Editor’s note: Have you seen the new Catster print magazine in stores? Or in the waiting area of your vet’s office? This article appeared in our January/February 2017 issue. Click here to subscribe to Catster and get the bimonthly magazine delivered to your home.
About a year and a half ago, you might have seen a kind of funny-looking Husky make her debut online. She’s short, long-whiskered and … wait … isn’t a dog at all but a ridiculously cute cat who keeps up with a pack of Huskies.
She’s Rosie the kitten, and her owner, Thoa Buli, posted pictures on Instagram of the feisty kitty alongside her Husky surrogate mom, Lilo, in early 2015. Rosie was found without her mom at about 3 weeks old. She was sick, malnourished, and needed further mothering. Lilo took up the role.
Thoa said, “Rosie developed a very strong bond with Lilo when they started cuddling together, which solidified their mother-daughter relationship.”
Lilo did all the mom things — letting her (pretend) nurse, helping her go to the bathroom — and also become her playmate.
But how did Rosie begin the whole cat-going-on-a-walk thing with a pack of Huskies?
“We were about to leave on a walk one day, when Rosie just decided that she wanted to come, too,” Thoa said. “To this day, she’ll stand by the door with the dogs when she knows we’re going to do something fun. She comes with us on all walks and activities that we do. Her favorite is definitely hiking our favorite waterfall trail in Morgan Hill, California.”
The Husky imitations didn’t end there. Rosie began to do other stuff. “Other behaviors that she would mimic were eating from the same bowls (she often tries to steal dog food!); drinking water from the same bowls (even though she has her own water bowl); sleeping in the same beds; she’ll go potty in the woods if she has to when we’re hiking, too,” Thoa said.
Pictures online show the pack hiking, biking, paddleboarding, and going on car rides together. You can catch pics of the crew hiking outdoors, Rosie sniffing the forest floor and blazing trails.
Now, Rosie’s bold image will reach beyond the web. She and Lilo’s day-to-day life were filmed for Unlikely Animal Friends on Nat Geo Wild.
Their day-to-day life doesn’t seem like any other family’s day-to-day. It’s an ongoing journey with a group of tightly knit adventurers.
And, according to Thoa, Lilo and Rosie’s bond continues to be as adorable as ever.
Follow the whole gang on Instagram.
About the author: Anastasia Thrift’s “job” is to find interesting cats online and share stories and photos of them for CatChannel.com. She’s written about pets and their people for 10 years, working her way up the food chain to cats. Neighborhood cat, Killer, ate on her front porch for a year before reluctantly letting her bring him indoors. Follow Anastasia on Twitter at @ThriftT.