Monday 14 June 2021

Fedya, the cat with a permanently startled face and chunky cheeks

Fedya lives in Rostov, Russia with his human caretaker Natalia Zhdanova, 40. She found him as a poorly stray kitten in her garden, took him in and nursed him to good health with the help of her neighbour's cat, Handsome, who looked after Fedya, nursed him and licked him and now they are the best of friends.

Startled Fedya. It's permanent and he isn't startled!
Startled Fedya. It's permanent and he isn't startled! Photo: his Instagram page.

The point of this short post is that Fedya has a permanently startled expression which is a nice change from a permanently grumpy expression. Grumpy Cat started off the grumpy cat look and there were one or two after her who did very well on social media.

What I noticed about Fedya is that he looks like a male cat who has not been neutered with his chubby cheeks. This is a typical non-sterilized male cat look. I don't know whether he has been sterilised but except for his started appearance he looks like a fully intact male, blue British Shorthair, which he isn't because he was a stray cat in Russia. His coat is definitely a classic blue (grey in non-cat fancy parlance).

When she found him, she said that he was "very weak and was dying". He turned into a very playful, intelligent, sweet and gentle individual who purrs very loudly and who is inseparable from Handsome. As expected, he has an Instagram page which I can't find but he's gathered together about 4,000 followers at the moment which no doubt will grow rapidly as his fame spreads far and wide!

Natalia and Fedya
Natalia and Fedya. Photo: Instagram/Natalia.

The best guess is that the startled look is simply the way his face is built. You get this sometimes. It's about facial anatomy and is just in the lap of the gods as to whether cats end up with these fixed expressions which are quite rare. All the former cat celebrities have some sort of facial deformity. It is a inherited skeletal condition. It does not affect his health as far as I know.

Neighbour's cat called Handsome helped nurse Fedya back to health when he was a rescued stray kitten
Neighbour's cat called Handsome helped nurse Fedya back to health when he was a rescued stray kitten. Photo: Instagram/Natalia.

Apparently, when he was found he also had "wonky legs". And his eyes were misaligned. That is why they say that he looks permanently startled but that isn't the reason in my opinion because his does not look cross-eyed like a Siamese cat. His eyes look quite well aligned to me. They just look wide open, very round and stuck in the middle of his very large round, chubby-cheeked head!

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