Adorable? Spooky? Or both? Jasper, affectionately known as Jazzy, is a unique cat with an equally remarkable story. He has always been bald – he’s a sphynx cat, a completely hairless breed – but he hasn’t always had his distinctive skeletal look.
A photo posted by @jazzy.purrs on Mar 27, 2019 at 12:24pm PDT
Jasper was adopted when he was two years old and seemed to be in good health. A few years later, however, he was diagnosed with feline herpes virus (FHV). For several years, the virus did little more than give Jazzy a case of the sniffles, but in 2014 it led to the development of a corneal ulcer in one eye. The ulcer caused him such pain that the only option was to remove the eye.
Jazzy adapted well and lived a healthy one-eyed life until 2018, when an ulcer appeared in his other eye. Again, surgery was the only option, and Jazzy has spent the last two years getting used to navigating the world without eyes.
I was actually born with two eyes. I have FHV and ended up with a really bad corneal ulcer. Twice. In November 2014 I had the first, then in September of 2018 I had the second. Both were so bad they did not respond to treatment and caused so much pain that removal was the best option. But don’t be sad for me, I’m still a very happy well loved kitty! #jazzypurr #blindcat #sphynx #sphynxcat #nakedkitty #sphynxlair #catsofinstagram #cat #sphynxofinstagram Jasper
A photo posted by @jazzy.purrs on Mar 28, 2019 at 5:17pm PDT
Jazzy is now 12 years old and his owner Kelli says he’s a happy boy – he just has to meow for help now and then when he can’t work out where he is. The scar tissue from his eye surgeries gets itchy, so Jazzy is fond of a good eye socket rub.
His story and his striking appearance have attracted a lot of attention; he has almost 88,000 followers and Kelli regularly receives Jasper-inspired art.
Follow Jasper and Kelli on Instagram (@jazzy.purrs) and TikTok (jazzypurrs) for all their cute content.
Victoria has a degree in Evolutionary Biology and has written for magazines including World of Animals, How It Works and Science+Nature. She grew up with rabbits and a spaniel, and has had her horse, Bernie, for 11 years.
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