Kathryn, a ginger tabby, was inconsolable after losing her litter of kittens. But her heart was soon mended after adopting a litter of puppies as her own.
Kathryn was abandoned during her pregnancy and brought into Langebaan Animal Care as a stray after her litter didn’t survive. Kathryn was devastated and would cry and moan over her loss.
The only time she could be calmed was when she was being held and comforted by the staff. She needed to be touched at all times, even while she slept.
It was heartbreaking for the staff to witness. The staff spent many hours and lost a lot of sleep just trying to keep Kathryn in good spirits.
Poor Kathryn wanted nothing more than to be a mother. And, miraculously, she was given that chance.
A litter of 4-week-old puppies was dropped off at Langebaan Animal Care as being “unwanted.” These puppies were so tiny and still needed milk and motherly care.
So, Kathryn took it upon herself to nurse them since she was still lactating. It was a complete shock to the staff.
“She wanted to be with the pups. She just started meowing around them walking, circling them, circling them. And I kind of thought she was playing with them. And then just licking them,” Izelle Marallich of Langebaan Animal Care in South Africa told The Dodo.
The puppies were a little confused at first but soon warmed up to the tenderness and protection Kathryn was offering. Kathryn treated the babies as if they were her own.
Kitty Kathryn, the dog mom
“We never thought of her nursing the puppies, I don’t know, it didn’t cross our mind,” Marallich said.
It was the first time that Kathryn stopped crying since being in the facility’s care. Not only wasn’t she sad, but Kathryn was ecstatic.
She was finally a mom! The staff previously couldn’t figure out why Kathryn was so upset. It finally clicked when they saw her with the puppies.
“She was just in heaven as soon as she met the puppies,” Marallich said. “She would, day and night, just lie with them. She would just lie in between them, clean them, she would lick every one of them.”
She loved to be affectionate with her litter of pups and hug and hold them. Kathryn helped those puppies grow strong enough to be adopted into forever homes.
“Without us forcing it or asking she just naturally wanted to take care of something like a mom. And I think that’s what makes it special. She clearly has to be a mom,” Marallich said. “I think the mother instincts just come through which is amazing.”
Kathryn is now the “star” of the foster shelter and helps to mother all kinds of different youngins when they arrive. She even helped take care of a baby bird!
“It has been so special to see this in real life and to realize how amazing animals are to take care of the young no matter what species they are. We could learn so much from animals!” Langebaan Animal Care wrote on Facebook.
Learn more about Langebaan Animal Care on Facebook.