A kitten with several heart patterns in his fur has earned the love of thousands of social media users.
Katie, who declined to give her surname, said five-month-old River the cat has seven hearts on his fur, with a few more “almost-hearts” on his shoulders.
Katie, aged 40 from California, USA, adopted River and another cat named Remy after the sudden death of her pet cat Lucky, with her three children believing Lucky passed on his love through the heart patterns.
She told the PA news agency: “I don’t believe in this sort of thing, but I told my kids that maybe it was Lucky’s way of making sure we know how much he loved us.”
Katie, a stay-at-home mother and former family photographer, adopted the two kittens from the same litter, though the cats’ breed is unknown.
“They were born behind an apartment building to a stray mother and rescued a couple of weeks later,” she told PA.
“We adopted River and his brother Remy on January 8, after the sudden and tragic death of our two-year-old black cat, Lucky.
“Lucky was extremely close to my children, arguably their best friend since they haven’t been able to see their friends in person much during the pandemic.
“They were completely heartbroken by Lucky’s death, and I couldn’t bear to see them in such pain, so the following day I made the quick and emotional decision to adopt two kittens to aid in comforting my children as they heal.” Remy and River (Katie/7bottlesofwine)
Katie explained that River was shy to begin with, so she did not notice his unusual markings at first.
She told PA: “When I got them home, Remy was ready to play, but River just wanted to hide. I made him a comfortable hiding spot, and let him come out in his own time.
“By the next day, he was ready to play. I then confirmed the big heart on his chest, and noticed his nose was more heart-shaped than the average kitty.
“A few days later River was napping and I laid next to him to pet him as he slept, he did a big stretch and I noticed the perfect heart under his right paw, the heart under his chin…
“I decided to do a full-body check… there are certainly a few ‘almost heart’ spots on his shoulders where a heart may appear as he grows.” River has a big heart on his chest (Katie/7bottlesofwine)
The heart-adorned cat earned Katie over 42,000 upvotes on Reddit.
“I expected a few hundred upvotes, not 40,000 upvotes!” Katie told PA.
“I did expect that many people would accuse me of photoshopping, but surprisingly only two people have – and I posted a video of River on their comments to show the photos are not photoshopped.”