When a cat unexpectedly gave birth to seven kittens while under the care of a long-term pet sitter, one of the temporary owner's dogs took it upon himself to tend to the new kittens. With a protective streak and nurturing nature, the dog handled himself expertly as an interspecies co-parent.
When Gina's friend left for Navy boot camp, she agreed to take in her two cats for an extended period. Little did she know, one of the felines was pregnant, Shareably reports.
Terra, a long-haired tabby cat, was the friendlier of Gina's two charges. After two weeks, Gina's roommate noticed something was amiss.
"About two weeks into the cats moving in, my roommate texted me that... [Terra] seemed bloated," Gina wrote on Imgur. "She did, but since she was purring and not in pain, I put off taking her to the vet to get checked up, since I thought maybe she was just a fat cat."
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By the third week, Gina discovered Terra's bloating was not due to obesity but pregnancy. Waking up one morning to the sound of mewing, she went looking for the two cats, but instead discovered seven kittens resting beneath the new mother.
Terra seemed overjoyed with her new litter of kittens, purring loudly while nursing all seven of them.
Gina's dogs were largely disinterested in the new feline family, except for her weenie mix, Archer.
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"He would try and get to them all the time," Gina said of Archer. "I eventually let him get near them under close supervision, and he just licked them all over. Mama did not mind him at all."
Archer would hover over the litter, tending to them like they were his own offspring.
The weenie mix became protective of the kittens, shielding them from the attention of another dog in the house, Flash the basset hound, whenever he drew close.
Terra eventually began to roam freely around the apartment and leave her kittens in Archer's care, confident the loyal dog would treat her babies well. Archer enjoyed the kittens' company so much he would carry them to other rooms.
"I was watching TV and looked down and he had carried two out to chill with us," Gina wrote.
Archer eventually became a surrogate father for the kittens, even licking them clean like his own.
Six of the seven kittens were adopted by other families while Gina kept one of Terra's kittens, an orange cat she named Fred.
To this day, Archer remains a parental figure to Fred, cuddling with the cat on the couch.
Gina did not know what she was getting when she agreed to temporarily look after her friend's two cats.
Instead of just tending to a pair of felines, she helped foster a new and unconventional family.