At the Sadgorod Zoo in Vladivostok, Russia, eight orphaned hedgehogs found a new mom in the most unusual of animals: a black cat named Musya.
The hoglets (yes, baby hedgehogs are called hoglets and it's perhaps the cutest word I've ever heard) were found after their mother had been killed in an accident - tiny, blind and struggling for survival without their mother to protect them.
Zoo staff scooped up the hoglets and took them into care. The zoo's team tried everything to get the eight hoglets to feed, but they refused milk from a bottle, syringe, and saucer for two days, even when they were placed on a heating pad to stimulate their digestion. It was clear: if the prickly little tykes didn't eat soon, they wouldn't make it.
Enter Musya: the fluffy black cat had recently raised and nursed a litter of foster kittens and still had milk to give. Out of options, zoo staff decided to pair Musya and the hoglets together, hoping Musya's presence and milk would be enough to get the hedgehogs to eat.
The hoglets reacted immediately, sensing Musya's natural warmth and smelling her milk. They burrowed right into her soft, fluffy belly and began nursing right away. Musya didn't seem to mind the strange-looking "kittens," though she's not afraid to give them a little scolding if they get too prickly.
Musya nursed the hoglets for over a week and kept them warm and cozy at night. Thanks to their adopted cat mom, the hedgehogs made it through and are now munching happily on solid foods. Their hobbies (likely learned from Musya) include eating and sleeping.