Cat Gives Birth, Then Doctors Realize They’re Not KittensBy Luisa K
If you’ve ever owned a cat, you probably won’t be all that surprised by the little presents that your cat brings home for you. Admittedly, it isn’t always what we want. I mean, who really wants to open their back door first thing in the morning, while they’re still bleary-eyed, to find a dead mouse before them!? Cats are interesting creatures and fairly unpredictable too, which is probably a lot to do with their independent nature. However, every now and then, cats have a way of surprising us and doing something completely unexpected. Sometimes they disappear for days on end. Other times they shock you with what they bring to your door. As you’ll find out in this story, Alice and her team were certainly taken by surprise when Musya, the cat they were looking after, gave birth to the most unusual litter.
A New Visitor at the Zoo
Working at a zoo, Alice and the rest of her team are used to making weird and wonderful discoveries. When you work with such a range of different species, your working day is anything but boring. You get to see the birth of baby animals, unlikely friendships occur, and comical eating habits among the residents.
But perhaps one of Alice and the team’s biggest shocks began when Musya, the resident domestic cat, went missing. While it isn’t unusual for cats to go wandering off or to even get lost. Wandering off around a zoo, on the other hand, is a different story! What had happened to her? Had she climbed into the tiger’s cage and been eaten!?
Be Our Guest
So you may be wondering how did Smithstown Zoo end up taking in a house cat? The zoo has always been home to a variety of animals, including lions, leopards, monkeys, and camels, but it had never housed domestic cats before.
Then one morning, Alice, the zookeeper, was driving to work when she noticed something at the side of the road. It looked like dirt, but it was moving. Alice decided to pull over to see what it was. Was it a dog digging in the sand? As she drew closer, she realized what it was.
The Little Bundle that Changed Everything
Nestled among the pile of dirt was a tiny kitten that later became known as Musya. Although the discovery of this cute little kitty was magical, Alice worried how much longer the baby orphaned cat would be able to survive.
The situation didn’t look good – she was so young and without a natural mother. If Alice left the kitten there, she would probably have been hit by a car or frozen to death. When Alice found her, she had icicles on the end of her nose. Alice took the kitten to the zoo and hoped that the vets there would be able to give her a chance at life.
A True Survivor
Musya was very frail. The odds of surviving were against her. It’s very difficult for humans to raise such a young kitten when they’ve been orphaned but still rely on their mother. Nobody at the zoo was sure she’d pull through. She was underweight and weak, but that didn’t stop her from playing throughout the day.
Miraculously, little Musya proved that the unfortunate circumstances were not going to stop her! She proved to be a true survivor. The strong kitten recovered, and after the first few nights at the zoo, all of the staff just fell in love with her!
Life at the Zoo
As Musya grew stronger, she became more playful and wanted to explore her surroundings. All kittens and cats love to wander off and explore; the only problem here was that this little cat lived at a zoo. The staff knew it wasn’t safe for her to be wandering about the grounds, so they cared for her from the staff office.
The zoo was home to leopards, lions, monkeys, camels, and tigers, which meant that it was no place for a small kitten to be exploring. She could easily get lost and find herself in grave danger. Musya could observe life at the zoo and watch its inhabitants from the staff office window. That was until one day when she slipped out through the staffroom door and went outside…
Bottom of the Food Chain
The staff realized their resident house cat was missing and went to look for her. They knew they had to act fast because it would be so easy for Musya to get hurt, lost or even, eaten! Despite the staff’s efforts to look for her, Musya has been missing for two days.
The zoo team was beginning to think that she’s crawled into the crocodile pen and been eaten. Alice wasn’t optimistic, and the team had their doubts about whether or not they’d ever find her, but they kept searching anyway.
To everyone’s surprise, Musya just showed up one day. She came back all on her own and started scratching at the glass office door so that Alice would let her in. As soon as Alice realized it was Musya, she burst into tears of happiness. Her kitten was alive and unscathed!
When Alice first found Musya at the side of the road, she was adamant that she would find a home for the young cat. However, after enduring the trauma of losing her and believing she had died; Alice had a change of heart and decided to keep her. She knew that giving her up would be a mistake!
A Different Cat?
Everybody at the zoo was overjoyed to see Musya back – safe and sound. There was, however, something different about Musya. She’d changed somehow since before she escaped and went missing. Whereas she had once been a playful and energetic kitten, she was now irritable and lethargic.
Alice wondered if she was feeling depressed at being indoors again, so she left the office door open to see if she wanted to go outside, but Musya didn’t venture outside. Musya just wanted to stay put and didn’t want to leave the room. What had happened to her?
Musya Disappeared Again
Weeks went by, and Musya’s behavior has pretty much remained the same until one day. Alice made a cup of tea after she’d gone around feeding the animals when she realized something wasn’t right. She noticed that Musya was missing again.
It was bizarre because she’d barely moved for weeks, and now she had left the office and was missing. Alice knew from the last time she disappeared that Musya was smart and would find her way back if she wanted, so she wasn’t too concerned. Then she noticed the other animals in the zoo behaving oddly, and then the thunder came with the start of a big storm.
