It’s hard to make it on the streets, especially if you’re just a tiny kitten. But one young feline found herself in that exact position, living as a stray in the San Francisco Bay Area. The lonely kitty was just a few weeks old and was completely on her own. Fortunately, some caring sisters discovered the helpless critter and brought her home, naming her Rosie. There, she met her new “siblings,” a pack of Huskies. Read on to see how Rosie got along with her canine housemates and what she’s up to today!
It’s Not Always Sunny In California
Despite its reputation as a place filled with sunshine, that’s not always the case in California – especially in northern parts of the state like San Jose, where Rosie’s story begins. At night, temperatures in the area commonly dip into the 40s, which is far too chilly for a two-week-old kitten to survive in.
It didn’t seem that this stray kitty had any chance of survival in such an environment. But fortunately, fate intervened and changed everything in the young cat’s life.
Three Sisters Found The Kitten
The little kitty did not have a very happy future. Daily life was a struggle and the vulnerable baby could not go on for much longer on the cold streets of San Jose. There was some good news coming her way, though!
Two sisters, Thi and Tram Bui, found the kitten near an acquaintance’s home one day. They had another sister named Thoa who was a dedicated animal lover. Thoa had rescued some other unfortunate critters in the past, so Thi and Tram didn’t hesitate to scoop the kitten up and bring her home with them.
The Baby Cat Was In Bad Shape
Sometimes when a baby animal seems to have been abandoned, it really isn’t although it might be alone at the time. Since Thoa had plenty of experience recusing other animals, though, she could tell that this kitten did not have a mother nearby.
In fact, the cat was in pretty bad shape. When the sisters found the kitten, she was only three weeks old. And even worse, she was “malnourished, lethargic and dying,” they later told ABC News.
Naming The Kitten
After getting the sweet kitten safely home, Thoa decided to name her Rosie. Thoa knew that it was going to be a lot of work to nourish Rosie into good health, but she planned to give it everything she had. After all, she loved animals and had already grown really attached to the cuddly little ball of fluff.
Rosie was malnourished, which was going to be an obstacle for Thoa. All growing babies need food in order to develop properly, and this was extra important in Rosie’s case. But Thoa couldn’t get Rosie to eat.
How Would She Feed Rosie?
As an experienced animal rescuer, Thoa was growing frustrated that she couldn’t get Rosie to eat. The tiny little baby needed nourishment, and soon.
“She almost did not make it through the first night, even with round the clock care. Our cute kitten was lethargic and limp,” she shared on Instagram. Thoa then had an idea. She was going to bring in a helper that some people might find unexpected: her Siberian Husky, Lilo.
Rosie And Lilo
Thoa was very distressed that she wasn’t able to get little Rosie to eat anything. The baby kitten just couldn’t survive without sustenance. She thought maybe the issue was getting Rosie to feel safe enough that she would be able to eat.
She believed that if Rosie had an animal pal, she’d feel more comfortable eating some much-needed food. That’s when Lilo, the Siberian Husky, entered the kitten’s life and changed it forever!
A Successful Meeting
Just as soon as Rosie was introduced to Lilo, the two started bonding. As Thoa told ABC News, the caring dog did not leave Rosie’s side for hours. The kitten cuddled right up to Lilo and clearly felt comforted by the dog’s presence.
Soon enough, Rosie felt safe and secure enough to feel hungry. She even tried to nurse on Lilo, as if the Husky was her mama! This was very encouraging to Thoa.
Getting More Comfortable
Lilo clearly had some maternal instincts, because she immediately knew what to do when she met the tiny kitten. Thoa recalled to ABC News that Lilo “cuddled her and comforted [Rosie] until she was better and ready to finally drink from a bottle.”
In fact, Lilo stayed by Rosie’s side all night. This was an even better outcome than anyone could have hoped for! Thoa brought the dog’s dinner to her so she could stay by her new little buddy.
Lilo Seemed To Know That Rosie Needed Her
A maternal instinct is a powerful force, and although Lilo couldn’t ever naturally become a mother, she sure knew just what to do with baby Rosie.
As Thoa shared, “Lilo has never had puppies of her own, and never will. But motherhood may just be her calling,” adding, “I think she knew that Rosie needed her.” Perhaps the two animals needed each other for different reasons. Either way, they were now inseparable.
