The friendship between a cat named Ginger and a dog named Anne moved veterinarians and colleagues at Greenside Animal Hospital. Both animals were brought to the veterinary clinic in a deplorable condition.
The hospital witnessed the kitten’s extraordinary moment of compassion for the fearful rescued canine. As they put it “It’s cathartic to observe such a lovely example of peace and comfort amongst diverse species in the animal world amid a moment of conflict and separation in the human world,”
Ginger is rescued
Ginger Biscuit is a stray who was discovered in a drain during a heavy storm in South Africa. Thankfully, his finder quickly transported him to Greenside Animal Hospital, where he received medical treatment. Because he was a few weeks old and had no confirmed vaccination status, the Hospital staff placed him in an isolation room to rest and recover.
The kitten was nervous when he first arrived at the hospital since everything was new to her, therefore it took him a long time to adjust to the people around him. He was wary of everyone who took care of him.
According to Greenside Animal Hospital owners Dr. Joubert Viljoen and Dr. Suzette Greube, Ginger was a quiet but incredibly affectionate cat. The vets declared to the Dodo “ Once he overcame his first fear of our team who truly care for him, he began to enjoy the attention he received.”
A canine newcomer in the ward
Ginger had the isolation unit to himself until Anne, a stray dog came. Anne was rescued from near a sports club. Fleas and ticks had plagued her, and she was so fragile that she couldn’t stand on her own.
From the moment Anne arrived, the entire team worked tirelessly to treat her. Due to her condition, she too was confined in an isolation room.
Canines and cats are generally kept apart in the General Ward at Greenside Animal Hospital.
The cat ward is quite peaceful and serene, as cats from ‘dog-free’ households do not stomach being hospitalized alongside barking and rowdy dogs.
The isolation ward, however, is an exception. Still, Anne and Ginger’s crates were on opposite corners. The workers assumed that they would never be able to interact.
One morning when the vets arrived at the isolation ward, they found both animals sleeping, curled up together. They realized Ginger kitten had slid through the door of his cage and climbed into the cage of his new canine neighbor.
Viljoen and Greube acknowledged they had underestimated the kitten’s ability to unlock his container door.
Later the staff moved the kitten back to his cage since his litter box, food, and water were all there. But the kitten did not comply. As Viljoen and Greube recounted, “ he quickly exited the container and returned to his companion.”
Fortunately, gentle Anne did not mind her intruder’s company. Ultimately, the veterinary staff thought this new bond was helpful for both animals, so they made an exception. They opted to let both pets together for warmth and camaraderie.
Anne and Ginger are now staying together in a crate full-time. Cohabitation works wonders for Anne. The dog came to the hospital, extremely weak, but having Ginger by her side appears to be assisting her recovery and providing her with strength.