They say it takes a village to raise a child, and that's just what these two feral cat moms are doing - raising their kittens together, with plenty of cuddles and snuggles. And with a total of nine kittens to raise, they're going to need all the helping paws - and hands - they can get.
Meet Ramona and Chloe.
Ramona, the black cat, and Chloe, the ginger, were rescued from a feral colony around a month ago, very pregnant and about to give birth. The two were rescued by TinyKittens HQ, a rescue group in Langley, British Columbia.
Chloe, pictured below, was struggling with kidney issues after previous births. Her rescuers knew she had to be taken in and given a safe place to give birth to her kittens - and finally get spayed.
"This is [Chloe's] second pregnancy already this year… if we hadn't trapped her, she would have gotten pregnant again and again until her kidneys gave out. Happily, Chloe's story will have a much different ending," the rescue said.
As soon as Ramona and Chloe were put together, they were close as can be. Chloe would curl up to Ramona and purr up a storm. And when Chloe went into labor a few days later, something unexpected happened: Ramona stayed with her and helped her through the birth.
"Ramona was with her every step of the way, helping clean and dry kittens, administering hugs, cleaning Chloe, and even nursing the new arrivals with Chloe worked extremely hard to bring them into the world."
"We've never seen anything quite like this," Shelly, a spokesperson for TinyKittens, says. "But it really shows the love feral cats are capable of, if given the chance to show us. They are remarkable creatures with a deep capacity for love, even though we humans rarely get to witness it."
While some would think that Chloe and Ramona have to be related to show such powerful bonds - TinyKittens says that even though they're from the same colony, they are not related.
Interestingly, because we know Chloe is older than Ramona and because of their colors, we know they are not mother/daughter or sisters from the same litter."
The two mama cats are now co-parenting all nine kittens, sharing responsibility and supporting each other with lots of snuggles.
"Chloe and Ramona are raising their last litters of kittens in our care. We have been blown away by the love and support they have shown each other through pregnancy, labor and now raising their babies together. It's really quite beautiful."
Chloe and Ramona are two of the last un-spayed females in their colony of more than 200 feral cats. When they're ready, the two happy moms will be spayed, and their kittens will be spayed and neutered as well! More than 100 cats from their feral colony have already been socialized and adopted.
Want to help support cats like Ramona and Chloe?
"The best way to help is to support Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) efforts in your own communities, and to be advocates for spaying, neutering and compassion."