Izabelle the tabby cat gave birth to a litter of adorable kittens. Normally, it would have been an occasion to celebrate, but two other 'sister' cats gave birth to their litters at the same time.
Their owners were overwhelmed by the sudden influx of babies and so were the other mama cats. The other cats had a hard time nursing their kittens and the little ones were slowly going hungry.
So Izabelle stepped in...
She began to nurse not only her litter, but two other litters of kittens! She now has 14 babies under her loving care.
Sadly, her owners decided to surrender Izabelle and all 14 babies to the animal Care Centers of NYC (ACC).
"While people often take kittens to shelters, thinking it will be easy for them to be adopted, that’s not the case when kittens are just a few weeks or only a few days old," says Nicole Hamilton from Best Friends Animal Society.
She goes on to explain that it can take several weeks of care and space at the shelter before kittens younger than eight weeks old are ready to be adopted.
"While kittens are usually adopted very quickly, it takes a lot of time and work to get them ready for their big day."
According to the vet, it was Izabelle's devotion to these sweet babies that kept them all alive and so healthy too!
Happily, they discovered that some of the kittens were old enough to be weaned and are now eating a diet of wet food. A few more are on bottle feeding and two others are now living at a fosterhome.
Sweet Izabelle now only needs to worry about eight kitties - phew!
“Izabelle saved the lives of these kittens, and now we are stepping in to help her,” says Shannon Kirkman, Best Friends foster and adoptions coordinator in New York.
Thanks to Izabelle, these little babies all have a fighting chance at a long happy life. This gentle mama and the eight nursing kittens will be settled into a foster home until they can all be weaned.
Then they will all be spayed or neutered, vaccinated and microchipped. Soon enough everyone will be looking for homes with loving families. If you live in the area and are interested, follow up with Best Friends Animal Society and the animal Care Centers of New York.