We have always had a soft spot for rescue cats. They have appeared in our lives from various locations — jumping into my arms from the bushes outside a restaurant, appearing in dreams before they manifested in real life, or settling into the backyard as if to say, “I found you, Mommy!”
Our little love, Freyja, appeared a few months after we lost our precious kitten, Raja, to FIP, an uncurable kitten disease. Our hearts and souls had bled with the sadness of this trajedy. We had adopted Raja and his brother, Bisou, together, when they were five weeks old. Born to a feral mother, they had been scooped up from beneath the bushes, and we took them home at six weeks of age. I had never seen two cats so tightly bonded. Those two could tussle and play all day long and then fall asleep in each other’s arms. Raja’s death broke all of our hearts, but most especially Bisou’s.
So, after a few months of watching Bisou wandering around, lost in sadness, we decided to adopt a new sibling for him. And before we could even start looking, a friend called me to say, “You have to see this kitten!” And that was it. Hours later, this little lovebug came home with us.
We call her our “mini- Maine Coon.” She has all the fluff, but only weighs about 7 pounds, probably because she was bottle-fed for the first few weeks of her life.
And, lo and behold, she drew Bisou out of his depression. Unable to resist her exuberance and her obvious adoration of her new slightly older brother, he was soon wrapped around her tiny paw.
His tenderness with her, to this day, warms my heart. She came to us weighing less than two pounds, not even as tall as a wine glass.
And Bisou, although he thinks that he is still this tiny, weighs about fourteen pounds now.
Right from the start, she was infatuated with her big brother. She would bat her tiny paws at him in play battle and then dash away at lightening speed, trying to lure him into the chase. And he could not resist her charms. He would bat back so softly and sweetly, let her climb all over him, chase her through kitty tunnels and lead her on circuits around the house, under couches and over cabinets and out into the garden.
And when they got tired, they would nap together.
Now, about three years later, you can still find the two of them playing chase in the garden, or hide-and seek followed by a mad dash up three flights of stairs and then back down again in hot pursuit of one another.
Or, sometimes, you will find them, just lounging together in their kitty cups next to my desk, soaking in the warmth of the fireplace. And my heart is happy again, because little Bisou’s heart is full of love once more….
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Story and photos ©Erika Burkhalter. All rights reserved.