Little Girl Adopts Kitten — And Now They're Growing Up Together

"She has adored him since the moment when we told her we were taking him home."

<p>Kerry Hjelmgren<span></span></p>

When Kerry Hjelmgren was 5 years old, her mother gave her a tiny orange kitten named Rusty. Rusty was her best friend for 20 years, and when Hjelmgren had a daughter of her own, she knew she wanted her to have a best friend like Rusty, too.

Kerry Hjelmgren

In June 2016, when Hjelmgren's daughter Esther was two and half years old, she took her to their local Humane Society to pick out a kitten. Just like her mom decades before, Esther chose a tiny orange kitten, and named him Peanut.

From the moment the pair met, it was love at first sight.

Kerry Hjelmgren

"She has adored him since the moment when we told her we were taking him home, and he would be her very own cat," Hjelmgren told The Dodo. "The morning following Peanut's adoption, I woke her up with him purring next to her on her pillow. She woke up instantly and exclaimed so proudly, 'Mama, this is my baby kitty!'"

Kerry Hjelmgren

Esther's favorite thing to do with Peanut is to hold and cuddle him like a little baby, and Peanut loves it, too. Even as Peanut has gotten a little bigger over the months, they continue to cuddle the exact same way.

"The fact that he has grown quite a lot over the past four months doesn't faze either one of them - her arms just get fuller," Hjelmgren said.

Kerry Hjelmgren

Esther and Peanut do absolutely everything together. He plays with her toys, goes into her room every morning to wake her up, and even tries to share her meals. He sits near the tub at bathtime, and in her arms every other chance he gets. It's as if the duo were always meant to be best friends.

"He likes being babied as much as she loves babying him. These two are quite inseparable these days," Hjelmgren said.

Kerry Hjelmgren

Just like Hjelmgren and Rusty so many years before, Esther and Peanut will get to grow up together, and will be the very best of friends for years to come.

"This girl and her cat brighten our lives every day," Hjelmgren said. "I like to think that Rusty sent Peanut for us, so we could witness the same love all over again."

Kerry Hjelmgren

If you're ready to adopt a pet of your own, you can check out to get started.