A frail, days-old Sphynx kitten left at a shelter received the love it needed from its mother to survive when it was ‘adopted’ by another cat at the shelter. Thanks to the couple’s sweet bond, the Sphynx quickly thrived and sought its forever home.
On March 10, a fragile sphynx/American curl-mix kitten, named Cleopatra, was dropped off at the Helen Woodward Animal Center (HWAC) in Rancho Santa Fe, California. According to shelter workers, the owner was desperate; the kitten’s mother had shown no interest in nursing her babies and the rest of the litter had died.
The shelter took in the weak kitten and started a bottle-feeding regimen, but knew her best chance for survival was in the care of a mother. Six days later, their hopes were dashed when a pregnant domestic shorthair cat, named Bellarina, was transferred to HWAC from a local partner shelter.
Bellarina gave birth to three babies – Bean, Biscuit and Bunny – three days later. She was an “extremely loving” mother, so shelter staffers took a chance and introduced the hairless Cleopatra to the breastfeeding mother and her trio of fuzzy babies.
HWAC Foster program supervisor Erin Schmitt said in a press release: “[Bellarina] didn’t just like her, she fell in love with her. The animals are amazing; it’s as if Bellarina sensed a need in Cleo and decided to not only provide her with food, but to provide her with all the love she lacked.
Before long, Bellarina was taking care of the frail Cleopatra before her other stronger kittens. Cleopatra has begun to thrive, and sweet photos show the purity of the bond between baby and adoptive mom.
(Courtesy of Helen Woodward Animal Center)
The shelter later shared Bellarina and Cleopatra’s heartwarming story on social media, saying “a mother’s love knows no bounds.”
Bellarina, Bean, Biscuit, and Bunny began hunting for their forever homes at the end of May. Cleopatra, who needed some extra time for final checkups and sterilization, began her search in June.
A private, non-profit organization founded in 1972, HWAC serves more than 90,000 people and 10,000 animals each year through adoptions and community involvement, guided by the philosophy that “people help animals and animals help the people “.
It was both the kindness of people and the blind love of animals that helped kitten Cleopatra get her second chance at life.
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