When a disfigured kitten was abandoned on the streets of Istanbul, Turkey, residents were too put off by her looks to stop and help. Starving and in pain, the entire city had seemingly written her off because of her appearance.

That is, until a 7-year-old girl found her.

The little girl brought the kitten to her father, and together they rushed her to an animal hospital. There, it was discovered that in addition to the prominent facial deformities, the kitten was also infested with mites. The veterinarian set out on an ambitious plan to save her life. They needed a miracle.

When the girl picked up the kitten, she was in horrible shape.

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Passersby have ignored her for days on the streets.

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The cat was infested with mites, and her face was badly disfigured.deformed-cat-3

This is hard to look at, and most people chose not to. But not this girl.

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The veterinarian and nurses tried everything in their power to reconfigure the cat’s face.

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Poor little girl had been through so much.

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Slowly but surely, the medical team nursed her back to health and surgically repaired her roughest features…

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…with her friend at her side the entire time.

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When she was finally out of danger, she was named Gülümser, which means “she who always smiles.”

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Gülümser’s transformation is nothing short of magical. The vet clearly worked wonders on Gülümser, but the unconditional love of a child was her true savior.

Share Gülümser’s amazing story with others below. It’s a wonderful reminder that we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.