Pair of Kittens Help Couple See Family in a New Way

When Louise and Edward faced infertility challenges, kittens Tom and Sylvester filled their home and hearts with love.

Louise + Tom and Sylvester

Louise and Edward planned to start a family, but years of IVF treatment, miscarriages, and surgeries led to an emotional journey. Throughout their infertility journey, kittens Tom and Sylvester offered comfort, healing, and a new definition of family.

"Tom and Sylvester have helped me immensely where it comes to healing my wounded soul. They’ve managed to fill our home and our hearts with an overwhelming amount of love and laughter."


When Edward and I got married, we planned on expanding our family immediately. Edward came from a large, tight-knit family and, like most young girls, I grew up dreaming of love and marriage and the baby carriage. I was so excited to begin this new chapter of my life and I couldn’t wait to experience the miraculous glory of creating our very own family members.

We tried for years. After a physically and emotionally painful miscarriage, multiple uterine surgeries, and years of IVF, we received the conclusive news that the chances of us achieving pregnancy via IVF were slim to none.

It’s amazing what your pets can sense and communicate to you when you nurture your relationship with them. Your connection with them can grow so deep that it can almost be magical. Our fur family may not speak the same language as us, but they understand things that are not spoken.

My struggle with infertility has taken me on an endless rollercoaster of emotions and, at times, my grief consumes me so completely that I feel like I can’t breathe. On one particularly emotional night, while my husband was trying his best to console me, our two boys jumped into bed with us and surrounded me. They both jumped on me simultaneously and covered me with their bodies. They knew that I needed to be comforted, and their act of consoling me together in that moment was incredible to witness.

Although my heart is still broken, Tom and Sylvester have helped me immensely where it comes to healing my wounded soul. They’ve managed to fill our home and our hearts with an overwhelming amount of love and laughter. The joy that they bring us each and every day doesn’t leave much room for the grief to fester. Whenever I dip into the valley of darkness, Tom and Sylvester are always there to catch me and lift me to higher ground.

Cats sometimes get a bad rap for being a bit spicy, but Tom and Sylvester are the two most sugary sweet boys anyone could ask for. They continuously express their love and affection to us with hugs and kisses that cause the thickest of any mental gloom to evaporate. There is no doubt in my mind that God sent them to us.

Tom and Sylvester might not be the babies that we expected to have, but having someone that you love unconditionally; being the main source of someone else’s comfort, safety, and wellbeing; cleaning up after someone who can’t cleanup for themselves; and catering to someone else’s likes and dislikes has definitely provided Edward and I with an outlet for our parental energy.

We are still in the process of completing our family, but this non-traditional family that we have built is beautiful. Because of Tom and Sylvester, life is sweeter, life is fuller, life is more joyous, and we are in love every day.

Each year, Petco Love Stories invites adopters to share how their pets have changed their lives to give the organizations that they’ve adopted from the chance to receive grant awards. This story by Louise won AdvoCat Rescue in Forest Hills, New York a 2021 Love Stories award.