Where Was Musya?
As the thunder started, the staff grabbed their flashlights and went outside to search for Musya. Yes, she had been missing before and came back unharmed, but it was thundering, and it was time for Musya to return home.
The zoo grounds were full of rodents, so the staff didn’t think she’d leave the premise. The team began their search, wondering where she’d gone. Just as Alice walked past the lions’ den, she heard a faint cry. She looked towards the bushes and saw that Musya was sitting there, and something was crawling on her chest.
The Surprise Birth
Alice wasn’t quite sure what was going on. From the moment she had first welcomed Musya into her life, she had encountered endless surprises, but the good thing was they were all nice ones! As she crouched down into the bush to check on Musya, Alice saw that she was caring for four kittens, as well as some hedgehogs.
Were her eyes playing tricks on her? What had happened? Surely Musya couldn’t have given birth to the hedgehogs as well? So how did they get there? Alice placed them all in a padded box and took the new mother and her litter to the vet.
Musya Was a Mother!
Alice explained what had happened to the vet and what she saw when she found Musya in the bushes. At first the vet found her funny and didn’t believe her. He laughed at her story, doubting her recollections.
Then the vet opened the box with Musya and her babies; he smiled and told Alice that he had never seen anything like it before. The vet placed the kittens in one box, and the baby hedgehogs in another before leaving the room with Alice. When they returned, they couldn’t believe their eyes.
There’s Motherly Love and there’s Musya’s Love!
In Musya’s eyes, they were all her babies, and she wasn’t going to separate herself and her kittens from the baby hedgehogs. She had moved herself and her kittens into the box with the hedgehogs. They were all cuddled up together with Musya, the proud mom, watching over all of them.
One thing that had concerned Alice and the vet was whether or not the hedgehogs were hurting Musya and her kittens because of their spikes. But that didn’t seem to be the case. They were all more than happy curled up together like one big family.
Cheaper by the Dozen
They say opposites attract, and this seems to be the case for Musya and the hedgehogs. Cats and hedgehogs don’t seem like the most likely of companions, but Musya was besotted with her adopted hedgehog babies. Alice was concerned for the kittens’ safety, being so close to the hedgehogs, but their pricks didn’t bother Musya.
It was beautiful watching Musya with the family she’d created. It was a lot of work for Alice and Musya – there were eight hedgehog babies and four kittens. Obviously, Musya couldn’t naturally feed the hedgehogs, so Alice bottle-fed them instead. Alice had never seen an animal adopt another species before, but this wasn’t the first time it had happened.
Rosinka and Fyodor
Musya wasn’t the first cat to adopt babies from another species. Meet the Russian cat, Rosinka, and the baby squirrel monkey named Fyodor. Rosinka adopted Fyodor after her zookeeper owner brought home the baby monkey one day.
Little Fyodor’s mother had abandoned him when he was a tiny baby. Rosinka immediately took him under her wing and became a mother to him, treating him like her own baby. Now they’re inseparable, and Rosinka even carried Fyodor around on her back.
A Common Misconception
There is a common misconception that cats are not caring or affectionate, especially when compared to dogs. Although cats are far more independent than dogs, they are actually very loving and are known to build strong connections with their owners and other beings in their household.
Dogs tend to become a bigger part of our lives because we train them, walk them, and probably spend more time with them. However, cats love to bond with their owners and enjoy cuddling up to you and sleeping on your chest to feel your heartbeat.
Why Are Cats Such Good Pets?
Musya and Rosinka are great examples of why cats make such good pets. Of course, if you don’t want a pet or are not in a position to take care of a cat properly then you shouldn’t take on the responsibility. But if you do plan on getting a pet, a cat is a great option.
As well as the happiness they can bring to your lives like Musya and Alice, owning a cat can have many health benefits for the owner too. Cat owners are known to sleep better than those who don’t have a cat. Plus, studies show that owning a cat can even lower your risk of heart disease because they ease stress and make you feel calmer.
What Happened Next to Musya and Her Litter?
Musya never gave up on her hedgehog babies and she certainly didn’t abandon them. Alice could see that they were happy together and therefore didn’t want to split them up. The zoo team helped out with feeding the baby hedgehogs to make sure they grew up strong and healthy.
The zoo workers found out that the hedgehogs’ mother had been killed in a lawnmower accident on the zoo grounds, meaning that the baby hedgehogs were orphaned. While wandering about, Musya found the starving baby hedgehogs and claimed them as her own. Nobody knows whether she found the hedgehogs before or after having her own kittens.
A Happy Family
As they grew up and the collected litter looked noticeably different, you’d wonder whether Musya would realize that not all of the brood were her natural babies. But that never happened. Musya continued to treat the entire litter equally and never abandoned the adopted hedgehogs.
Alice does have to keep an eye on them when mixing together because the hedgehogs could accidentally harm the cats in a bad way. Other than that, the whole family lives happily together, and it’s so beautiful to watch! As for the hedgehogs, they still see Musya as their one and only mother, the one who quite possibly saved their lives!