SOUTH AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND – Sid is just like most foster parents – he loves his babies as his own.
The only difference? Sid’s a male dog and his ‘babies’ are all tiny kittens.
Sid lives with his human, Emma Armstrong in South Auckland’s Hillpark. Together they have fostered in upwards than 20 kittens, ranging from newborns to ‘teenagers’.
Most were rescued by the cat rescue group called 9 Lives Orphanage but they have also fostered for M.A.D. Mission Animal Desexing. Both of these charities are based in Manurewa.
Sid, a 6-year-old Brussels griffon “wholeheartedly believes he is a mama cat”, Armstrong claims.
He cleans the kittens, breaks up their fights, brings them toys and has in the past, even tried to nurse them.
The first litter he ‘mothered’ was merely 6 days old and turned to Sid for warmth and comfort, 25-year-old Armstrong says.
“I’d feed them, pass them to him and say ‘clean baby’ and he would clean them from head to toe. They just adored him, they would follow him around like ducklings.”
Despite Sid’s best efforts, the kittens were much too young to live without their mother and the first one died when it was about 10 days old.
Sid was so distraught he squealed, vomited and refused to leave the spot where the kitten was buried.
“He lay over the grave for over an hour after we buried his baby and he stayed out there even when it began to rain.”
Two other kitties from the litter later died in Armstrong’s arms.
“As they were dying … he lay next to them and they used the last of their energy to turn their heads towards him and purr.”
Sid is now caring for two 4-week-old kittens and has a “magical” relationship with both of them, his proud owner says.
He runs to them as soon as they start crying and shelters them between his legs when they are afraid.
“He is very protective and very proud of them … he always seems to know what to do.”
Alisha Sinclair, the chairwoman of 9 Lives Orphanage, stated Sid is an “awesome” foster mother.
“Seeing how he interacts with the little ones is really mind blowing. He’s better than most humans, to be honest.”
The small charity is in desperate need of volunteers and donations to continue its work.
“Even if people can’t foster, donating just $5 a week would help.”
Go to 9livesorphanage.co.nz or facebook.com/9livesorphanage for more information, to donate or to view the cats and kittens available for adoption.