Monk the cat is a healthy, happy three-year-old, purrfectly normal in every respect except one. And he vants to suck your bloooooooood.
Okay—not really. Monk's actually more apt to smother you in kisses than kitty bites. "He's very spunky, feisty and he's got a little bit of attitude," his mom, Nicole Rienzie, tells The Dodo. "But he's very, very sweet. He likes to lick a lot."
Rienzie rescued Monk when he was just a wee kitten. At the time, the most unusual thing about him was what pitiful shape he was in—which was hardly surprising, considering she'd found him wandering alone by the side of the road.
"He was very, very thin, malnourished, covered in bugs and his eyes were so infected he couldn't even see out of them," Rienzie says. "I swooped him up and took him home, cleaned him up, fed him and that's pretty much where it all began."
As Monk grew and flourished under his new mom's care, he seemed like a perfectly normal kitty in all respects except one:
When he lost his milk teeth and started growing in his adult teeth, Rienzie noticed something unusual about his top canines — they were long. Like really long.
"He's got these really long fangs," Rienzie says. "He looks like a little vampire."
Monk's a full-sized adult these days—and his top canines are also full-sized and then some!
They're about three quarters of an inch long, far longer the usual one centimeter most cats' canines reach.
Rienzie's fears that Monk's colossal canines might be causing him pain, or the sign of a more serious condition, were quickly laid to rest by Monk's vet.
"It's rare, but [the vet] said some cats just get really big fangs like that," Rienzie says. "His happen to be larger than most cats who grow long fangs, but [the vet] said that sometimes just happens, but there's nothing wrong with it at all."
Strangers may be endlessly fascinated by Monk, but as far as his bro-fur Bean—another black cat Rienzie rescued about a year after rescuing Monk—is concerned, Monk's just his big bro and best pal.Nothing more, nothing less.
"They were instant friends," Rienzie says. "Monkey really wanted a friend, and the second I put Bean down on the floor, he started licking him, cleaning him. He just loved him instantly."
Monk and Bean love zooming around Rienzie's house and "trashing the place," Rienzie says. "They do a lot of playing, and they're very, very active. I clean up their toys and put them in their toy basket every night, and every morning when I get up, they've taken some out that they want to play with."
Monk and Bean also love going for car rides with Rienzie, especially to get new toys and treats. They also go on outside adventures on their leashes and harnesses.
When they wear themselves out, Monk and Bean settle down for a cat nap. They never sleep apart, according to Rienzie. "They're always in a little cuddle puddle," she says.
Still, people can't stop looking at Monk and wanting to know more about him.
"People stop and want to take pictures, but they don't have much to say because they're in so much awe of his teeth," Rienzie says. "When they're speechless it's hilarious."
Eventually, to satisfy popular demand, Rienzie started an Instagram page for the much-photographed meower, where he currently has more than 44,000 followers.
"When people look at pictures, a lot of the time they think they're fake," Rienzie reports. "I've had people say they're Photoshopped. But they're not – they're just his teeth. They're always very surprised, wondering why they're like that."
Monk's "vampire fangs" are as 100% authentic as his love for his mom and brother Bean—which is the thing about Monk that's most special of all.
(All photos: Nicole Rienzie. h/t: The Dodo)
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