Being told that your furry new best friend is actually an “alien rat” would give most pet lovers paws for thought. But this caring woman didn’t let it put her off the sleepy ball of fuzz that she’d brought into her home, after he began his life abandoned outside her local grocery store. She was already in love with the rodent-looking creature, in fact. And so she decided that it was her job to care for him, until he grew into the best-looking member of her family.
The so-called alien’s story began in the parking lot of a local store. A couple were surprised to discover the tiny white creature curled up, alone and left to fend for himself – at just one day old. They’d subsequently scooped the baby up and taken him to safety. Next, the pair began a hunt for someone who may want to take in the creature, whatever it was.
Thankfully, it didn’t take long for someone to come forward and offer the little guy shelter for the foreseeable future. He was well-hydrated and had no health issues, but was in dire need of regular milk, warmth and attention. After all, he’d been separated from his mother and turfed out onto the street before even opening his eyes. And the woman who had come forward, Cali, knew that she was taking on a huge challenge. Consequently, she had no intention of keeping him forever.
The kind host initially planned to care for the unwanted newborn until he was of adoption age. That’s usually around eight to 12 weeks. She then planned to give him to a no-kill shelter. There, he would grow up and wait for however long it took for someone to adopt him. But within days, a strong bond had grown between Cali and the tiny critter. And she gave him a name: Ollie.
However, not everyone was enamored with this Ollie guy. When Cali showed a girlfriend a photo that she’d taken of him the day he arrived, her pal remarked: “Ew, he looks like an alien rat.” It was hardly a glowing review, but Cali laughed it off and got on with her maternal duties. Indeed, one woman’s alien rat was another’s loyal companion.
Cali bottle-fed Ollie and got him to sleep by putting him “near her heart.” She did this by wrapping him up in a hand towel and placing Ollie in her shirt. She called this a “purrito.” Moreover, it meant that she could carry him around the house easily while doing the dishes, typing reports and folding laundry. Writing on imgur alongside a picture from day three of their relationship, Cali cooed, “Look at that happy look on his sweet little face.”
Yet although Cali barely took her eyes off Ollie during that first week, he was yet to even open his. Then, just when the pair were getting into a routine, disaster struck. One evening, Ollie showed symptoms of severe dehydration – which can prove fatal to newborn “alien rats.” So Cali rushed him to an animal hospital for a late-night emergency appointment.
Hours later, veterinary specialists had given Ollie the necessary meds to save his life and reboot his health. They then provided Cali with some tips to aid his recovery and sent them both off. Back at home, the patient did some extra napping to recuperate, while his doting mom kept watch.
Thanks to Cali, the junior furball had made it through the night. And the very next day – his 12th with Cali – something miraculous happened. Ollie opened his eyes fully for the first time. His carer subsequently reported on imgur that he’s given her “this happy little dazed look of a happy and full baby.” It was love at first sight, and soon Ollie had become a “stage five clinger.” Moreover, he seemed completely besotted with the woman who’d ensured his survival.
Sure enough, Ollie was beginning to look a lot less like a sewer-dwelling alien rat and a lot more like a household pet – specifically, a kitten. When this adorable snap was taken, he had survived for a whole fortnight. And according to vets who Cali spoke to, the signs were that he would make it to adulthood. Ollie could still be carried in one hand at this point, but he was growing at a rate of knots.
As for his personality, it seemed that the kitty was very much a people person. Cali explained, “He would cry, and cry, and CRY if he heard people outside of the room he was kept in. I made sure it wasn’t due to hunger (kittens cry horribly when their bellies are empty). Sure enough, he’d reject the bottle and just chill on me instead.”
Ollie was also an increasingly energetic pet. He liked perching on people’s shoulders once he became too big to sit inside shirts. And when his mom took breaks from cuddling him to eat her lunch, he’d give her serious side-eye and meow like there was no tomorrow. But he still had her best interests at heart. Because when she was recovering from leg surgery, the kitten gave her comfort and company she needed – becoming her little “healer.”
But Ollie wasn’t the only non-human lodger vying for Cali’s attention. During a routine exploration of his home, which often involved creeping under sofas, Ollie came across a tank containing Cali’s gorgeous pet betta fish, Rainbow. Thankfully, though, his well-fed feline housemate was only interested in drinking Rainbow’s tank water.
Rainbow’s tank was one welcome distraction for the inquisitive cat, when human cuddles were temporarily unavailable. Another was watching birds gathering in Cali’s back yard. But homebody Ollie didn’t feel ready to venture outside, preferring to linger on the warmer side of the screen door.
Now so big that Cali had to use both hands to hold him up, three-month-old Ollie was not just her “precious baby” but also a very handsome cat. With teal-blue eyes, large pink-hued ears and long whiskers, his alien rat phase was far behind him. Moreover, human shoulders weren’t ideal for sitting on any more. Cali’s favorite “weirdo” was nonetheless still finding novel places to curl up and go to sleep.
Approaching four months, Ollie found that his owner had bought him his own scratching post. But he mainly liked to hang out on the back of Cali’s sofa, although on one occasion he selected a rather unfortunate napping spot – on top of her purse.
What’s more, being a mom to Ollie had changed Cali’s life for the better. With that in mind – and now knowing how to care for a tiny kitten – she was open to taking in another one. Rescue kitten number two had been brought to her attention by a male pal via social media. The tiny tabby was abandoned by her pal’s neighbors when they bought a new property.
Cali agreed to take in the kitten, but was worried that Ollie would become jealous as he was “very spoiled” by this point. Recalling memories of Ollie’s first week, Cali carted home the miniature brown, black and white kitten and set him down in his box on the carpet. Would Ollie accept him as a brother – or if not a brother, at least as a friend?
Well, people say that pets become like their owners. And this certainly seemed to be true of Ollie, who graciously accepted the adorable kitten as a new member of the family. Before long, the wise foster cat was cuddling up with the fluffy lodger on a blanket and teaching him the ways of the world. Then, after eight weeks with Ollie and Cali, he was ready to leave the nest. The kitten, who went on to be named Ryder, was snapped up by a loving new owner after Cali posted some advertisements, receiving three offers in just 15 minutes.
Clearly Cali wasn’t the only one who knew the joys of adopting a furry “bottle baby” like Ollie. Moreover, the “anti-cat” friend of Cali who’d once described him as an “alien rat” was now his number-one fan. At the end of her long post on imgur, Cali wrote, “Ollie won a place in my heart, and is a permanent member of the family. Raising kitten from literal day one is a very trying, but rewarding task. He is one of the sweetest kitties I have ever known.”