Childbirth is something that is both a magical and scary experience no matter who you are, or what species you come from.
So when two stray cats were brought into an Indiana based shelter ready to give birth there was nothing for the staff to do but to let the ladies give birth together. Meet the ladies: Esther and Jessie!
Before being rescued these two cats were strays wandering the streets of Elkhart, Indiana, and didn't even know each other. Once they made it to Here Kitty Kitty Rescue, however, they were destined to share a birthing suite and hopefully become friends.
At first, they were roommates and not much more, Esther had her kittens without much fuss, and the volunteers looking after them weren't expecting anything like what was about to happen, once Jessie went into labor.
The little cat turned to her friend and snuggled in for some much-needed comfort. Esther, being a loving mother, was more than happy to help Jessie out.
"She just walked up to the first momma who already had her babies and put her head down as if to say, 'my contractions are hurting me,' and mama Esther licked the top of her head to comfort her," Jennifer Gillispie, founder of Here Kitty Kitty Rescue, said in an interview.
And after that Esther stayed by Jessie's side the whole time she was giving birth.
After Jessie gave birth to four healthy babies the two mothers decided to stay together as one big family, with nine tiny kittens between them. They became inseparable friends and co-parents!
"They should have been indoors to be loved and they should have been spayed. This is their last litter. No more abandoned, starving babies of being born outdoors to fend for themselves and make more babies!"
The ladies went from lonely and pregnant to loved parents with a bright future ahead of them!
And everyone is doing great! The two mothers are supporting each other well and all the babies are like one little pack of brothers and sisters.
The shelter volunteers tried to separate them into their own pens, but they all seemed happier together.
"All nine babies are cohabiting as well. It is one big pile of kittens," Jennifer continues "I tried to separate the litters but the momma always brought them back."
They look after all the babies together, providing both mothers with opportunities to rest when they need it. All the babies nurse wherever they can, without worrying which one is really their mum.
"They are taking care of each other's babies. It's so cute."
When all the babies are old enough they will be spayed or neutered and put up for adoption to hopefully find their forever homes. But for now, all 11 cats are just enjoying their time as a family being happy, loved, and safe.
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