Cats have sour reputations as aloof animals who seem to care little for their owners and prefer solitude. However, cat parents know this couldn’t be further from the truth. Especially one Russian family, whose cat bucked the trend by caring for an abandoned child.
The furry godmother and her infant
A Russian baby boy was left abandoned in a stairwell by his mother as temperatures dipped below zero during the night, The New York Post reported. The unlikely hero – a stray tabby cat named Marsha – happened upon the infant and followed her feline instincts to save his life.
She climbed into the box that the boy had been left in and kept him warm for several hours until residents were alerted by his cries. They came out of their homes to find the surrogate furry godmother curled up around the infant and licking his face. Even though he had been left outside for a few hours, Marsha’s efforts left him undamaged by the experience.
Once the boy was discovered by residents, the local paramedics were called to the scene. As the EMTs took him into the ambulance, the feline reportedly ran after them like a worried mother.
The baby was said to be around 2 to 3 months old, and was checked over by medics and doctors after arriving at the hospital. He was declared fit and healthy, despite spending hours in the freezing cold. For her efforts, Marsha has been heralded as a hero by locals and rewarded with food.
Feline winter care tips for owners
The weather during the winter months of the year means that cat owners need to be mindful of health risks that pop up from the change in temperature. Ideally, all cats would be kept safely indoors during the harsher months. However, for many the standard is “once an outdoor cat, always an outdoor cat,” – freezing temperatures or not. If you own a feline who refuses to remain cooped up indoors, Alley Cat Allies has some tips for protecting them during the winter months.
Shelter is important for hiding from harsh winds and precipitation, and should be placed in an area well removed from foot traffic. A good sized shelter is at least 18 inches tall, which helps trap the heat inside and keeps the cold out. In addition, owners should insulate the shelter with straw to repel moisture and ensure that cats are warm and dry.