If video of a blind kitten playing with its first toys doesn’t cause your heart to melt right inside your rib cage, then you might want to check yourself for a pulse.
According to WHAS 11, Oskar the blind kitten recently won the grand prize at the Friskies Video Contest. The video of the little guy playing with his first toys was simply too cute and adorable for the judges to pass up. As a result, the kitten’s owners took home a $15,000 prize.
Oskar’s owners Mick and Bethany found their blind companion at a farm in Iowa while shopping for vintage instruments. The little guy was the only kitten left from the litter. Instead of being given away or simply moving on, he chose to stay behind with his mother. The couple couldn’t resist taking him home.
“We noticed right away that he was blind,” Mick explained. “But he was very tame and sweet even then. He lived outdoors with his momma — the other kittens from the litter were basically gone and he was the last one. Some of the kittens were given away, some may have been killed or lost, but he was content on his small patch of grass.”
Oskar the blind kitten suffers from severe microphthalmia, which means that his eyes were never formed. While his lack of sight may rob him of certain experiences, Oskar is apparently living life to the fullest.
“It appears as though he’s squinting most of the time – however, as you spend time around him you realize that he can be very expressive with the muscles around his eyes and face,” Mick said of his furry friend. “You can tell when he would be staring at you with big kitty eyes, or when he would be squinting during intense play.”
According to Time, the blind kitten found popularity on YouTube after his owners uploaded video of Oskar battling a hair dryer. The clip has been featured on such television programs as Ellen and Countdown with Keith Olbermann.
Out of the over 1,400 submissions the Friskies Video Contest received, the adventures of the blind kitten ultimately captured the hearts of the judges. You can find a few Oskar videos embedded below.