Meet Milla, the fluffy cat who beat the odds

Much like her namesake, this cat is a star

Video Transcript

DUSTIN CABATUAN: Me starting her Instagram account was just sort of pure fun and a hobby, and it turned into being a part of a cat community. I love all pets but, to me, cats are just-- they're lovable, but then they also, like, do their own thing and I like that.

Hi, my name is Dustin Cabatuan, and this is Milla, Milla the Cat.

Milla is named after Milla Jovovich, the actress. She's a very lovable cat. Very quiet. She doesn't really meow like my other cats do. She's very eccentric. She loves to play with the most random things.

She's not much of a lap cat. She does her own thing. She's an independent woman.

So, I got Milla 2011. I lived in West Hollywood. You weren't allowed to have dogs, so I was considering getting a cat, and it was around Halloween, actually. There was a Target commercial, and this really unique-looking, grayish cat, never seen one in my life so I googled and looked around. And there actually happened to be a family in Hollywood that was having a litter.

Eight weeks later, I went over there. There was a little boy and a girl. She was the little shy one hiding under the couch. I was like, I want her and so brought her home. She was my first cat I've ever had, and I fell in love with her. And then we moved to this apartment and I got two British short hairs.

One is Wynonna, she's now four years old. And then there's Kubrick who is three years old. So there's-- I have three cats now.

I've worked in social media for quite a while. I started her account like in 2013, I think it was in May was like her first post I ever did. Yeah, it was just kind of a fun little hobby. As soon as Instagram posted her on The Weekly Fluff, I think it went from like 2,000 to 50k, 60k. And then BuzzFeed would post her. All of these different popular sites would post her as well so her account just kept growing. The outreach was pretty crazy.

I didn't expect it. That that's definitely the look that her followers like the most, when her eyes are all dilated like that and big-eyed.

So, usually, in the morning I'll check her account, see what's coming in. Respond to them. She'll usually have, like, one or two campaigns to do, and I kind of have to like do it when she wants to. Like, she sleeps quite a bit. She's 10 years old now. So she really likes to sleep.

So when I notice that she's being active that's when I try and like jump on it, take the photos and videos. And at this point, like, she knows what my phone is. Like, she's pretty used to being the little model that she is.

Yeah, I'm her momager. I guess. You could say that. Yeah.

So Milla was two years old. I came home one day, it almost looked like she was convulsing. Took her to the vet immediately, emergency. And they told me that she had severe heart disease. From there, we took her to a special cardiologist in Culver City. They let us know that it was severe heart disease, specifically HCM. They told us that she would likely live three to six months, if that. And then the next morning I was at the gym, it was like 6:00 in the morning, I get a call saying, you need to come over here, she's not doing well.

So they pretty much told us to like say our goodbyes to her. I felt like she could still pull through I was there for hours, of course, that day. She slowly got better throughout the week. They still told us she probably has six months to live. From two to seven or eight years old, she was on those meds.

We had six month checkups, and slowly her heart went back to normalcy, which that doesn't happen in humans or dogs but it can happen in cats. It's just, like, a 5% chance that could ever happen, and she just so happened to be one of those cats.

Once she started having her health issues, there were companies and charities that were reaching out to us. So we've done that, and then there's different places in Los Angeles in regards to adopting cats. We helped push that out to the community and let them know that there was a place to adopt. So that was really cool.

When you think of, like, cat people you think of like old ladies that have 20 cats in their place, but I've met so many really cool people in LA, Canada. I know it sounds crazy, but there's actually, like, cool young people that have cats.

I mean, cats have a bad rap. Every time someone comes to our house they're like, oh, I don't like cats. They're mean and they hiss and whatever just happened. And then they hang around our cats for a minute and they're like, oh, your cats are great. I'm lucky I got three really amazing, fun-loving cats.