Upon a single glance at Amira, the dog, Junior, the kitten, made a firm decision that Amira should be her mother — and she was determined not to accept “no” as an answer.
Amira, a street dog residing near Il Gattaro d’Aleppo (“The Cat Man of Aleppo”), a distinguished cat sanctuary in war-torn Syria, has been under the care of Mohammad Alaa Jaleel (known as Alaa), the sanctuary’s founder. Despite Alaa’s best efforts to care for Amira, safety considerations prevent her from residing among the 80 cats who call Il Gattaro d’Aleppo home.
Upon learning of Amira’s pregnancy, Alaa permitted her to stay in his room until the time for her to give birth, with the intention of offering her additional comfort.
However, as Amira went into labor, tragedy struck — none of the puppies survived.
“We felt a profound sadness and shock for her, and we offered her a stuffed teddy bear to cuddle because she was in deep sorrow,” Alessandra Abidin, a friend of Alaa who oversees the Facebook page for Il Gattaro d’Aleppo from her home in Italy, shared with The Dodo.
Similar to Amira, Junior, the kitten, had experienced the loss of her family and was dwelling on the streets before Alaa discovered her and brought her to reside at Il Gattaro d’Aleppo.
Swiftly adapting to life at the sanctuary, Junior familiarized herself with its numerous resident cats. She also noticed Amira, often found relaxing near the sanctuary entrance, along with one of Amira’s teddy bears.
Amira makes several weekly visits to Il Gattaro d’Aleppo, and on each occasion, Junior is there to welcome her. Despite the difference in size and species, Amira has developed a strong affection for Junior — a sentiment clearly reciprocated. The two engage in play, share meals, and take naps together.
Amira was given the name, which means “princess,” because, to us, she embodies a princess with her noble soul,” Abidin explained.