A cat warmed up to a dog when she realized they could co-parent her kittens together.
Raylan and his foster kittensLaura @raylan_the_dog
A one-year-old cat was brought into an animal shelter along with her six kittens. Laura, a foster volunteer, welcomed the feline family into her care, so the mother cat could start healing and have a comfy place to raise her litter.
"Mama cat (Estelle) was pretty emaciated from trying her best to feed six kittens," Laura shared. The little ones were about 4.5 weeks old and needed to be weaned and have their weights closely monitored over the next few weeks.
Estelle and her fur kids were treated for some tummy troubles and quickly settled into their new abode.
Mama Estelle was brought into a shelter along with her litter of sixLaura @raylan_the_dog
Estelle was friendly from the get-go and so pleased to have a clean, cushy nursery for her kittens. She reveled in getting attention and treats as she blissfully kneaded away with her happy paws.
Meanwhile, the resident dog, Raylan, caught wind of the new fosters and was excited to meet them.
Estelle was so pleased with the kitten nurseryLaura @raylan_the_dog
Raylan, a sweet, gentle dog, was rescued at two years old, and has since been a doting babysitter to small animals in need. His nurturing and gentle qualities have helped rehabilitate many kittens over the years.
Whenever Laura brings home new fosters, her resident dog is ready to be called in to offer a helping paw.
While he was thrilled for a meet-and-greet with the newest family, Estelle was a bit apprehensive at first. Her tail puffed up and she hissed a few times as her protective, motherly instinct was at work.
"Mama Estelle is very sweet in general, but she's nervous about such a big dog coming into her space (understandably). Raylan's just being polite and patient at this stage, giving her time and space until she realizes he's a perfect co-parent."
The sweet canine knew exactly how to win over a wary kitty as he patiently waited for Estelle to warm up to him.
Meanwhile, the kittens (Ross, Rachel, Joey, Chandler, Phoebe, and Monica) were instantly smitten and waddled right up to the gentle giant for attention and licks.
Raylan continued to be available for the kittens, bathing them, letting them wrestle with his tail and climb all over him as if he were their jungle gym.
Slowly but surely, Estelle grew more comfortable with his presence. She saw how he interact with her kittens and was relieved to get some assistance to raise her demanding six.
One day, Estelle let her guard down completely and accepted Raylan as her friend. She curled up next to the canine and joined him in a family-sized cuddle-puddle.
"Estelle has really warmed up to Raylan and it's so sweet. She's realized he's the perfect babysitter and soon-to-be perfect mama-cat cuddler too," Laura added.
Mama Estelle is healing well and gradually making good gains. With a dog buddy to rotate parenting duties, she is able to spend more time replenishing and resting.
Raylan is ready to jump in to help whenever she needs him.
They are often seen taking a break from co-parenting and napping near each other while the kittens scamper around the playpen, making a ruckus.
Estelle is so happy to have a friend to share the load with. Not only has she found a wonderful babysitter, but also an emotional support buddy to spend her day with.
Share this story with your friends. More on the feline family and Laura's fosters on Instagram @raylan_the_dog.