A mother cat with a strong maternal instinct has surprised staff at a Whangarei vet clinic, turning up at the doors after she was separated from her kittens.
Julie Wills, a vet at Mill Road Vet Clinic, says she and her colleagues arrived at work last Wednesday to find a cardboard box with four kittens between the ages of three to four weeks old.
Assuming they had been dumped there by their owners, staff took the kittens in and got them set up in incubators for the day, feeding them as needed.
Due to their infancy, at end of the work day, the kittens were taken home and fed overnight by one of the clinic's staff and brought back the next day.
It was early that morning when staff noticed a tabby cat trying to bustle its way through the clinic doors.
Ms Wills said immediately she and her colleagues knew something was not quite right.
"Cats don't usually bring themselves to the vet," Ms Wills said.
When they picked up the cat, it immediately became apparent she was a nursing mother, and she was taken to the incubator with the kittens.
"We introduced her to the kittens and it was just immediately evident that she was their mum. She climbed in and all the kittens just latched on straight away."
Ms Wills said it was likely the mother cat had been in the same box as the kittens, but was capable of getting out. She said the mother could have been waiting for 24 hours outside the clinic, after she saw her family get taken inside.
A family member of one of the vets is now looking after the kittens and their mum...
The kittens and mother should be available for adoption in a few weeks.
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