Katie Duda was grieving the loss of her cat Lucky when she came across a photo of two kittens at Wrenn Rescues looking for a home. Duda could tell there was something unique about River when she took him and his brother up from their foster family.
“When I picked them up from the foster home, I thought I observed a large heart on his breast, but I wasn’t sure,” Duda told The Dodo. “I didn’t even bother to look at them or play with them.” Wrenn Rescues is a company I trust.”
River was shy and wanted to hide at home, so Duda created a warm place for him with all the space he needed. Duda began to notice more heart-shaped markings on River’s coat as he got more at ease with his new family.
“I confirmed [one] on his chest, noted his nose was more heart-shaped than other cats, then under his paws, chin, and other places,” Duda said. “We’ve identified seven entire hearts so far, as well as two areas that appear to be heart-shaped at times.”
Not only is the kitten covered in hearts, but he’s also full of love.
“River is an old soul,” Duda said. “He’s calm, attentive and loving. My children have been able to gently grieve and heal with River and Remi by their side.”
“I expected the kittens to bring us joy, but truly they’ve brought us peace,” she added. “River, covered in hearts, is mending broken hearts.”
River enjoys spending time with his human siblings, but he is always on the lookout for his kitten brother.
“River is nearly twice Remi’s size and serves as his guardian,” Duda explained. “Remi wanted to sit in a huge potted plant in our dining room the other day. Remi was irritated because I had put foil in the pot to keep the kittens from playing in the mud. River generously removed the foil for Remi, allowing him to lie in the mud.”
The hearts on River’s fur have always been there, but for Duda, they’re also a sign that she made the right choice.
“My first thought was that River’s hearts are Lucky’s way of making sure we know how much he loves us,” Duda said. “River’s hearts may not be a literal message to my family, but the love they bring is very real.”