A kitten melted into the cat who accepted her as his own, and couldn't get enough of his attention.
Cleo the kitten and Polar the catShelby Thorpe
In early March, Shelby Thorpe, the founder of Shelby's Kitten SafeHouse (in Oregon), was informed about a litter of kittens by a TNR (trap-neuter-return) rescuer. The cat mom couldn't take care of them, and only one kitten survived.
"(The sole kitten) was shivering and the environment was not a good one for her to be in, so the decision was made to have her come to me to be bottle-fed," Shelby told Love Meow.
Soon after Shelby brought the kitten home, one of her resident cats decided to come see the new baby.
Polar was immediately curious when Cleo arrived in a carrierShelby Thorpe
"I forgot to close the door to the kitchen when I went to grab something. When I went back I found Polar (the cat) checking out the new kid. I knew he was going to be a great big brother to her."
The kitten named Cleo had fleas and the beginning of what looked like eye infections. Shelby cleaned her up, treated her eyes, and started feeding her around the clock.
Cleo was so tiny but had a strong will to liveShelby Thorpe
With a warm nest, a cuddle toy (with a heart beat) as a constant companion, things began to look up for the little one. "I knew she would be okay when she started eating well from the bottle."
Cleo was so happy to have a full belly, and would never have to go hungry again.
She was so happy to be warm and have a full bellyShelby Thorpe
As she began to put on weight, she became increasingly curious about her surroundings and sniffed around for scents of the resident cats.
"Polar was immediately curious about the new kitten in the carrier, and investigated as much as he was allowed to for the first two weeks, since she had to be quarantined."
She started to put on weight and gain strengthShelby Thorpe
A few days later, Cleo started to move around in her nest, and try to find her feet. She was getting more playful and eager to hang out with feline friends.
Shelby spent ample time cuddling with Cleo to reassure her that she was loved. "Normally kittens would begin little interactions with one another at this age."
She became very curious about her surroundings and enjoyed being cuddledShelby Thorpe
Once Cleo was medically clear, she was officially introduced to Polar, who had been anticipating a formal meet-and-greet.
The nurturing cat took the little one right under his wing and started washing her face and ears.
Polar took Cleo under his wing and started caring for her as his ownShelby Thorpe
"Polar is taking his mom duties very seriously. He now enjoys gently pouncing in her direction and walking right over the top of her as she walks, since she fits under his long legs," Shelby shared with Love Meow.
"He also gives her baths and holds her with his front legs so she doesn't get to walk away during bath time."
They became fast friends and enjoyed napping togetherShelby Thorpe
Baby Cleo is on cloud nine whenever she is with Polar. She melts into him for snuggles, and can't get enough of his attention.
She has also turned into quite the cuddle-bug with her people, and loves hanging out on her foster mom's lap.
Cleo has blossomed into a happy, sweet young catShelby Thorpe
Cleo bounced back from a rough start, and is now thriving with the help of a wonderful foster family. She sleeps with a smile on her face knowing she is loved.
She wears an adorable smile when she sleepsShelby Thorpe