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When Their Mother Becomes Ill, A Stray Cat Steps In To Help Raise The Newborn Kittens

Something went horribly wrong after a cat named Church gave birth to a litter of five kittens.

The little kittens needed their mom’s love and care more than anything in those first few seconds on Earth, but Church was in severe condition due to a prolapsed uterus. Church’s owner called the MSPCA-Angell shelter to ask if they could aid her kittens since she needed to be taken to the hospital.

Credit: MSPCA

“Church’s owner was unable to come to our clinic, so we went to the home and grabbed her and the newborn kittens and drove them back to the adoption center,” said Alyssa Krieger, the shelter’s community engagement coordinator, in a release. “The kittens were weak and underweight as a result of their inability to feed.”

Fortunately, a 2-year-old orange tabby cat called Betty was waiting for a home in the shelter. And she was more than willing to assist.

Credit: MSPCA

“Betty was abandoned in an apartment complex, and some Good Samaritans kept her for approximately a month before bringing her in,” Krieger said to The Dodo. “It’s conceivable she had kittens over a month ago and was still nursing a little bit, but there’s also possible it was a hormonal reaction — which is uncommon but not unheard of.”

Betty instantly began washing the kittens’ silky gray fur and protectively wrapping her orange paws around them when she first encountered them. “She spent the next two days caring for all five babies until Church was able to get back on her feet and be with her kittens again,” Krieger explained.

Credit: MSPCA

Church was reunited with her kittens after she had recovered sufficiently. But, after everything she’d been through, she wasn’t making enough milk to feed so many little hungry mouths. Betty continued to nurse three of the kittens in order to assist Church.

“Neither cat produced enough milk to feed all five kittens, but we were relieved to find that each could support half of the litter. “This was definitely a communal effort,” Krieger added.

Credit: MSPCA

“It’s quite uncommon for us to have a mom cat that can take over kitten care for another, and we frequently have to resort to bottle-feeding kittens,” Krieger continued. “However, we were fortunate that Betty was able and ready to help.”

Betty and one of the kittens were placed in foster care, while Church and the other four kittens returned to their family. The kittens will be available for adoption when they reach the age of ten weeks. And once the final kitten is weaned from Betty, the hero cat will still require a home.

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