While cat births usually go ahead without any complications, there are always exceptions. Such is the case with Church, who after giving birth to five beautiful kittens, began suffering from a prolapsed uterus.Her critical condition meant that she needed to immediately be rushed to the hospital. However, this also meant that her tiny kittens were left temporarily without a mother, in the most crucial of times.
Church with her kittens. Source: MSPCA
With this in mind, Church's owner decided to contact the MSPCA-Angell shelter to see if they could help her kittens.Alyssa Krieger, community outreach coordinator for the shelter, said in a release:
Church’s owner was unable to get to our clinic so we rushed to the home and gathered her and [the] newborn kittens and raced them back to the adoption center. The kittens were weak and underweight because they were unable to feed.
As luck would have it, a 2 year old orange tabby cat named Betty happened to be at the shelter, just waiting for a home. Fortunately, she was more than happy to help. Krieger told The Dodo:
Betty was abandoned in an apartment building and some Good Samaritans kept her for about a month before bringing her in. It’s possible she had kittens over a month ago and was still lactating a little bit, but it's also possible that it was a hormonal response — which is relatively rare but not unheard of.
Betty's motherly instincts kicked in right away with her immediately starting to clean their gray fur and wrap her paws around them protectively. While Church was undergoing treatment, Betty spent two days caring for all five kittens.
Betty and the kittens. Source: MSPCA
When Church was strong enough, she was reunited with her kittens. But after what she’d been through, she wasn’t producing enough milk for so many tiny hungry mouths. So Betty kept nursing three of the kittens to help out Church. Krieger said that it "was truly an it-takes-a-village moment". She went on to say:
It’s extremely rare for us to have a mom cat who is able to take over kitten care for another, and we often have to resort to bottle-feeding kittens. But we were lucky that Betty was able and willing.
Betty and one of the kittens were transferredto a foster home, while Church went home to her family with the other four kittens.Once the kittens are 10 weeks old, they’ll be up for adoption. And after the last kitten is weaned from Betty, the cat who is being called a hero will still need a home.
If you think you can give Betty the home she deserves, or you think you know someone who can, then email [email protected] for more information.
H/t: The Dodo