Baby squirrel adopted by cat learns to purr

By Walt Grayson - bio | email

LEAKE COUNTY, MS (WLBT) - Emmy, the cat, gets my nomination for kitty mother of the year.

Not that Emmy doesn't just lie around like other cats. And occasionally scratch her claws on something you wished she wouldn't. But there arose a situation around the time she had her kittens that Emmy has stepped up to the plate and helped solve. Well, she's taken in a baby squirrel and is providing a plate for the little squirrel at her table along with the rest of the kittens.

"She's very protective of it. If it starts to move and she don't like where its going she'll reach up and pull it back and start licking it and taking care of it like she would one of her kittens," said Jim Watkins.

Jim Watkins and his wife Karen of Carthage have helped organize Central Mississippi T.A.I.L.S.

"It stands for taking animals into loving shelters," said Jim Watkins.

That's how Jim and Karen got Emmy and her extended family. Emmy's owner lived where she couldn't have pets and called her vet to see what she could do with the new family.

"I seem to be the go-to girl from my vet. Anytime someone has a cat they can't take care of, I'm the one they call. That's how we wound up with 18 cats and a squirrel," said Karen Watkins.

And the squirrel came as a gift from the sky. Just before Emmy's owner gave her up, a baby squirrel fell out of a nest and landed in the yard. Not being able to climb a tree and put it back, the lady did the next best thing.

"And she put the squirrel in the box with the kittens and she just immediately accepted it and adopted it, started feeding it , has raised it just like hers," said Jim Watkins.

But if a mama cat adopting a squirrel is amazing, the ability of the baby squirrel to adapt is even more so.

"Oh the squirrel, you can pick it up and pet it and it will start to purr just like a kitten does," said Jim Watkins.

Rocky, they've named the squirrel, may go on and grow up always thinking it's a cat who can just climb trees better than others. It will have to be a pet from this point on.

"He'll never be able to survive on his own from this point on because of the way he's been raised. We'll probably wind up with him," said Jim Watkins.

So the circle of adoption goes on and on: cat to squirrel to people. Everybody looking out for and accepting the other.

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