Cutest Animal Moms: Is Mother-hood Really an Instinctive Animal Trait?
Cutest Animal MamasClick thumbnail to view full-size
In Honor of Mother's Day
I always understood that there is nothing like a Mama Cat protecting her young, an instinctive and quite special trait that cats and many animals are just born with! There is that pre-birthing ritual where they seek out a suitable and safe "nest" in which to actually give birth and then care for their new born infants, close to food and water yet hidden away from potential dangers and threats.
I have indeed seen this in action and have learned that some animals really do make better mothers than others do, but then again, some have better resources, so maybe it isn't 100% instinctive. Like humans and every other creature, it is most probably a combination of factors that determines whether an animal will do an excellent job of mothering her young, so should we really generalize and assume that it is all instinctive?
Feral cats for example have a challenging life, even finding themselves enough food is a constant battle and many females are just barely six months old when they become pregnant with their first liter. Still a kitten themselves, it is hard to imagine that they will be able to care for a liter of crying babies. And sadly, many times they are not, inadvertently leaving their young in harm's way while out hunting for food or perhaps because of poor nutrition, her kittens are born sick, sometimes dead, which I can't categorize as poor mothering, just unfortunate circumstances.
I still remember so many animal mother-of-the-year worthy stories, like the mama cat, caught in a burning fire with her liter of kittens. Mama cat returned inside the burning home to rescue each kitten before finally exiting, badly burned and barely alive, she saved each and every kitten, without even a singed whisker. After the mother cat recovered, she actually made the papers and was adopted because of her parenting heroics and devotion to her babies.
Mother of the Year
Massage for Mom
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