There’s no bond quite like the one between a mother and her child. Dedicated mothers often make big sacrifices to take care of their young ones, even in the animal world. One non-profit worker regularly saw this firsthand.
Over the decades working with cats, the director of a feline rescue organization had seen just about everything when it came to kitties. But shortly after finding two mysterious cardboard boxes on her doorstep one morning, she better understood the lengths some moms will go for their babies…
There were no crates or cages for the kittens living at Project Purr Animal Rescue in Mobile, Alabama. Non-profit director Margie Morris made sure of that when she provided a “free range” home.
Over 100 cats run free through the several suites of this strip mall-based rescue center. Each of them chow down on a few thousand dollars worth of kibble and soil 200 pounds of cat litter as a unit, daily…
To say Margie, back right, loved her rescued cats would be an understatement. But in her handling of hundreds of cats and adoptions, she rarely encountered anything quite like what she found in July of 2017.
Margie Morris / Facebook
On a Thursday morning, Margie rolled into work only to find two cardboard boxes stacked on top of each other outside the front door of her office. On further inspection, they proved to be quite strange…
Punched holes peppered the boxes, and someone had sloppily wrapped them with duct tape. Margie’s stomach sank. She suspected she knew what was in those boxes.
Margie and the shelter staff opened the top box and confirmed Margie’s suspicions: inside lay a mother cat alongside two orange kittens, both five-weeks-old. And in the second box?
Fearing the worst, Margie and her team opened the second box, and…it was empty. Evidence suggested, however, that the box once held a cat who’d escaped her cardboard prison. This was a problem she would worry about later.
Geminiano gertes, md / YouTube
In the meantime, cat-loving Margie had a clear-and-present problem: the mother cat and her kittens. She named the mother Caroline and the kittens Shilo and Neil. Then, she did what she did best and helped the cats out.
Margie gave Caroline “extra cat food with vitamins,” to bulk her up, and “set up a little bed and a little kennel for her to keep [Shilo and Neil] safe.” Meanwhile, at the rescue, the kittens had the time of their lives…
“As small as they are,” Margie, right, said, “the kittens will play, and they’re wrestling each other and jumping around, and they cuddle up next to the mom. She loves them, and she’s taking very good care of them.” But Caroline also had a secret.
Even with two kittens to care for, Caroline was pregnant. Margie suspected she’d become pregnant shortly after birthing Shilo and Neil, and that the new litter would be weeks away…
But just a couple of days after her discovery, Caroline went into labor and delivered four more adorable kittens. But something didn’t add up to Margie when she did the math.
Given the timeline, there was no chance Shilo and Neil were Caroline’s true cat kids. She adopted the little tykes herself, taking a couple lonely kittens under her paw! Talk about a motherly instinct.
But then, who was the true mother of Shilo and Neil? Once again, Margie had her suspicions: the cat who escaped the empty cardboard box. And soon, coincidentally, a rescue worker spotted something curious outside.
Steven Pisano / Flickr
“On Saturday morning, there was another cat spotted running around the parking lot of our little strip mall,” Margie said. “Myself and three team volunteers tried to catch her.”
“She was getting up in the car engines,” Margie said, “and we couldn’t catch her. It was pouring down rain. We tried to bribe her with food, but we just were unsuccessful. We’re hoping that she’s still out there somewhere.”
It’s unknown whether Project Purr Animal Rescue ever caught the loosed cat—and if she truly was the mother of Shilo and Neil. But nevertheless, Margie knew Caroline had the kitten situation under control.
See, Caroline could’ve escaped her cardboard box if she’d wanted. A desperate cat with sharp claws can do anything she puts her mind to. But she stayed with her adopted children and protected them.
“I’m just grateful that she didn’t run away and leave the babies,” Margie said. “I think that might be the best thing I love about that cat — she did not leave those babies…She’s the best mom ever.”
And with her four new kittens, Caroline still didn’t shirk her responsibilities toward Shiloh and Neil. She took care of them and her new babies. She was the best thing to ever land on Project Purr Animal Rescue’s doorstep!