The unlikely dog-cat friendship between little Rosie and her Husky guardian Lilo was not just cute. It literally saved the kitten’s life! As Thoa recounted to The Dodo, “She started feeding after a couple hours of just cuddling” with Lilo. A little comfort goes a long way when you need some.
Thoa and her sisters just couldn’t believe how much Lilo had helped little Rosie. The two animals had grown incredibly attached to one another in a short time.
The Rest Of The Family
Contrary to popular belief, dogs and cats aren’t always enemies. And Lilo and Rosie were perfect examples of that. Right after meeting each other for the first time, they were pretty much inseparable.
It turns out that Lilo wasn’t the only dog in Rosie’s new household. She was actually part of a pack of three dogs, along with two other Huskies named Miko and Infinity. Would Rosie get along with them, too?
The Truth About Cats And dogs
What would happen when Thoa introduced little Rosie to the Husky pack? Would Infinity and Miko accept the kitten as Lilo had, or would they be upset at the intrusion into their pack?
Fortunately, the other two dogs took a liking to Rosie right away, too! And she felt the same about them. Pretty soon, all four animals became all one big family and acted like it was the most natural thing in the world for them to enjoy each other’s company as much as they did.
Kitty See, Kitty Do
In many families, the youngest child (or animal) will often look up to the older ones and imitate everything they do. This turned out to be the case with Rosie and her new doggie siblings, even though she was just a few weeks old and they were big Huskies!
It was absolutely adorable. The cat was now one of the pack, and she followed them everywhere she could. “They sleep together, they walk together, we all go for hikes together,” Thoa told BuzzFeed.
Feeling Left Out
Despite being part of a close-knit family, there were some things Rosie couldn’t do with her new Husky siblings. One of Thoa’s sisters thought that the normally-happy Rosie looked sad anytime they all left and she had to stay at home by herself.
So Thi, Tram, and Thoa came up with a plan that might have sounded a little insane to other people at first. The idea was so unusual that they weren’t sure it would work.
Bringing Rosie Along
The three Bui sisters knew that their idea to bring Rosie along with them when they took the dog pack out was a strange one. Thoa recalled, “I was like, ‘You’re crazy, we’re going to look ridiculous.” But they decided to go ahead with it anyway.
“[W]e do [look ridiculous] sometimes, but that’s okay… Basically, whatever we do with the dogs, we bring Rosie along,” Thoa said. All the animals enjoyed it, so who cares?
No Litter Box For Rosie
The fact that sweet little Rosie thought she was a dog meant that the Bui sisters got to see a lot of hilarious antics. But one of the funniest things the kitten did involved her potty activities. She wasn’t content to use a litter box like any “normal” cat might.
Instead, Rosie learned to do her business the “doggy way.” In an interview with ABC News, Thoa shared the hilarious story. “When [Rosie] saw Lilo and the dogs went outside to potty, she started doing the same… When they were leashed to go on walks, Lilo wanted to be leashed and to come along, too.”
The Dogs Made The Decision For Thoa
Although Thoa didn’t initially plan to keep little Rosie forever and just meant to foster her back to health, the Husky pack had other plans. Once the time came to find Rosie a permanent home, she looked to the dogs for an answer.
As she said to ABC News, “Rosie is now a part of the pack… Since Lilo is their leader, Infinity and Miko just accepted her, and now they’re all good friends.” It looked like the kitty was there to stay!
Rosie Was Home, Sweet Home
Silly little Rosie was finally at home with her permanent family. She continued to settle in with her Husky pack and as time went on, they all grew closer and closer. What an incredible home for any cat to find itself in – especially one that had been in such bad shape like Rosie had.
Was it was because of her young age that Rosie had started to act just like her canine siblings? No one is sure, but Thoa says that she still has some inborn cat characteristics and traits.
There Is A “Cat” Side To Rosie
Whether Rosie really thinks she’s a dog or not, she does still act like a cat sometimes. Thoa explained this to The Dodo.
“She definitely has her catlike features because she has other cats living in the house that are her friends, as well,” she said. “But I think she knows deep down inside that she was raised by a husky.” Lilo’s sweet mothering really made a big impact on Rosie’s life!
Dominant Dog Traits
“She thinks she’s more a dog than anything,” laughed Thoa as she spoke to The Dodo about Rosie. After being raised by dogs, she has kept “so many of those features.”
