Masha the cat is popular in her neighborhood and many have tried to take her home, but Masha doesn’t like being cooped up in a small apartment.
So the locals in Obninsk, Russia love the fluffy tabby and take good care of her, giving her snacks here and there. Masha lovingly returns the attention, greeting residents joyfully.
During the day, the stray sleeps in a box in an apartment stairway, and sometimes, the basement where the central heating keeps her warm. At night, she likes to roam the streets catching mice and rats.
But when Masha crawled into her box for a nap one day, she made a very unusual discovery.
Irina Lavrova was taking out the trash when she heard Masha meowing loudly nearby — something about it just didn’t sound right.
“She is very placid and friendly, so when I heard her meowing, I thought that perhaps she had injured herself,” she said. “Normally, she would have come and said hello to me.”
Lavrova looked in the box and discovered the cat had wrapped itself around a newborn baby.
“You can imagine my shock when I saw her lying in a box next to a baby. Clearly her mothering instincts had taken over and she wanted to protect the child.”
The 12-week-old baby boy had been left in the box, along with bottles of milk and some clothes. Masha crawled in and cuddled up around the newborn, shielding him from the below freezing temperatures.
Masha quickly grew protective of the child.
When paramedics came to take the infant to a hospital, Masha wanted to go with them. She ran after the ambulance and tried to jumped in after him. Neighbors said the stray cat waited on the street for several hours afterward, hoping the infant would be brought back. But Masha never saw the baby again.
Authorities have not been able to identify the parents and believe the infant was not born in Obsnink, but was brought to the country from Ukraine. Back in the hospital, the baby was determined to be in perfect health, thanks in part to Masha.
According to locals, he’s since been adopted by a new family.