When Mila Litvinova decided to go for a hike, she was looking forward to some fresh air and exercise. The last thing she expected was to find a stray kitten meowing for help.
When Mila followed the sound of the kitten’s crying, she discovered the scared baby all by herself in the bushes. “When I found her, she was very tiny, about three weeks old,” Mila told Love Meow. There was no mother cat in sight.
Mila doubted the kitten could survive in the woods on her own, so the animal lover brought the stray kitten home to meet her other rescued cats.
“She was so small that she didn’t know how to eat from a plate, drink water or go to the toilet on her own,” said Mila, recalling how she named the little orphan Penelope, aka Penny, and fed her hourly using a syringe. “She cried every time I left the room, so I stayed with her all the time, even at night.”
When she was finally old enough, Mila introduced Penny to her older fur siblings, Marusya and Zhulik, who were also rescued cats. But even Mila, a long-time animal lover and rescue advocate, was surprised by what happened next.
One of the rescued cats, Zhulik, was so enthralled by Penny’s presence that he posted himself outside the kitten’s room. “He heard her but couldn’t enter the room,” Mila recalled. “So he sat by the door all the time and meowed.” And when the door finally opened, the older cat would leap with joy. “The second he saw her, he ran around her, hopping and wanting to play,” she said.
At first, Penny was intimidated by the larger cat’s size, but before long they were cuddling, playing and napping together like old friends. “Zhulik was watching Penny all day, taking care of her. At night, he went to sleep with her,” Mila said.
The cats’ close bond also made Mila reconsider her original plan to just foster Penny until she found a forever home. “After we saw them together, we could not separate them,” she admitted. “They sleep together and hug all the time — their favorite thing to do. They love and trust each other very much, and feel relaxed when they are together.”
Naturally, Mila is thrilled by her expanding fur family, even when her rescues causes mischief or pick the occasional cat fight. “They like to go crazy and turn the house upside down,” she said. “They can fight and wrestle with each other, but all the fuss always ends with hugs.”
You can follow Penny and her fur family on Instagram!
J. Swanson is a writer, traveler, and animal-enthusiast based in Seattle, an appropriately pet-crazed city where dog or cat ownership even outweighs the number of kids. When the weather permits, she likes to get outside and explore the rest of the Pacific Northwest, always with a coffee in hand.
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