PICTURES: Doncaster stray cat saves lives of two cute poorly kittens
A young stray cat has demonstrated amazing parental instincts after adopting two poorly kittens just hours after losing the last kitten of her own litter of five.
Cleo was taken to Yorkshire Cat Rescue in Keighley as a pregnant stray and placed in foster care with Amanda and David Atkinson in Doncaster.
Just hours later, she went into labour and delivered five kittens at PETmedic Veterinary surgery in Doncaster. But they were all unwell; two were still-born, another had to be put to sleep due to a condition, and the last two died only a few days later.
But just hours later, Yorkshire Cat Rescue rang the Atkinsons asking if Cleo still had milk as they had two kittens from a home in Leeds who were starving because their mother had developed mastitis and was unable to feed them.
The Atkinsons took the kittens in without hesitation and Cleo's paternal instincts took over as soon as she saw them.
Amanda said: "We wrapped the new kittens in a blanket from Cleo's babies and carried them inside. Immediately she could hear them and began calling out for them.
"When we put them into her bed, she smelled the air to determine where they had come from, and then instantly rolled over and invited them feed.
"They were starving and clearly desperate for milk and care from a mum, so they practically launched themselves at her.
"We just watched with amazement; I didn't think we'd be smiling so soon again but it was a real little miracle unfolding before our eyes."
The two kittens, called Orea and Coco, weigh less than half a kilo between them. They have been suffering from cat flu and eye infections but both were treated with antibiotics and are under careful monitoring.
Amanda said: "We have to supplement the milk they get from Cleo with milk from a bottle to make sure they get enough. It's an effort around the clock but I'm not giving up."
Sara Atkinson, founder of Yorkshire Cat Rescue, said: "Amanda and Cleo are both amazing and deserve recognition for what they have done."
Cleo's adoptive kittens will remain with the Atkinsons in Doncaster until they are older and strong enough to be neutered, vaccinated and put up for adoption.