Hailing from Derbyshire, England, Olive is no ordinary cat. This 4-year-old feline has mesmerized social media users with her strikingly dual-colored eyes that are set off by an all-white coat.
Olive has a rare genetic condition called sectoral heterochromia, a form of heterochromia in which each of her eyes are divided into two different colors, half yellow and half blue. However, this striking feature has given Olive a huge following on Instagram under the moniker Odd Eyed Olive.
According to Caters News, Olive is an Oriental crossbreed and has some Siamese features, including almond-shaped eyes and a white coat. However, her eyes are one of the most captivating features. Olive was bought to her owner Kim’s house when she was only a kitten. At that time, the color of her eyes wasn’t all that visible.
“I didn’t chose [sic] her for her eyes,” Kim explained. “It was quite dark and when I picked her the lady lifted her in to the light and said she may have odd looking eyes.” As Olive started to grow, her dual-toned eye color started to surprise everyone.
“I didn’t know how her eyes would turn out,” Kim recalled.
Kim said Olive was brought home to join the family of three other kittens. “I was looking for another kitty to join the family to make it 4 I wanted a lively kitten to fit in with my others.”
Olive, who has a following of over 18,000 on Instagram, is often seen hanging around with her “boyfriend” Charlie, who happens to have striking blue eyes himself. The two of them are occasionally seen cuddling.
Another distinctive feature of Olive that sets her apart is that “she would rather eat cake than cat treats.”
However, in other respects, though, Olive is very much a normal cat for her breed. “Olive is quite a naughty kitty and she gets very jealous if I pay attention to any other cat,” Kim told Caters News. “She loves to be massaged, belly rubs, chin rubs and anything-else rubs.”
In an interview with Cat Reporter, Kim said Olive is pretty typical in many ways, including her love for boxes, “bird-watching (while making ‘ek ek ek’ sounds), and attacking feather toys.”
According to Medical News Today, heterochromia of the eye is caused by variations in the concentration and distribution of melanin, a pigment that gives color to eyes, hair, and skin. This condition can be present in both humans and animals.
The base term heterochromia comes from the Greek words héteros (different) and chróma (color). As for Olive’s condition, which is sectoral heterochromia, it is extremely rare, even among all-white cats, which have a substantial incidence of differently colored eyes, known as complete heterochromatin.
Olive’s irises each contain different colors and not in the spotty or diffuse way that some cats and people might have; each of her eyes are divided into a blue and yellow hemisphere.
The deeper cause of the unique eyes can be traced back to cat genetics. All kittens are born with blue eyes by default, which disappears when they start producing melanin in their third and fourth months. However, some cats, like Olive’s companion Charlie, will have blue eyes throughout the course of their life.
While some white cats with blue eyes have a greater predisposition to deafness, Olive’s hearing is pitch perfect. Her vision also doesn’t suffer at all from her uniquely colored eyes, according to Cat Reporter.
Even though Olive might be an odd-eyed cat, for her adoring fans, there’s nothing strange about her, and she is just beautiful.