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SEATTLE - Oskar the Blind Cat, who touched and entertained people around the world, has died. He was six years old.
Oskar’s death was sudden, his owners reported Monday on their social media channels. The cause of death was likely heart failure. Oskar showed no signs of illness before his death.
Oskar was born in May 2011 on a farm in Iowa. He was born with a severe form of microphthalmia, a genetic condition which prevented his eyes from fully developing. Oskar was adopted the same year by Mick and Bethany Szydlowski, a couple in Nebraska who began to chronicle life with a blind cat on social media. The couple have another cat, Klaus, a former stray who quickly became Oskar's sidekick. A YouTube video of Oskar playing with the air from a hair dryer went viral, launching him into internet stardom.
In addition to sharing the antics of Oskar and Klaus, the Szydlowskis use social media to promote adoptions of special needs animals across the country. The couple and both cats moved to Seattle in 2012.
An outpouring of condolences from other internet cat celebrities and their owners followed the news of his death.
As you may know, fellow philanthropic feline friend @Oskar_the_Blind_Cat passed away unexpectedly earlier this week. We first met and became friends with Oskar, his brother Klaus, and their family when we got together to take this “famous cat selfie” a few years back. Oskar was a magnificent feline who raised awareness about blind and special needs cats, for which we are forever grateful. His inspiration and legacy will live on as he continues his journey through space. Our deepest condolences go out to our friends for the loss of their beautiful companion. Much love from BUB and our family <3
It’s impossible to write this without crying. Our amazing inspirational and loving friend, Oskar, has passed over the rainbow bridge and we are so sad. Not only did his wonderful family lose their furkid, but the world also lost one of the biggest and brightest advocators for special needs animals and special needs children. Thank you so much, Oskar, for making every blind child feel special and cool. Thank you for making adults smile every day and thank you from the bottom of our hearts for advocating for special needs cats and for showing that you don’t need eyesight to see and feel happiness and love in your life. We will never ever forget you! Purrs to heaven and many hugs to your family. 💜 Love, Monty, Mikala and Michael. #OskarForever #OskarTheBlindCat