Usually, I read about dogs who come to the aid of kittens, nursing them as their own. But this past week, a cat returned the karmic favor and looked after some puppies in desperate need of a mother.
The Thompson Humane Society (THS) in Manitoba, Canada had a number of volunteers who selflessly give of their time to help animals in need. This past week they had a volunteer of a different sort, when a cat at the shelter, who the staff and volunteers affectionately call "Momma", came to the aid of some abandoned puppies.
Oswald Sawh, a director at the shelter, received a phone call from a resident last Tuesday who told him there were four new born puppies (only a few days old) abandoned in a box by a gas station. The mother was believed to be dead, and the pups had been left out in the hot sun and were covered with insects and mosquitos. The resident agreed to bring the four pups to the Humane Society.
One puppy died within a day of arriving. The staff was having difficulties feeding the surviving puppies because of their extremely young age. That's when Glenda Weir (THS board member) and Jen Nyhof (Thompson Veterinary Clinic) proposed that the puppies be introduced to Momma, who was nursing her four kittens.
Oswald posted on Facebook, "There were skeptics, and I for one was one of them, who felt uncomfortable with the proposed arrangement. There was the obvious fear that the mother cat may turn on these defenseless pups. The alternative was also risky…to try and feed the pups from a bottle. Prior attempts in cases like this has had mixed results and is highly risky."
But without any other viable options the small pups were put in with Momma. And to everyone's delight she quickly accepted the pups as her own, grooming them and letting them feed.
Momma is being closely monitored and given the opportunity to walk around in between feedings but she quickly returns to her kennel to ensure that all of her litter is okay. Said Oswald, "She is truly an extraordinary cat. The compassion and motherly instinct she demonstrates not only shows us the true wonder of nature but serves as a lesson to all of us."
Momma's kittens and the pups will be put up for adoption once they reached the age of 6 to 8 weeks.
Oswald said, "As for Momma, the best way we can say thank you is by making sure we find her a loving home."