When Matt Taghioff met a black-and-white cat named Zelda three years ago at an animal shelter, it was love at first sight. And what a sight it was.
After all, Zelda, a rescue cat from the UK, has something of a permanently-shocked disposition thanks to those huge, sweet saucer eyes.
“Zelda was the one and only cat I met at the rescue shelter,” Taghioff says. “We had a stare-off and she won. She had that ‘Are you a ghost?’ look in her eye and I was in love. She then let me pet her and stretched out her paw to signal, ‘Okay, you’ll do.'”
Since their first meeting, Zelda and Taghioff have become quite the duo. He describes his feline friend as “hilariously unpredictable … always playful and really affectionate. She could be on my lap, purring away, but there’s still drama in her eyes.”
It’s a face that, quite simply, has to be seen. So with that, Taghioff recently made social media pages for Zelda, including an Instagram and a Twitter account, with one hilarious tweet in particular (“Always leave your Zelda in the folded position”) going viral.
People from around the world have taken to Zelda and her stunned look, and it’s something Taghioff understands well.
“She makes us laugh every day with her amazing facial expressions and behavior,” he says. “She’s always doing something interesting.”
He adds that when people meet her in real life, the reaction is usually a mixture of shock and laughter.
“Zelda will freeze up and stare at most visitors, so they always notice her,” he says. “She’ll then creep over to them and sniff their hand, which makes them feel a bit more welcome.”
Even with all of Zelda’s adoring fans, at the end of the day, it’s all about her, Taghioff, and their incredible bond.
Taghioff says that he feels so lucky to have met Zelda, and that adopting her was “one of the best things I’ve ever done.” He says that his kitty’s curious and innocent nature has made him see the world through a whole new lens.
Regardless of a cat’s age, size, or disposition, he says, what matters the most is offering them a safe and loving home.
“Every cat is special,” he says, “and adopting a rescue [like Zelda] is extra special.”
Aly Semigran is a lifestyle writer for the world, and roommate of Ruby, the cutest dog in the world.