When Hala the cat encountered Lola, a 2-month-old kitten, she decided right once that she would be Lola’s mother.
“Hala has never produced kittens before because she is so young,” said Mohammad Alaa Aljaleel (also known as Alaa), the founder of House of Cats Ernesto, a cat sanctuary in Aleppo, Syria. “However, she approached the kitty and began cleaning her.”
Lola isn’t the first kitten to visit Ernesto’s House of Cats. Since the Syrian civil conflict began out in 2012, the country has been bombarded on a near-daily basis, forcing thousands of families to abandon their homes. Unfortunately, many dogs and cats were abandoned, and the number of stray animals quickly grew.
Alaa, an ambulance driver, gained notoriety when he lingered in the battle zone to feed hundreds of abandoned cats in Aleppo. Then, last year, Alaa founded House of Cats Ernesto, an official cat sanctuary named after his own cat Ernesto.
Then tragedy struck — last November, bombs hit the sanctuary, killing dozens of cats as well as Alaa’s beloved dog, Hope. Alaa eventually fled to Turkey with his cat, Ernesto, but he went back to Syria as soon as possible to reopen the sanctuary in a new location in Aleppo.
Hala arrived at the sanctuary six months ago — a volunteer had found her when she was a shy, sickly kitten living on the streets, and brought her to live at the sanctuary.
Now that Hala is healthy and happy, she’s helping Lola to adjust to life at the cat sanctuary.
Alaa explained, “The kitty doesn’t know how to clean herself.” “Hala attempts to clean the kitten every day after they eat, and it’s the loveliest thing.” Hala washes her face every day.”
Alaa continued, “Now they play, eat, and sleep together.”
“I saw this lovely photo of Hala with the kitten and wondered whether we had a new mom and kitten,” Alessandra Abidin, who administers Il gattaro D’aleppo, a Facebook page dedicated to House of Cats Ernesto, told The Dodo. “When they told me Hala had just got the kitten, I decided to write a blog entry about it because I really adore it.”
“The Ernesto’s Sanctuary is a fantastic project and a haven in the midst of a combat zone,” Abidin said. “We were able to perform miracles for the animals thanks to the affection and support of individuals all across the world.”
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