“Ugly.” “Gross.” “What the heck is that?”

That’s the typical reaction when people first lay eyes on Possum, a one-of-a-kind cat with gray fur, bald patches, and a tail reminiscent of a rat.

Either they mistake her for having mange or think she’s a burn victim.

But to Stephanie, Possum’s human mom, she’s simply adorably perfect.

Possum came into the world along with several other kittens in Stephanie’s co-worker’s backyard in central North Carolina.

The mother cat was feral, and Stephanie’s co-worker did her best to care for her and the newborns.

While all the other kittens looked “normal” like their mother — short-haired domestic cats with white and calico fur — Possum stood out. She was gray, almost entirely bald at birth, and the runt of the litter.

Some speculated that Possum might carry recessive genes of a werewolf cat or lykoi.

While the rest of the litter found forever homes, nobody wanted to adopt Possum.

Stephanie and her co-worker feared that if they took Possum to a shelter, she might be euthanized due to her appearance.

Despite having a full house already, Stephanie couldn’t help but fall in love with Possum. She decided to take her in and make her a part of the family.

“I felt and still feel like she would have been euthanized if she went there,” Stephanie told The Dodo. “I live in the South, and a lot of people in this area don’t view cats as pets. I’ve heard a lot of stories about people using them as target practice.”

“I’ve known some pretty horrible people who will speed up if they see a cat in the street,” Stephanie explains. “A lot of people in this area won’t or can’t afford to spay or neuter, so we have a huge feral problem. With her looking the way she does, I just didn’t feel like her chance of getting adopted was good.”

Now, Possum has blossomed in her forever home, blissfully unaware that she’s a bit different from the other kitties. They’re all one big happy family.

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