Junior, the kitten, took one look at Amira, the dog, and decided that Amira should be her mother. The kitten was persistent and refused to take “no” for an answer.
Amira is a stray dog who lives near Il Gattaro d’ Aleppo (The Cat Man of Aleppo), a famous cat sanctuary in war-torn Syria. The founder of the sanctuary, Mohammad Alaa Jaleel (known as Alaa), has been doing his best to care for Amira, although for safety reasons, he cannot allow her to live among the 80 cats who call Il Gattaro d’ Aleppo home.
When Alaa found out that Amira was pregnant, he let her sleep in his room until it was time for her to give birth, hoping to provide her with a little comfort. But when Amira went into labor, tragedy struck – none of the puppies were born alive.
“We were sad and shocked for her, and we provided her a stuffed teddy bear to cuddle because she was very sad,” said Alessandra Abidin, Alaa’s friend who runs the Facebook page for Il Gattaro d’Aleppo from her home in Italy, told The Dodo. Like Amira, Junior the kitten had lost her family and was living on the streets before Alaa found out about her and transported her to live at Il Gattaro d’Aleppo.
Junior quickly made herself at home at the sanctuary, getting to know its many resident cats. She also caught sight of Amira, who usually lounges around the sanctuary entrance, and one of Amira’s teddy bears.
“She realized the teddy bear [that belonged to] the dog, and slowly she went near her to pressed,” Abidin said.
Amira didn’t seem to mind, and she even let Junior crawl on top of her.
“We found them together,” Abidin said. “And the kitten was riding her [Amira], and she is completely fine. She even seemed to smile.”