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.