may not look perfect in everyone’s eyes. We want to bring attention to the fact that looking different doesn’t mean you can’t be fantastic!”