Amira and Junior have now become an unlikely family unit melting hearts on the internet.
Amira and Junior make for an odd duo. Whoever said cats and dogs don't get along, only need to take one look at these two. Amira is a stray dog who lives near Ernesto’s Sanctuary for Cats in Syria, a renowned cat sanctuary in the war-torn region of Allepo. Junior was a kitten who lost her family and was living on the streets when Mohammad Alaa Jaleel, also known as Alaa, or the "Cat Man of Aleppo" found her and took her to what would be her new home. Amira and Junior are now an unlikely family unit melting hearts on the internet.
Before the happier times, there were sad days that makes this union even more special. When Amira was pregnant, Alaa decided to give her a more comfortable place to stay till her delivery and allowed her to sleep in his room. Sadly, when it was time, Amira gave birth to stillborn puppies. “We were sad and shocked for her, and we gave her a stuffed teddy bear to cuddle because she was very sad,” Alessandra Abidin, Alaa's friend and admin of the Facebook page who runs it from her home in Italy, told The Dodo. As she was coping with her loss, Junior came along.
Junior was rescued from the streets and was brought to life with the other cats in the sanctuary. Amira, who would hang out near the entrance of the sanctuary caught Junior's attention. Because it is a predominantly feline sanctuary, Amira was not allowed inside. Junior saw the teddy the dog was cuddling and went to play with her. Slowly walking up to Amira, Junior made her way to her paws and proceeded to rub her face on her. She slowly started snuggling with her and that was when things began to change, according to Love Meow. The two then developed a wonderful friendship.
After a few days later, Amira was no longer holding on to her teddy bear. She was playing with the little kitten. Amira decided to take in Junior as her own and even started caring for her as she would have her own puppies. “We found them together,” Abidin said. “And the kitten was riding her [Amira], and she is completely fine. She even seemed to smile.” They have developed a strong bond and the Facebook group regularly posts updates of the two. The mother-daughter duo does everything together. Amira shares her food with her kitten and watches over her every move. "I think Amira needs to stay with Junior because her heart was sad after losing her puppies," Abidin said.
Amira needed Junior as much as the little kitten needed her. They have made it through their individual tragedies together and have been there for each other. With an increase in the conflict in Syria, there was also a pet crisis as more and more people fled the country leaving their cats and dogs behind. Alaa decided to take in as many of the cats left behind and care for the dogs. Amira and Junior are both recipients of his kindness. "I regard animals and humans in the same light," he told Newsweek. "All of them suffer pain, and all of them deserve compassion."