Caroline is obviously a role model for felines and humans alike; she doesn’t discriminate! While her maternal nature is admirable and amazing, some animals take completely different species under their wings. One rat was in for quite the wholesome journey.
Most people don’t take too kindly to rats. Then again, most people haven’t met Riff Ratt! His adoptive mom rescued him off the streets when he was just four weeks old. When people heard about her plans, they were skeptical…
That’s because she already had another pet, a dog named Osiris! Dogs may be loving creatures, but they’re not exactly known for their fondness of rats. In fact, some breeds were originally bred specifically to hunt them!
However, Riff Ratt was lucky. His canine companion wasn’t like other dogs who might delight in terrorizing tiny rodents. There was something quite different about Osiris that made him the perfect friend for Riff Ratt…
The three-year-old Dutch shepherd also happened to be a therapy dog, which might explain why he was so much more patient than other dogs! It was Osiris’s job to be sweet and nurturing, especially to other animals.
Even with a trained professional like Osiris, precautions had to be taken; Osiris was still much bigger than the little rodent! Thankfully, Osiris and Riff Ratt bonded almost immediately and they forged a connection like no other.
They’re pretty much inseparable these days. Look at Riff Ritt taking the opportunity to sneak up on his best bud and give him a miniature smooch square on the lips. How sweet is that?
When not snuggling, they ham it up together for the cameras. These two might not understand what a camera even is, but they certainly know when they’re in front of one! Clearly, they waste no time relishing the spotlight.
Doesn’t this look like it could be a poster for a movie about a quirky pair of animal friends out on a quest for a missing slice of cheese? Who wouldn’t pay to see that? Osiris and Riff Ratt made for quite the pair.
“Osiris has helped foster and care for dozens of animals and he is the gentlest dog I’ve ever met,” their owner said. Looking at an image like this, it’s impossible to believe that Osiris could ever have a mean bone in his body!
“Riff Ratt really likes licking the inside of Osiris’ mouth,” added their owner. “I’m sure you all are wondering if we’re afraid Osiris will eat Riff–NOPE!” Though unlikely friends, these two couldn’t be more affectionate with one another.
Some folks might be skeptical when they first hear how well these two get on. To be fair, have you heard of a rat and a dog becoming best friends quite like these two? Thankfully, these photographs act as proof!
Their owner also happened to capture this strange habit of Riff Ratt’s on film! Osiris seems quite delighted with his little pal’s fondness for dentistry. And to think, Riff Ratt didn’t even go to dental school!
Just look at how sweetly Osiris is thanking Riff Ratt for his top-of-the-line dental cleaning by sharing one of his favorite toys? His favorite amateur doggy dentist deserves nothing less than a good chew toy.
If Riff Ratt has ever minded getting some sloppy “thank you” kisses from his bestie, he certainly doesn’t show it! In fact, it looks like he might be relishing every second of this very slobbery greeting.
Clearly, these two animals have developed a very special relationship. Heck, it practically seems like they spend every single day just showering each other in love and affection!
Osiris loves Riff Ratt so much he just can’t help but cover him head to tail in kisses. For Riff Ratt, though, this isn’t just love that he’s getting from his favorite dog; it’s also a regular bath!
Although Riff Ratt loves Osiris just as much as Osiris loves him, unfortunately his tongue isn’t quite long enough (or large enough) to fully reciprocate. But his sweet little smooches definitely make Osiris happy nonetheless.
“Riff Ratt likes to be in pockets,” says his owner, and it certainly seems that way. If he can’t be with his buddy Osiris, he will do just fine provided he is tucked inside a warm denim pouch.
However much Riff Ratt likes pockets, he definitely likes Osiris much, much more. It’s amazing how gentle and patient this pooch is when it comes to hanging out with his much smaller friend.
“Seeing them care for each other and have such an unexpected friendship gives me a tiny bit of hope for the rest of the creatures on this planet—especially humans,” says their owner. It’s hard to disagree!