Footage of two children shocked and confused by their dad’s new hairless kitten has the internet hysterical.
In a clip shared on TikTok by user Lea Hoover (@mew_thenakedkitty), her stepchildren Amelia and Baron meet Mew, the couple’s new Sphynx cat, for the first time.
Hoover, from Oregon, said Newsweek that she wanted a Sphynx cat since high school.
“My boyfriend’s sister came across a list for Mew and sent it to us because my boyfriend had always wanted one,” she said.
“It was very unplanned, but we’re so glad we did it because he has such a cool, likeable disposition.”
In the video, 9-year-old Amelia shouts, “Ew, ew, oh my God, what is this?” as Mew comes out from behind a door to greet them. “Take that thing away from me.”
A confused-looking 7-year-old Baron asks, “Will he have hair?”
Since being shared on December 1, the clip has been viewed over 9 million times and received over 1.2 million likes.
What is a Sphynx Cat and Why Are They Hairless?
According to ASPCA Pet Insurance, Sphynx cats were originally known as “Canadian Hairless.” PetMD says the first Sphynx cat, the only feline breed native to Canada, was born in 1966. He was a “hairless mutant male” named Prune.
The breed’s name comes from the Great Sphinx of Giza, the 240-foot-long ancient sculpture on the bank of the Nile in Egypt, Africa.
Weighing an average of 6 to 12 pounds, Sphynx cats live between 8 and 14 years. While some are completely hairless, others are covered in a “fine peach fuzz,” as purina cat food makers put it. Another characteristic is their loose skin, which tends to wrinkle in some places.
As a breed, Sphynxes are known to be curious and need lots of interactive play and entertainment. They are also talkative and social creatures, so owners should expect to lavish plenty of attention on their furless pet.
Many people assume that Sphynxes are a hypoallergenic breed, but most cat allergies are caused by the protein Fel d1, which is present on a feline’s skin as well as in its saliva, so the breed will further aggravate those who are allergic.
“They expected a fluffy cat”
In the video, Amelia and Baron open the bathroom door to reveal a 7-week-old Mew. First shocked by his lack of hair, the children flee the little kitten.
Ben, Hoover’s boyfriend, hugs the animal, while Amelia shouts “whose cat is that?”
“It’s ours,” Hoover replies, before Amelia asks if it’s her birthday present.
Ben then suggests that Amelia hold Mew, but she backs down as he tries to pass the kitten to her.
Hoover said the couple never discussed having a cat with Amelia and Baron, so the children’s surprise was more than Mew’s lack of fur.
“They didn’t ask for one, and we knew they would be even more surprised by a hairless cat,” Hoover said.
“My boyfriend and I organized it by putting it in the bathroom and telling the kids there was a surprise inside.
“He’s vocal enough that they could hear him meowing in the bathroom and ran to open the door, as you see in the video. Of course, they were expecting a fluffy cat and saw this hairless kitten run away.”
Their encounter with Mew was the first time Amelia or Baron had seen a hairless cat, resulting in “many surprises and emotions in a very short time”.
Although Amelia’s immediate reaction was “Ew”, she held Mew seconds after Hoover stopped recording.
“They absolutely love him now,” she said. “He has a great personality and is always on your lap or wants to play so they have a good time.”
TikTokers found the footage hysterical, with user KK describing Amelia’s reaction as “on point”.
“I love hairless cats but this might be the funniest video ever,” TikToker mya wrote.
“‘Is it going to have hair’ is the funniest question he could have asked at that time,” Sydney posted, while Rnoximo ordered the kids to: “Say sorry to him everything right now.”
Mew isn’t the only Sphynx to gain thousands of new fans online. A hairless cat called Finnick took over TikTok in early December after he was filmed sneaking into the bathtub with his owner, while a clip of a Sphynx called Tofu and his pink shower cap was viewed over a million times in April.
In May, a 12-year-old Sphynx named Smurfy also delighted Reddit users, thanks to his permanent angry face.
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