In folklore, a black cat is commonly believed to be a bringer of bad luck. However, it's less clear what fate befalls someone who crosses paths with a black cat that slowly turns white.
Nicole, from Germany, found kitten Elli and and her sister Rosie at a farm. Elli was not in a good way and was riddled with mites and infections.
A year on, and Nicole had successfully nursed the black and white tuxedo cat to health, however, she noticed a small white speck emerge on Elli's back. Prior to this, the kitten was black all over, barring a few typical white patches on her paws and face.
Here's Elli looking like a fairly normal black and white tuxedo cat. Credit: Instagram/elli.vitiligo
Nicole wasn't overly concerned by the anomalous speck, but over the next few months, Elli steadily became more and more speckled. Concerned that Elli was a little young to be going grey, Nicole took her to see a vet.
It was then that Nicole discovered that Elli had vitiligo, an extremely rare condition whereby her fur and skin gradually lose their pigment, resulting in ever-growing swathes of white.
Elli's white speckles quickly began to spread. Credit: Instagram/elli.vitiligo
Speaking to the Metro, Nicole said 'it changed very quickly' and that Elli had grown to be a 'very playful, cute, interested, lovely' cat.
Elli is also clearly very faithful to her saviour Nicole, only ever leaving her side to sunbathe on the sofa.
Two years on from that trip to the vet, and Elli is hardly recognisable. Her coat is now mainly white, with the remnant black fur forming striking stripes and splodges on her beautifully mottled coat.
She actually looks even cuter and more distinctive now, to be honest, which just goes to show how a little individuality can go a long way.
Elli now has an incredibly striking coat. Credit: Instagram/elli.vitiligo
Elli should also inspire other potential stray cat finders to look past potential practical and financial concerns and open their doors to a poor feline, cos you never know, it could evolve into your very own miniature snow leopard.
The condition is extremely rare, however. Plus, the white areas don't necessarily stay white; sometimes they re-pigment, and they can even periodically wax and wane.
Now that right there is the dream ticket - your very own miniature snow leopard chameleon cat.
Featured Image Credit: Instagram/elli.vitiligo