The feline's unique appearance has gained him over 259k followers on Instagram and helped raise money for animal shelters.
The internet's undying love for felines is a tale as old as time. As though turning us humans into their slaves in real life wasn't enough, the sassy catnip-loving furballs took over the internet pretty much the very moment it came into existence. Despite being well-aware of the spell they've got us under, we continue to be mesmerized by their silly antics online and as someone who follows quite a few feline social media stars, I believe I speak for every cat-lover when I say, I've got no regrets about all those hours I could've used productively.
I mean, how could we possibly regret being under their spell when some of them are so incredibly adorable and unique like this googly-eyed furry-tail named Belarus? According to Insider, this cross-eyed furball is a 3-year-old San Francisco-resident with oodles of charm and all the makings of an online sensation. With over 259k followers on Instagram, sweet little Belarus has got netizens head over heels in love with his perpetually puzzled expression. He first went viral in June 2018 when he was picked up by the San Francisco Animal Care and Control shelter which put up one of his handsome snaps on Facebook.
The shelter's phone began ringing off the hook in no time with calls from those looking to take him home. One of these prospective adopters was Rachel Krall, who despite not being a cat person, couldn't help falling in love with him. "I thought he was absolutely adorable and hilarious," she admitted, revealing that she moved her work schedule around to visit the cat that day. However, becoming Belarus' cat mom wasn't an easy journey for Krall as the shelter informed her that given the overwhelming response to the feline, they would be holding a lottery to decide who would get the opportunity to adopt him.
Fortunately, destiny was on Krall's side as that very same evening, she received a call from the shelter informing her that she'd won the lottery. The besotted cat mom, who doubts there ever was a lottery, said, "I think they liked me. I knew what I was doing and would take care of him." Speaking to Daily Mail, Krall added, "When I first saw him, I just thought he was the most hilariously adorable cat ever. I had never really been a cat person before but thought he would be the perfect cat. I sent his adoption picture to my family and their reactions were quite similar. They told me you have to go see him, so I did."
"His favorite hobbies include juggling, waiting for his food machine and looking in two directions at once," she said. Belarus' unique look is caused by strabismus or the deviation of one or both eyes. Krall revealed that the condition—caused by abnormal positioning of one of the rectus muscles—doesn't seem to affect his vision. When she first took him home, Belarus was underweight with a bald spot, a slight cold, and a broken tail. He has since healed majestically, revealing his true adorable personality and winning his human over even more.
He did, however, take some time to warm up to Krall. Although he used to be skittish around her for about six months, he now loves being the center of attention and is said to be extremely friendly and sociable. "He's the most remarkably sweet cat. It would be really sad if you had this cat that was so adorable and people loved him on social media, but he was not very friendly," said Krall. Although she doesn't know who gave Belarus his name, Krall never thought about changing it as it suits him quite well. "I don't really think anyone knows. I never thought about changing it because it's just so unique and funny and fits him."
Speaking of her feline's online fame, Krall said, "It has kind of taken on a life of its own. Belarus is special and he did it on his own by looking adorable and being friendly. Today, Belarus has fans around the world with many reaching out to Krall to say how photos of the unique feline have helped them through tough moments in their lives. Recognizing the opportunity to turn her furball's popularity into something good, she formed partnerships with artists to create buttons and pins and used the profits from the sales to help those in need.
In addition to donating to California's wildfires relief, Krall donated $6,000 last year to local animal shelters through proceeds raised from T-shirts with Belarus' face on them. She hopes to continue to give back to the community that brought Belarus into her life. "I just thought he was adorable. I didn't realize all these other people in the world thought so too," she said.