A Cornish Rex cat, named Pixel, pulls such “creepy” facial expressions that some people believe he’s possessed.
Even an exorcist was concerned by the feline and warned his owner, Alyson Kalhagen, that the animal was being used as a puppet by a demon and that he should be “caged and prayed over”.
But Alyson, 39, isn’t worried about what people say and instead spends her time showing people online that despite his looks, Pixel is actually a “very loving” cat.
The mother-of-one has garnered over 12,000 followers on social media and believes her cat is “beautiful and refined”, even though her inbox has been flooded with messages likening him to a “sleep paralysis demon” and calling him the “creepiest cat ever”.
Alyson, who lives in Green Bay, Wisconsin, US, thinks these comments come from a place of “real fear and hesitation”.
She said: “All the time people say ‘this is the creepiest cat I’ve ever seen’, ‘my sleep paralysis demon has come to life’ and if they saw him in the middle of the night they’d have a heart attack and it would scare them to death.
“People say all the time that he’s a ‘demon cat’ who ‘must be possessed’ and that the devil’s taken control of him. It’s kind of a recurring theme.
“I think it’s pretty funny because I usually just say ‘imagine coming face to face when you’re trying to scoop the litter box’.”
The customer service agent went on to explain that it’s her cat’s expressions that “take people aback”, as well as his disproportionately large eyes, ears and small head, which is typical of the breed.
She also admitted that she is even sometimes startled by her pet.
“If people haven’t seen a cat like that before – they would be maybe a little apprehensive to begin with because they’re not quite sure what they’re looking at,” Alyson explained.
“I get a whole lot of ‘that’s the ugliest cat I’ve ever seen’ and sometimes things like ‘that’s not a cat, that’s a rat’ – I tend to just laugh off because he’s a triple champion.
“I think it’s really funny anytime someone compares him to a different animal.
“Some people think he’s from out of space – I’ve had a couple of people say ‘that has to be an alien with those eyes’.
“There have been times when his looks have startled me – there are some photos that I’ve withheld because I thought they were a little too wild for public consumption.
“Even if he’s sitting there being sleepy and maybe he’s holding his eyes halfway open – anything like that can really make him look possessed as well.”
Alyson said she’s able to get some hilarious pictures of Pixel as he poses with his signature ‘awkward smile’ on-demand much of the time and shows off his gleaming front gnashers.
She added: “I would really like people to know that I’m not coercing him to get these faces – these are actually the faces that he makes on a daily basis.
“He’s a very sweet boy – it’s funny because the faces he makes sometimes do tend to scare people. I don’t think he even realises it – he just makes these crazy faces.
“I get a lot of gasps when people notice him – there was a snow removal guy outside and Pixel was sitting in the window and I heard the guy go ‘wow, you’re weird’.
“I’ve received a couple of messages from people telling me that his photos make them so happy and that they have such a good time sharing them with their kids in the morning.
“It makes my day to hear that he’s brought someone a smile – especially in these times.”