In 2016, a concerned woman heard meowing from a nearby dumpster. When she went to investigate, she was shocked to discover an orphaned calico kitten. It was tiny, and its eyes were still closed. She guessed it was less than one week old.
The poor baby had been through a lot. She had a broken front leg, and gangrene had developed on her back paw. Luckily, the woman had experience with fostering kittens, and she took the baby home to nurse her back to health. The woman bottle-fed the kitten every day, and she ultimately got stronger and healthier. She did end up losing her back paw before her eyes had even opened, but the kitten was a fighter — and was named ‘Martyr’ because of her endless will to survive.
Martyr was a little sweetie. The woman couldn’t bear saying goodbye to the kitten, so she adopted the kitten herself.
Although Martyr was growing up happy and loved, she still had a few surprises up her sleeve— like the fact that she was a boy calico, for instance, something that is incredibly rare.
On average, the chance of getting a male calico is 1/3,000.
“It’s like a unicorn!” Dr. Andrea Berger, a veterinarian, told LoveMeow.”I’ve been involved with shelters for 10 years, and I have never seen one.”
This is all based on genetics. When it comes to cats, their coat color is linked to whether they are male or female. Mother Nature Network explains, “Because the X chromosome is responsible for both orange and black fur, female cats display both colors because they have 2 X chromosomes. But males, having only one X chromosomes, can be either orange or black.”
Martyr was able to have both colors of fur because of an incomplete division of his XY chromosome pair at the time of fertilization. Basically, instead of having an X and Y chromosome, Martyr has two X chromosomes— XXY. And, as I mentioned, this is incredibly rare.
Martyr’s story went viral when his rescuer’s niece shared it on the photo-sharing website, imgur. People were so grateful that the kind woman had saved this amazing little boy. They also couldn’t believe the woman had simply just found a male calico. The odds of it happening are so, so small!
Martyr is a true gem in every sense of the word. And thanks to his loving human mama, he now gets to live happily, healthily and appreciated— exactly what a treasure like him deserves.
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