[caption id="attachment_72709" align="aligncenter" width="540"] The squirrel suckles on a teat just like its step-siblings (Picture: ingur/mustardtits)
Everyone loves heartwarming animal stories, especially those unexpected moments of maternal nurturing. The stories are especially appealing when they’re unexpected.
In 2010, Emmy the cat became a worldwide sensation when multiple news sources reported on her maternal instincts. Shortly after she gave birth, her owner found a baby squirrel had fallen out of its nest. The quick thinking owner put the baby squirrel in with Emmy, and she proceeded to care for him as if he were her own. Neither Rocky nor his siblings ever noticed a difference.
Oreo is another distinctly maternal cat. Shortly after she gave birth in 2012, her owner’s grandson found a baby squirrel in the yard. With his grandparent’s permission, he placed Bushytail the squirrel in with Oreo. She quite happily accepted Bushytail as one of her own. As Bushytail grew, he would leave the litter during the day, and returning to sleep with his stepsiblings at night.
The most recent story is that of a United Kingdom cat. Having given birth only the day before, the mother cat brought home a tiny, shivering squirrel. The owners called the vet. He assured them, that if she had recently given birth, she would probably care for the squirrel as if he were one of her own. To make the story more endearing, two days later, she brought home another orphaned squirrel. At last report, mother and kittens and squirrels were doing fine.
These examples of mothering are unusual to say the least, and they might be difficult to understand. There is no doubt, however, that they warm our hearts.