After receiving calls reporting dog cries in the area, a police officer in Anderson, S.C., arrived at the scene to investigate. Upon discovering that the cries came from a lost dog in the North Pointe Creek ravine, Officer Michelle Smith found something even more surprising. The small dog had with her a new friend: a kitten.
It turns out, writes the Huffington Post, that the “dog was actually calling for help on behalf of the small kitten it was protecting.” Smith says that she thinks the dog stayed down in the ravine because it was unable to bring the kitten out with her, and wasn’t willing to leave it behind.
The five-month-old Shi-Tzu and 5-week-old kitten were taken to a local shelter, says ABC 10 News. Despite the situation sounding odd at first, Jessica Cwynar, director of the shelter, mentioned that the cooperative behavior is actually quite normal among mammals.
The news channel describes the pair’s relationship at the shelter:
The dog and the kitten nap together and eat together, and when they are bored with that they stare at each other. When the kitten walks too close to the edge of their opened cage, her surrogate mother picks her up by the nape of her neck and carries her back to the safety of their small bed.
Cyynar says that the shelter sees a lot of dog-cat pairs. Although the Sti-Tzu was able to produce enough milk to help nourish the kitten, it was not enough to provide all that the kitten needed.
The dog, being well groomed, is thought to be missing from a home, though no one is sure who the owners of the kitten may be.
ABC 10 News reports that there is already a lengthy list of people willing to adopt the pair, though they hope that the dog’s owners will come forth and offer to take in the kitten as well.