Irish farmers panicked when their newly hatched ducklings went missing. They presumed the cat had eaten them, but surprisingly, the feline had its own motherly agenda that warmed their hearts.
An Irish couple, Ronan and Emma Lally, own a small farm in Clara Co Offaly, which they manage alongside their day jobs.
On their farm, they raise cows, sheep, chickens, cats, and dogs. They have most animals one could find on a farm, except for ducks.
So, they bought some fertilized duck eggs and waited for them to hatch.
On the day the eggs were hatched, Ronan went to the barn to check on the three little ducklings, but to his horror, they were nowhere to be seen.
The couple searched the farm, and eventually, they caught sight of the cat grabbing a duckling in her mouth!
They presumed the cat, nicknamed The White Cat, was going to devour the duckling in front of them, but surprisingly, they were wrong.
Instead of eating the duckling, the cat put it down, and then, something amazing happened.
The three ducklings waddled toward the cat and lay down by her side.
“The minute the cat lay down the three ducklings ran underneath her. She stared [sic] to purr,” Ronan, a primary school teacher, told the Irish Independent.
Amazingly, the feline went on to put her paw around one of the ducklings.
“We lifted her up and two ducklings were latched onto the cat,” Ronan recalled.
The cat lovingly nursed the fluffy ducklings like her own babies.
Ronan was absolutely blown away.
When Emma got closer, she noticed the cat had given birth to three kittens just hours earlier!
The mother cat’s birthing could have explained why she adopted the ducklings. According to experts, the spike of “mother hormones” would have caused the cat to nurture the small animals.
Later, the couple found that the cat appeared to be breastfeeding the ducklings alongside her kittens.
This was incredibly extraordinary because typically, mother ducks don’t produce milk, and ducklings cannot suckle.
As a midwife, Emma realized the cat and the ducklings were so much in love.
“There was just so much love there you know, like I see it every day in the labor ward. They just want to hold their babies so tight and close,” Emma told BBC 1’s Animal Odd Couples. “And I could see that happening with the cat and the ducks.”
Soon, the ducklings outgrew the kittens.
“The cat thinks they are all kittens. The cat might notice when the yellow kittens get very big,” Ronan said with a laugh.
And the grown-up ducklings still followed the cat around.
Isn’t that just adorable?