Two new cat moms rescued on the same day are forever linked by an orange tabby named Arnie
Feline Callie is pictured feeding her kittens, as well as a foster kitten named Arnie, an orange tabby.(Courtney Jacoby / Best Friends)
The timing was purrfect.
Felines Callie and Abigail had both given birth in late April when they landed at Best Friends Animal Society in SoHo. But staffers soon noticed that Abigail had signs of an upper respiratory infection — meaning the new mom could not nurse her kitten, an orange tabby named Arnie.
Workers at Best Friends took Abigail to One Love Animal Hospital for treatment. Even then, 2-year-old Abigail could not feed her furry bundle. The vets determined there was only one way to save Arnie: place him with Callie, if the furry foster mom was willing to care for him.
“Arnie is very integrated into the litter...and Callie is a very good mom," said Courtney Jacoby, 27, of Manhattan, who is fostering the two cats along with Callie’s four other kittens while Abigail recuperates at another foster home. "There’s a lot of feeding and grooming on her part...and she’s very protective of all the kittens.”
“Callie’s so young...she’s very interested in playing," she said of the 2-year-old cat. “Arnie being one week older is more of a playmate to Callie than the others in the litter who are still learning how to walk and are stumbling all over the place.”
Jacoby knew the brood would require a great deal of care when she first took them to her apartment April 22. The orange tabby was severely underweight. He also had an eye infection, which quickly spread to his new siblings. She gave the young felines meds every four hours, and weighed them twice a day to make sure they were putting on the pounds.
Taking care of the kittens has been a “furmidable” task — but Jacoby said she’s grateful for an extra set of paws.
“I feel like me and (Callie) are co-moms. She does all the feeding and I do the medicine,” Jacoby said.
“It’s busy work...but very rewarding...They are so cute and Callie’s so happy," she added. “Callie does not treat Arnie any differently. She grooms him just as much and feeds him just as much...There’s no awareness that he’s not one of her own which is cute because he looks so different from all the others.”