Batman the cat has, fittingly, quite the origin story.
The feline—who was brought into the Western PA Humane Society in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on July 12 after being surrendered by his owner—has four ears. The 3-year-old cat has an extremely rare, recessive genetic mutation that was likely passed down from his parents. This mutation gave Batman an extra row of ears—albeit non-functional ones.
Caitlin Lasky, the marketing and communications manager for the the Western PA Humane Society, tells petMD that when Batman was dropped off, he was suffering from an upper respiratory infection. "We had to clear that up first, and once he was healthy, he could go up for adoption," she says. Batman's infection was not caused by his mutation.
While he was at the shelter, Lasky says the four-eared kitty was something of a staff favorite. "He is so sweet. He had a lot of cuddles while he was here."
Lasky, who says that no one on staff had ever come across a cat with a similar mutation before, assured petMD that Batman is healthy.
As soon as the unique cat was available for adoption, Batman gained popularity quickly. While Batman was making national news headlines, a mother and daughter who knew nothing about his growing online fame came in to the facility, saw him and his wonderful four ears, and gave him a new, loving forever home.
It's something that Lasky hopes will stick with future pet parents looking to adopt a cat, noting that senior cats and/or black cats can often be passed over. "Keep your mind open to cats you might not have in mind when you come in to look."
Image via Western PA Humane Society Instagram