A pair of identical twin cats have taken the internet by storm for their pristine white coats and their contrasting blue and green eyes.
Meet Iriss and Abyss, two crossbred, domestic cats who live in Saint-Petersburg, Russia, with their 37-year-old owner, Pavel Dyagilev.
Dyagilev, an event host and voice and speech trainer, first spotted the cats six years ago when they were just kittens, in an advertisement on social media. There were three kittens in the litter, and two were twins with different-colored eyes.
“They mesmerized me, and that was the reason I started to think about adopting both of them," Dyagilev told The Epoch Times. "Before this ad, I even didn't think about adopting cats."
In February 2016, Dyagilev wrote to the owner about the possibility of adopting both cats. After some conversation, Iriss and Abyss's owner agreed, and a few days later, Dyagilev welcomed the beautiful cats to his house.
"My first intention of doing the page was to make a gallery of beautiful pictures of my cats," Dyagilev said. "To underline their eyes, their whiteness, and their beauty overall."
Needless to say, the twin sisters attracted a great deal of attention for their special coats and their different-colored eyes, which are caused by a genetic condition called heterochromia.
"The girls won the genetic lottery," he said.
Heterochromia means that the irises of each eye are a different color, usually, one eye being blue and the other being yellow, green, or brown.
Rare among humans, the condition is more common among animals such as cats, dogs, horses, and cattle.
Since sharing pictures of these odd-eyed cats, Dyagilev said he's received varied comments from his 192,000 followers. While most people admire Iriss and Abyss's beauty, there are others who think that their pictures are photoshopped.
Since they're city-dwelling, indoor cats, not many people get to see the striking pair in person. But visiting friends are usually always charmed by them.
Although Dyagilev is proud of their beauty, he's also keen to stress that “pets are not toys, they are not models or social influencers. ... They are living creatures with their own needs.”
Considering it the job of pet owners to make their pets’ lives better and make sure all their needs are met, Dyagilev himself has created a loving, happy home for Iriss and Abyss. He considers them as family members, each with their own distinctive personality.
“Iriss is more sociable. She is the first one to come out to greet new people for example, and the first one to examine things," he said. "Abyss is more like a diva and also shyer. She observes [new people] from above and after some time, when she gets used to them, she can come and greet.”
Dyagilev further describes Iriss as being more assertive, while Abyss is gentle and soft.
According to him, when the pair were kittens, they enjoyed doing things together. But since growing older, they are involved in different activities and behave more like cohabitants, with a sense of personal borders.
"But they still sleep together most of the time," he said. "And play a lot. And by 'play,' I mean they run across the apartment like a hurricane."
They also care deeply about each other; when one is sick, the other will worry and come to check if she’s alright.
Both Iriss and Abyss fill Dyagilev's life with joy, beauty, and love.
"It seems like they were with me forever and I think my life won't be as colorful and joyful without them," he said. “It’s a pleasure to take care of them."