You often hear of the special bonds between children and dogs, but what about the cats? While we can’t answer this on behalf of all cats, we can say that’s the case with Juniper, also known as The Nanny Cat.
Juniper entered Kama and her husband's life in 2017. At the time, they had already adopted two APA! cats, Kale and Rose. Kale took an extra liking to Kama’s husband while Rose refuses to be cuddled. On one fateful day, Kama found herself browsing the APA! website, daydreaming of having a cat who would want to cuddle on her lap. As luck would it, she stumbled across Juniper’s bio, and fell for the sweet ginger kitty who just so happens to adore cuddles.
So home Juniper went, where she adjusted pretty well and quickly settled in by Kama’s side. The transition to a three cat household took some time; and while it’s not always perfect, they are all getting along just fine.
Kama and Juniper had a special bond from the start: “She immediately took to sleeping on my head, and purred so loudly that she almost made it difficult to sleep. Still, to this day, she sleeps on my head or shares a pillow with me.” It’s safe to say the two are very connected, which could be how Juniper sensed Kama’s pregnancy. She would lay across her belly purring almost every night, and when her son would kick, Juniper would look up at Kama as if to say, “What’s happening in there?!”
It was only natural that Juniper would become a nanny to Kama’s bright-eyed baby. Once the happy parents brought their bundle of joy home, Juniper wouldn’t leave his side, or even take her eyes off of him: “She would try to stay up and watch him while he slept – so much so that she would fall asleep and tip over, and then wake herself up again to keep watching him.” This effort to look after her new sibling extended as far as diaper changes! Juniper has found a unique talent of standing on her hind legs while leaning on Kama so that she can keep her eyes on him.
“Frequently, she will cry loudly at me if she thinks I don’t notice that the baby is crying,” shares Kama, “[She’ll] lick and gently nip at his head to get him to stop crying if it goes on too long. She gets very distressed if my son is upset at all. Whenever I go into his room at night to check on him, Juniper comes with me. She likes to look into his crib and make sure he is okay.”
One of Kama’s absolute favorite things about her in-home nanny is that Juniper watches over the bassinet: “My mother (who June knows and loves) came into the room to check on the baby, and bypassed Juniper to reach into the bassinet. Juniper immediately started hissing at my mother until she stopped touching the baby and reassured Juniper that she meant no harm – then my mom was allowed to touch the baby.”
Juniper hasn’t had the easiest of pasts, like a lot of the animals we take in at APA!. She had a BB gun pellet permanently embedded under her skin, and couldn’t be in the catteries because she was so terrified of the other cats. Kama imagines she had a very tough first few years of life.
“The fact that she can have so much love, resilience, and be such a nurturing mother to a child of a different species astounds me,” shares Kama. It’s clear that Juniper is a brilliant example of unconditional love, no matter the circumstances.
Besides now having a cat to cuddle with, Kama explains that Juniper has changed her life in an even bigger way: “She shows me each day how to love others unconditionally, no matter their species, and how to be resilient in the face of hardship. She’s my source of comfort when life becomes stressful, and she reminds me to connect to real life, get off my phone, and pet her – by head butting my phone when I’ve been on too long.” It’s clear Juniper is where she’s meant to be as The Nanny Cat.
“Know that the shy cat, the one with the BB in her side, who turns to jello when she’s scared, the mama cat, the older cat, they could be the most amazing friend who has ever adopted you. I’m so thankful that at APA!, every animal’s life is valued and protected -- there aren’t any throw away animals. Every animal has the ability to profoundly impact a person’s life,” emotionally expresses Kama.
We couldn’t agree more. Every life deserves to be saved, no matter what their story is. If you’d like to continue to help us help pets like Juniper find their purpose in their forever home, please give today.