It would seem the popular saying ‘they fight like cat and dog’ has been proven incorrect, as we give a round of a-paws to a female cat and dog who have put aside their differences to raise each other’s young.
John Whinnett, 52, of Slapton, a horse dealer based at Canal Grove Stables, discovered an abandoned kitten six weeks ago and has watched his dog welcome the ball of fluff into her litter ever since – even letting her suckle like the other puppies.
John said: “I found an orphan kitten up in the loft and gave the kitten to the dog to look after, which the dog did happily. Then our farm cat lost her kittens and came to look after the puppies and the kitten in between times.”
It is thought that the kitten was the runt of its litter and was left by her mum, but has since been adopted by the farm cat and John’s Miniature Pinscher, Weebee, who have been sharing the role of parenting duties.
When it comes to teatime, Weebee invites her pups and kitten to feed from her, while the farm cat (affectionately now called ‘Mummy Cat’) finds a cosy spot to wait for her adopted children to come over to her to be cleaned and cuddled.
It appears as though John is the Dr Doolittle of Slapton, He is surrounded with animals at his stables, with 18 horses, chickens and ducks as well as these five dogs and two cats.
He said: “Everything here really gets on with everything. It is the same with the cats and the chickens. The cat out there plays with the chickens and the chickens chase the cat.”
It won’t be for too long, however, as the youngsters will soon be old enough to leave their parents and cause mischief elsewhere – but they won’t be venturing too far, as they all have prospective homes arranged in Leighton Buzzard.
Housekeeper Sue Holmes, 51, of Caddington has loved having her four-legged friends around the house.
She said: “When she first had these puppies I came in and thought ‘oh she’s had five’, but then I thought ‘wait a minute, one is a cat’.
“It’ll be a chicken next week!
“They have been really fun to have around, it has been a nice thing to come in and see in the morning. They make you smile I must admit.
“They really surprised me with the cat taking the puppies on and the dog taking the kitten on, but it has been great, really great.”