Puppy love! Tiny shih-tzu becomes adoptive mom to cute KITTEN after finding it abandoned in a ravine and yelping until help came
By Daily Mail Reporter
PUBLISHED: 22:10 EST, 20 July 2013 | UPDATED: 01:00 EST, 21 July 2013
People locked in a bitter feud are often compared to cats and dogs, but whoever came up with that old cliché clearly has never met Goldie and Kate.
Goldie, a small, well-groomed shih-tzu, was discovered in a ditch in South Carolina by an animal control officer, who at first thought that the pooch was in trouble.
As it turned out, the pup was actually caring for and nursing a tiny kitten, which somehow ended up in the thicket.
Maternal mutt: Due to a surge of hormones, the 5-year-old pooch has begun producing milk to find the 5-week-old kitty
The 'awww-inspiring' tale played out in Anderson, South Carolina, in mid-May, when Animal Control Officer Michelle Smith heard a small dog yelping from the bottom of a steep, heavily wooded embankment behind a Home Depot.
The officer went down into the ravine, where she spotted a ball of fur in a tangle of brambles .
When Smith took a closer look, she discovered that the small shih-tzu sitting in the bushes was actually protecting a wee kitten, who was suckling milk from her.
‘I didn’t know what to think,’ she told the station 10 News. ‘I was shocked and surprised and then of course, awww.’
The two unlikely companions were taken to a local animal shelter, where a veterinarian determined that the shih-tzu nicknamed Goldie was at least 5 years old, while the kitten dubbed Kate was only 5 weeks old.
Although they are, of course, not related in any way, Goldie and Kate look very much alike, what with their black, white and grey fur.
Mystery: Goldie's freshly groomed coat and a striped collar suggest that she used to be somebody's pet
But beyond any physical resemblance, the two have formed a special bond, with Goldie taking on the role of a doting, loving mom in this improbable relationship.
Photos posted on the Facebook page of Anderson County PAWS, the shelter where Goldie and Kate had been staying until recently, show the two inseparable friends living in perfect harmony.
In the pictures, the kitty and her adoptive canine mom nap and eat together, or simply stare into each other's eyes.
The heart-melting images show the two pets happily nuzzling one another, curling up together in a furry embrace, and Goldie is even patient enough to let the wee kitten climb onto her back whenever she likes.
When the miniscule feline walks too close to the edge of their shared cage, the older and wiser Goldie picks up the little tyke by her scruff and carries her to safety.
Together forever: No one had come to claim Goldie, so she and Kate were sent to a foster home - together
Shelter director Jessica Cwynar said that the maternal pooch likely experienced a surge of hormones, which caused her to produce some milk to feed her adopted feline baby.
Shelter volunteers also have been giving the cat bottles of milk - a treat that Goldie enjoys as well.
The tale of the young shih-tzu is shrouded in mystery. Shelter workers say that her freshly groomed fur and collar suggest that she used to be somebody’s pet, but no one has come forward to claim her.
Goldie and Kate’s story has a happy ending. After spending some time in the shelter, the pair were taken in by a foster family - together.