And it goes beyond her preference for going to the bathroom outside with the dogs and walking on a leash. Rosie also eats and drinks from the same dishes that the dogs do. None of the animals mind that they’re not the same species – they’re all family either way!
With Lilo By Her Side, Rosie Can Do Anything
Rosie seems to have broken a lot of the stereotypes about cats. For one thing, she loves dogs even though she’s not “supposed” to. And it turns out that she doesn’t even mind the water like a lot of cats do. In fact, she went boating with her family and didn’t seem to mind the experience.
“We go on a lot of road trips, and we recently took Rosie kayaking and paddle-boating with us,” Thoa said to ABC News. “She’s not afraid at all, and as long as Lilo is there, she knows everything is going to be OK.”
Rosie ‘Pays It Forward’ With Other Rescues
Since she had such a hard time when she was a little kitten, trying to survive while living on the streets of San Jose, Rosie had to learn to be tough.
But Lilo’s affection and love obviously wore off on her too, and she “pays that forward” whenever she gets a chance. You see, Thoa continues to rescue strays and bring them home with her, and Rosie helps to care for all of them.
A Natural Caretaker
Thoa is an animal-lover at heart and continues to rescue strays off the streets. Since Rosie has become a permanent part of Thoa’s family and the Husky pack, she has brought other needy animals in to care for them.
And Rosie is there to help! She seems to thrive on giving love and attention to all the strays she meets, offering them the kind of love and care that Lilo gave her.
Rosie, Five Years After Being Rescued
Sweet Rosie, once abandoned and living on the streets, is now a foster mother herself! A year after she was rescued by the Bui sisters, they brought home four kittens who needed help. And Rosie was up for the challenge.
The sisters posted an update to YouTube showing Rosie taking care of the little ones, and she is a natural. “It looks like Lilo’s teachings have rubbed off on [Rosie]! She started mothering the kittens, and although she has never had a litter of her own, or any milk to give, she is as motherly as they come. We are so proud of her!!”
Melting Hearts All Over The World
Thoa, Thi, and Tram Bui like to share their animal rescue stories with the rest of the world. They’re true animal lovers and people enjoy seeing the photos that the sisters share of the various animals they’ve taken in and fostered, such as these itsy bitsy kittens!.
On social media, the Buis share heartwarming stories of unconditional love for animals. Their posts inspire people all around the world. They run a nonprofit kitten rescue now, called Mini Cat Town Kitten Rescue.
Rosie, Five Years After Being Rescued
The sisters still post frequently about Rosie, too, and recently shared an update on her five-year birthday. “Happy Birthday to Lilo, Rosie, and Infinity! The pups turned 7 on April 30th and Rosie turned 5 years old,” read the caption on Instagram.
“It’s so crazy to look back and see how much time has passed. We are so lucky to be celebrating another year together! Thank you to everyone who has been following their story from the very beginning!”
Mother’s Day 2020: Lilo Nurturing Some Kittens!
Sweet Lilo thrives from helping other animals, and here’s a recent photo of her cuddling with yet another kitten rescue. In a May 2020 Instagram post, this photo was captioned “Happy Mother’s Day!” Even though Lilo didn’t have her own puppies, she clearly has a strong maternal instinct and loves to nurture babies in need.
We can’t get a good read on her expression in this photo, though. As one of Lilo’s followers noted, she might be thinking “hmm, not sure I signed up for this, but oh well.”
The Big Weigh-In
These little fluffsters look like they are inseparable. Here, they’ve just crawled together into a special scale. As Mini Cat Town Kitten Rescue wrote along with the photo, “Guys, that’s not how this works.”
Between the two of them, they barely weigh anything. These kitties are so tiny! In no time at all, they’ll more than double their body weight. Especially with Lilo and Rosie looking after them and making sure they eat.
Learning To Play Hide-And-Seek
Many curious kitties enjoy hiding in small spaces. It sounds like these three siblings like to play hide-and-seek but always choose the same exact spot to curl up in. The Bui sisters’ rescue group posted this hilarious photo with the caption, “You guys know it’s no longer a hiding spot if we always find you there, right?”
The foundation’s website says, “Since 2015, Mini Cat Town has rescued over 340 cats and kittens.” That’s a lot of kittens just like the three you see here. Cats all over the Bay Area and beyond have the sisters to thank for giving them another chance at life.
