During the time of the original paladins, Kova was a regular Altean cat residing in the crater lab on Daibazaal as company to Honerva's research. His first introduction to Zarkon briefly spooked the Galran Emperor.
After the Rift creature's attack he fell ill and Honerva began treating him with Quintessence. While the treatment cured the original illness, it altered Kova's physical appearance and personality as well as greatly extending his lifespan, which intrigued Honerva and spurred her growing obsession with the substance.
In the present day, Kova became Narti's pet, but also her eyes and ears.