Oakland resident Daria Kelly never thought the near-death kitten she first spotted at the city's animal services shelter five years ago would become a viral star, but that is exactly what has happened to one Jarvis P. Weasley.
Jarvis, named by Kelly after a rock star and a "Harry Potter" character, is the latest feline to sweep the Internet, thanks to his adorable cross-eyed look.
"I had another cat that had an extreme surgery and I contacted a pet photographer to take pictures of her," Kelly, 51, told GoodMorningAmerica.com. "He came over and took pictures of her and one day I sent him a picture of Jarvis and he loved it."
"He sent it to his friend who runs Lovemeow.com and she ran an article last year and then a news agency found the article just this month and contacted me," Kelly said, explaining Jarvis's rise to Internet fame.
The irony of it all, according to Jarvis, is that her friends had been urging her for years to get a Facebook page for Jarvis.
"I'm like, 'I'm going to school. I'm taking care of cats. I don't have time to social network my cat,'" Kelly said she told her friends.
Kelly, who is studying to become a veterinary technician, also stays busy volunteering at the local humane society and Saving Grace Rescue Inc., which is where she adopted Jarvis from in 2009.
"I would watch him and he was just the happiest and cutest kitten, even with snot coming out of his nose and his eyes dripping," Kelly said of Jarvis, who at the time had a severe upper respiratory infection.
"After the other sick kittens I was fostering went back for adoption, I snagged Jarvis to foster but I knew he was never going back," she said. "He was just adorable and his personality is so strong."
Kelly, who called Jarvis an "Oakland special" when asked his breed, says her beloved cat, after a rough start as a kitten, is now strong enough to handle all the fame and Internet clicks coming his way.
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