A Case Of Mondays
It turns out that even adorable kittens aren’t immune from having a “case of the Mondays.” Mini Cat Town shared a photo of this newborn kitten on a recent Monday morning, and said: “Happy Monday from Buzz!”
More than one of their followers noted that Buzz doesn’t exactly look thrilled in the snapshot. “Buzz looks like he’s having a rough Monday too,” wrote one of them. Give Buzz a break everyone, it’s not easy being a helpless little fella. He probably just needs a nap.
Mama Cat Abandons Her Kitten
Feral cats have strong maternal instincts. But they will abandon some kittens out of fear for the rest of their litter. Since kittens have to fight for milk, small or sickly ones don’t have the strength to survive.
As a result, a tiny calico kitten found herself alone in the summer of 2017. Her mom had a large litter, and the calico, being unusually tiny, couldn’t receive the nourishment she needed
The Calico Was Left Alone
This calico was a really, really tiny runt. The mom realized that this kitten wouldn’t survive, so in order to provide more milk for her kids who would, she abandoned the calico.
Oftentimes, kittens stay together alone while the mother hunts. But this kitten had none of her siblings near her. She was left on her own, crying for help, and would have died had she not run into luck.
Her Savior Arrives
In August 2017, an Imgur user named Alan ran into the scrawny little calico. She was the tiniest thing he had ever seen, and as soon as he realized she was abandoned, he took her in. “Her mother doesn’t like her as the others,” he wrote.
The kitten began clinging to him almost instantly. He got her food, toys, and a bed. He walked her around his apartment. Eventually, she fell asleep at Alan’s feet.
Welcome Home, Sansa
Alan decided to name his new kitten Sansa. Her bulging blue eyes reminded him of Sophie Turner, who plays Sansa in Game of Thrones. Her patches of ginger fur also mirrored the actress’s auburn hair.
Her appearance was the only similarity, however. In the HBO show and books, Sansa was a princess spoiled and decorated with lavish garments. The kitten, however, was scruffy, ragged, and visibly malnourished.
Did Alan Bite Off More Than He Could Chew?
When Alan took Sansa home, he snapped plenty of photos and posted them to Imgur. Users with cat knowledge responded with concern. “I’m pretty sure she shouldn’t have been taken from her mother yet,” one commenter expressed.
Kittens need to stay with their mothers until they turn ten weeks old. Sansa was only about 32 days old, and she needed the nourishment that comes from a mother’s milk. Did Alan have the necessary supplies to care for this kitten?
Health Risks For Kittens
After Alan updated Imgur, several users requested that he take Sansa to the vet. Young kittens, especially those as small and malnourished as Sansa, face the risk of several illnesses that could kill them very quickly.
Kittens can develop worms, feline distemper, and even immunodeficiency viruses similar to HIV. Alan followed the internet users’ advice and got Sansa vaccinated for everything. Still, he had to do everything right to ensure that Sansa wouldn’t get sick.
In Over His Head
On Imgur, Alan admitted that he “didn’t prepare all the things she needed.” He assumed that he could leave her some kibble, water, and some toys, and that she’d grow up fine. Thanks to the Imgur community, he realized how wrong he was.
Young kittens can’t eat regular adult cat food, since it doesn’t supply enough nutrients. They need a diet rich in protein and calcium to grow properly. But Alan didn’t know any of that yet.
Sansa Wasn’t Eating
When Alan first brought Sansa in, he noticed that she wasn’t eating. Imgur commenters advised him that the calico was too young to eat solid food. Kittens can drink only milk until they are about eight weeks old.
Alan soon discovered that kittens require much different care than adult cats. They can’t drink cow’s milk since it’ll give them dysentery. They also can’t feed themselves. Alan had to step in for Sansa’s mother.
Alan bought a special kitten milk mix that he had to blend into a sludge himself, and he had to bottle-feed Sansa through a syringe. Since Sansa’s tummy was so small, she needed to eat every couple of hours.
Imgur users also alerted Alan that as a young kitten, Sansa couldn’t retain body heat. Because of this, Alan provided his kitten with plenty of blankets and beds to cuddle in.
