When a homeless kitten approached a man walking his dog, he stopped to pet it. Naturally, the little kitten basked in the attention, though it was the kitten's subsequent actions that would take the man by surprise.
Jon Nienaber and his wife Leslie live in Cleveland, Ohio. Both animal lovers, the Nienaber's live with three cats and a dog, making their house a haven for furry animals.
Though with that many pets, the responsibilities inevitably increase. For starters, the dog needs to be walked every day, though it was on one of those walks, in the summer of 2016, that something out-of-the-ordinary occurred.
Strolling through the local neighborhood, an adorable ginger kitten approached them. Yet this was often the norm, as Leslie explained to LoveMeow. “My husband and I live in Cleveland, OH, in an area with a lot of feral cats."
Yet in this instance, the brave little feline didn't seem at all phased by the presence of a dog. In fact, it only served to heighten its curiosity.
“We have a basset hound,” Leslie continued. “And one day my husband was walking the dog when he called me and told me he found this adorable little kitten that just seemed like he wanted attention.”
Resultantly, Jon returned the kitty's friendliness and phoned his wife to tell her about his unique encounter and being the animal lover she is; she rushed from the house to give the kitten some much-needed food.
Within a matter of minutes, the kitten had already made a lasting impression on the couple.
After much petting and attention, the couple continued their journey, but the kitty wasn't having any of it. She wanted to be with them the moment she set eyes on her new friends, so decided to follow them.
Amazed, the Nienabers pulled out a camera and recorded the incredible scenes. In the footage, the kitten appears determined not to be left behind, and after tailing Jon and the dog, it breaks into a sprint to keep up with them.
“He poked his head through a little chain link fence. He started following Jon and me as we were walking away!" Leslie exclaimed. "He seemed determined to stay with us.”
So the couple did what most animal lovers would and let the cat follow them all the way home, where they gave it some much-needed TLC.
When I got him home, he was really dirty, and I tried to clean him the best I could. He seemed hungry,” Leslie added.
It already appeared to be love at first sight, and the little kitty was clearly doing his best to find a home, but despite this, the Nienabers simply couldn’t take on another animal. And that's when Leslie’s sister Sarah came to the rescue.
An ardent cat lover, Sarah arrived at the Nienabers the very next day to pick up the kitty, whom she soon named Pinot.
However, Leslie had already begun missing Pinot and felt sad that she didn't have enough room to look after him.
“I’ll admit that it was really hard to give Pinot away,” she admitted. “He was just this brave, determined little soul who wanted to survive, and was the cutest kitten we had ever seen.”
That said, Leslie was consoled at the prospect of regular visits to her sister's to see Pinot, and in many ways, the decision worked out best for both parties.
“It made me really happy that my sister took him in,” Leslie added. “Because I knew I’d get to see him grow and I could always visit him.”
Still, Pinot was now very much Sarah's pet, and just like with her sister, her encounter with Pinot was love at first sight and she endeavoured to make sure Pinot made a full recovery.
Firstly, Sarah took Pinot to the vet, and in little to no time, Pinot had a clean bill of health, though it could have been an entirely different outcome had her sister's husband not stumbled upon Pinot that one sunny afternoon.
“My sister Sarah was seriously an angel,” she proclaimed. “I am convinced that he would have died if we hadn’t brought him home.”
One year on, and Pinot is now completely healthy, and has even retained some of his cheeky, playful charms that were so evident in his earlier days as a kitten.
He is obsessed with Q-tips, to the point where Sarah has found them scattered all around her bathroom,” Leslie said. “And [he] loves watching birds from their apartment window.”
However, one thing that's definitely changed is Pinot's size. Once a pint-sized fluffball, Pinot is now a large ball of fuzz, so much so that the local vet thinks he might have some Main Coon in him.
“The vet thinks he has some Main Coon in him,” Leslie said. “He still has some of his ‘street smarts,’ and you will often find him hiding around a corner ready to pounce.”
Yet with a warm home, regular food and unconditional love, it appears Pinot will never have to revert to the ways of the street again.
Instead, he can live out the rest of his days sleeping in cardboard boxes, preying on unsuspecting birds from the living room window and messing up his owner's bathroom.
Yes, after starting from the bottom, this kitty is living the dream, and on behalf of everyone here at OMG Lane, long may that continue.