Rescued dog and kitten are BFFs

Alani the cat wearing a bandage on her paw playing with Simon the dog who is doing a play bow
Kitten with an injured paw finds a new best friend in Simon the dog
By Best Friends staff

One pounces and the other play bows. One is a half-pound, tiger-striped kitten with her front leg swathed in bandages, and the other is a dog who loves her. Alani and Simon’s friendship began soon after Valerie Lord agreed to foster Alani the kitten and her siblings.

Alani was one of a litter of tabby kittens who came to Best Friends in Salt Lake City from a nearby shelter when they were just 4 weeks old. They’d been found at a local business, and a concerned person noticed that one of little Alani’s front paws had been crushed. Once she arrived at Best Friends, it was clear that she was in pain, as she cried out when they tried to examine her injured foot.

The veterinary team gave Alani pain medication and cleaned and bandaged her paw. Once she was feeling better, her whole front leg protected with a padded bandage, the team placed Alani, her brother, and sister in a foster home with Valerie. That’s where Alani would meet her unlikely new friend, Simon.

Fearless kitten and gentle dog

Valerie adopted Simon from a shelter when he was a puppy, and cats have always been part of his life. She says, “When he was young he and one of his cat siblings Dobby, adopted from Best Friends, would play with each other and take turns chasing each other around the house.”

Simon had always been gentle with the many kittens Valerie fostered over the years, but it remained to be seen how he’d react to a kitten with a giant bandage on one of her legs. But there was nothing to worry about. Alani was smitten with Simon “from the moment she saw him,” Valerie says. “She never showed any fear, and she was as curious about Simon as he was about her.”

Alani needed bandage changes every couple days for several weeks. And keeping her comfortable, and the bandage in place, was no small feat. But with help from the veterinary team and Valerie’s diligent care, Alani’s leg healed well. It was understood that her leg might need to be amputated if she struggled to get around, or if it caused her constant pain, but they would wait and see.

She went from cuddling with her doting friend Simon to rambunctious play sessions where she’d use her bandaged leg to bop him in the head and then grab his ear to chew on. Valerie says, “Simon has been a good first exposure to my foster kittens as he is so gentle with them, but he has never bonded with them like he has with (her).”

Alani’s home

Alani did so well once her leg healed and the bandage was removed that vets determined that there was no need to amputate her leg. She could run and play more than ever before, and Simon rose to his friend’s newfound play skills. It wasn’t long before she was big enough to be spayed and adopted into a permanent home.

But Alani and Simon didn’t have to part ways when she was adopted because Valerie decided to adopt her. Today, Alani has a new name: Bunnie. And she and Simon are still BFFs.

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