A pair of sister cats, Iriss and Abyss, from the United Kingdom, are affected by a harmless condition that causes each of their eyes to be different colors: each right eye is hazel colored, while each left eye is a piercing sapphire blue.
The unusual condition, called heterochromia iridis, has made the female cats famous with the help of their extremely proud dad, Pavel Dyagilev, age 34, of Saint Petersburg, Russia, who launched their very own Instagram page. He lauded them as “the most beautiful twin cats in the world.”
“When I found an ad on social media that two kittens were seeking a new home I never imagined that I’d end up with two,” he said, according to Metro.
Dyagilev realized it would have been cruel to separate the twin sisters, so he didn’t. “I looked through the pictures of kittens and saw two twins, always together on the photos,” he recalled. “And my heart melted.”
In researching the reason for their unique different eye colors, heterochromia, Dyagilev learned that the condition is most commonly found in white-colored felines, though that is not always the case. What’s unique about Iriss and Abyss is that both of them have heterochromia, whereas neither their parents nor their other siblings in the litter do.
Since he got them as kittens in 2015, many people have responded to their striking appearance, wondering if the images of them are real or if they were specially bred to look that way. The completely natural cats definitely have an air about them, though, having attracted over 200,000 followers, including some people who aren’t necessarily cat fans.
Despite all the attention, Dyagilev has no desire to take them out into the world to meet some of their adoring fans. “The girls don’t feel starstruck by their online following. But they have all the features to be real stars,” their proud papa explained.
For the time being, he is just going to keep sharing their everyday lives via social media. “They do not go out to exhibitions or crowded places because it is a huge stress for them,” Dyagilev explains, adding, “our Instagram is a perfect source for the world to meet the unique beauty of Iriss and Abyss.”
As far as felines with heterochromia go, Iriss and Abyss aren’t the only pair with the condition to garner fame on Instagram. A mother-daughter pair of hairless sphynx cats, Rosie and Poppy, has garnered plenty of attention for their striking hazel and blue eyes, not to mention their wrinkly hairless bodies.
Their human mom, Sarah Jenkins, started posting the pictures after getting negative feedback about their hairlessness. “I started our cats’ social media after someone said that they looked ‘weird’ and ‘mean,’” she said, as The Daily Mail reported. Jenkins found that Rosie and Poppy’s striking eyes helped overcome the prejudice that their breed sometimes faces.
“I realized that showing how kind and loving they are might help people overcome the negative stereotypes that accompany Sphynx cats and their different appearance,” she adds.