For Anderson County, South Carolina animal control officer Michelle Smith, the call sounded pretty routine: just a barking dog in a ravine. As she clambered down the embankment, she was a bit puzzled: a dog should have been able to climb out with ease. Once she got to the bottom of the ravine, there was a big surprise. A Shih Tzu was there along with a tiny kitten! Officer Smith is convinced the dog could have gotten out by herself, but not while carrying the kitten. So instead of abandoning the tiny feline, the dog decided to try barking for help. “This is one example of why I love my job.”
Not only was the dog trying to get the kitten help, but she was taking care of it just like it was her own puppy, keeping the kitten warm, licking it clean, and even nursing it! Apparently, the kitten provoked a “pseudo pregnancy,” causing the dog to lactate. Once the unlikely pair were at the shelter, the staff decided they should be kept together. The dog’s milk had helped keep the kitten alive, but the hungry little cat had to be bottle fed formula, too.
The staff at the shelter named them Goldie and Kate, after celebrity mom and daughter Goldie Hawn and Kate Hudson. They were at the shelter for several months and became celebrities in their own right, making a big splash on local TV, then national TV, and finally the internet and social media. People from all over the country and, indeed, the world expressed interesting in adopting the two. However, it was one family’s “tear-jerker of a letter” that really stood out, discussing a dog and cat they once had and how Goldie and Kate brought back memories of their old pets. And so it was that the Shih Tzu and kitten found their forever home. “Goldie adopted Kate, and we adopted both of them.”
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