It was a story the rescuers at the Homeless Animal Adoption League (HAAL) in Bloomfield, New Jersey, had heard all too often: a caller reporting a litter of kittens abandoned in a laundry basket at the side of the road.
Rescuer Joann LoGreco of HAAL points out that they don't usually do street rescues, but "The temperature was dropping and it had started to rain. The caller said that the mother cat was with them and he wasn't comfortable picking them up."
When HAAL arrived at the site, they found a mother cat and six babies inside the basket. LoGreco shared on HAAL's Facebook page that "Mom was quiet and looked up as if to say thank God you found us." They mother cat and kittens were scooped up and taken back to the shelter.
The volunteers at HAAL were overjoyed to find the kittens healthy and sound. But when they went to examine the mother, they found a real surprise! It turns out that "she" was a "he"! The HAAL Facebook page stated "That sweet cat taking care of those little babies was a male. He could have been the dad or a big brother from another litter, but to those little kittens he was their protector and surrogate mom. He groomed them and gently played with each one."
Everyone at HAAL was deeply inspired by this little black cat's devotion to the kittens, noting that the "little cat has taught us that you do what you have to do to protect the most vulnerable." They named the cat "Mrs. Doubtfire" and he and the kittens are in foster care.
Just a couple of months ago, Mrs. Doubtfire provided HAAL with another surprise, but this one was more troubling. This loyal cat started showing breathing anomalies before his scheduled neuter. After an x-ray, it was found that Mrs. Doubtfire has a diaphragmatic hernia, a chronic condition commonly seen in cats who have been hit by cars or kicked. Surgery is an option, but it is a very expensive one ranging from $6000 - $8000.
Thankfully, there is a 65% survival rate in cats with this condition, so with lots of loving care from his foster mom and his friends at HAAL, Mrs. Doubtfire has an excellent chance at living a long, full life.
Please pay it forward and help out Mrs. Doubtfire like he helped those kittens. Share his heartwarming story with your family and friends on Facebook.