Alan’s Attention Will Define Sansa’s Life
Cats are incredibly social animals. Being around other animals gives them a sense of security, which allows them to be playful. Kittens who are handled continuously from the age of two weeks tend to be less aggressive and friendlier.
Whether or not Alan knew at the time, his care for Sansa defined the cat’s future. Had he not picked her up or fed her daily, she would have become aggressive and isolated.
Growing Up Stronger
After a couple of weeks of bottle feeding, Sansa grew stronger and more active. She no longer looked like skin and bones and was able to explore the apartment fully. Eventually, she could even eat solid food.
Alan’s online advisers recommended some kitty formula that would have the protein Sansa needed. While he waited for the shipment, Alan cooked her scrambled eggs to give her healthy fats that she could handle.
Sansa’s New Father
Sansa, who after several weeks was still half the size of Alan’s foot, became infatuated with her new caregiver. She often sandwiched herself between Alan’s feet and purred. She constantly fell asleep on him.
Sansa also became more playful and often followed Alan around the house. He gave her plenty of toys but decided that wasn’t enough. Lucky for her, Alan dedicated an entire room to the kitten.
From Stray To House Cat
As Sansa gained strength, she adapted to the ways of a house cat. She explored the finer things in life such, as cardboard box mazes, trash-tipping, and swiping at random trinkets strewn around the house.
Sansa also began learning how to use the litter box. Although Alan had already bought her a litter box, most kittens won’t understand how to use it until around three months old. Sansa was well on her way, though.
Sansa Starts Fighting
As kittens grow, they begin to stalk, bounce, scratch, and bite each other. With no siblings to play with, Sansa began grappling with Alan. Her primary opponent was Alan’s hand, which offered Alan cute photo options for a while.
However, cat’s teeth and claws grow, and Alan soon turned to his online friends for help. “She [began] to bite me,” he said on Imgur. “Need a way to stop [her] from doing that.”
Handling His Feisty Kitten
Imgur users praised Alan’s efforts since Sansa’s grappling indicated that she was growing up strong and healthy. “Kittens need to be socialized,” one commenter said, and her fighting was a normal way for kittens to socialize.
Users told Alan to make a high-pitched yelp to signal to Sansa that her playing got too rough. They also suggested they he buy a scratch post. He followed all instructions, and eventually, Sansa’s rough-housing became more manageable.
Bye-Bye, Blue Eyes
Sansa’s enormous blue eyes that inspired her name didn’t stay blue for very long. At around 50 days old, she developed yellow-green eyes instead. This color change happens in almost every kitten.
Most kittens are born with blue eyes. After about three months, however, their eyes change to copper, brown, or yellow-green. Her new eye color illustrated that Sansa had grown big and healthy enough to make it to adulthood.
Sansa’s Battle With Water
As Sansa grew older, she became bigger and more independent. She no longer required consistent cuddling and blankets to remain warm. Alan resolved to give his kitten her first bath. Kittens don’t usually need baths (beyond bottom wiping) because they instinctively clean themselves.
Either way, Alan had decided that Sansa got too dirty. She reacted poorly to the water. Remember when Sansa scratched and bit at Alan’s hands? This time, it was much worse.
The Cat She Was Always Meant To Be
On December 1st, almost four months after Alan adopted Sansa, he uploaded a bunch of photos to Imgur to display how much she had grown. The once scraggly and miniature kitten had transformed into a healthy, fluffy cat with plenty of sass.
Alan also clarified that he encountered no major health problems throughout Sansa’s kittenhood, which came as a relief to the many users who tracked the calico’s progress. After months of intensive care, Sansa became the royal beauty that her name implies.
Alan’s Growing Kitty Family
Around this time, Alan gave Sansa the best gift of all: another calico cat named Arya. Sansa bonded with her new sibling quickly. Although they are the same age, Arya is much smaller than Sansa. So Sansa took charge and showed the newbie around their home.
Kittens who are raised alone tend to be hyperactive in playing with objects and their owners. So providing a new sibling for Sansa will make her less shy and more playful.
Sansa’s Life Now
Nowadays, Sansa spends her time playing with her toys and sitting on Alan’s lap when he works on his computer. She continues to act just as snuggly as when she was a kitten.
Although once Sansa had no family, she now has a sibling and a loving father. Despite being a rookie, Alan did a phenomenal job of turning Sansa’s life around. She’s currently the happiest cat in the world.