Leo was only four weeks old when he, himself, was rescued. But now that he's a seven-and-a-half-month-old boy, he has decided the time has come to pass on the love he received to four little lookalikes who need some tender love, too.
When a feline family of five was spotted living on the roof of a trailer in Oregon two weeks ago, a staff member at a veterinary clinic named Krissy decided to step in and rescue the mom and her four babies. Placing a trap on the ground secured the mom right away, but trapping the babies took all day.
Finally, right before dark would have made capture difficult, the last kitten entered the trap. "We checked back on the trap around 5PM (right before it got dark and things would get tricky), and the last kitten was in there!" Krissy enthused.
When the veterinarian examined her, it was obvious there was a problem. Something fluid filled her belly. "We suspect that she might have either a pyometra (an infection in the uterus) or mucometra (mucous in the uterus)… and we wanted to make sure she stopped producing milk so her mammary glands would shrink in case we had to do an emergency surgery on her," Krissy remembers. Unfortunately, that meant the kittens would be without their mom—named Noodle— while she was treated.
Krissy and her boyfriend decided to foster the kittens during this traumatic time in their young lives, so she took them home with her. Socializing them meant lots of cuddling and gentle scratching, and eventually, they warmed up to the couple. That's where they met Leo, who became a surrogate for them.
"He's the nicest 7.5-month-old kitten ever, and they seem to think he's their mom. When we have them on our lap to socialize, Leo comes up and grooms them. He also plays with them through the playpen they're in," Krissy related.
There was a time when Leo needed rescuing, too, and that's when he came to Krissy. Although originally she had planned on finding him an adoptive home, he was so sweet and got along so well with the other fosters—including a puppy—that she decided to keep him.
"He teaches all the new cats and kittens that other cats are okay! They're sometimes terrified of other cats until they meet him, because he's so nice, will give them whatever space they need, and reassures them. He's the one kitty in my household that is universally loved by everyone!" Leo will sometimes pin the other kittens down so that he can groom them.
For the four rescued kittens (Roni, Tini, Lini, and Toni), Leo continues to be a source of comfort and love, exactly like he received all those months ago. Now he is giving back, and isn't that what it's all about?
Watch the video below and share it with your friends. What do you think about Leo's method of caring for other kittens? Does he have a future as a feline therapist? We think so!