I know there are many people who aren't crazy about cats, but who could resist holding four adorable kittens in their arms?
That's precisely what a Russian farmer recently experienced after stumbling upon a group of kittens in his barn.
The farmer waited several days for the mother to return to her litter, but she failed to show up. The kittens had evidently, for some unknown reason, been abandoned by their mother.
The farmer therefore took it upon himself to take of the kittens and provide them with everything they needed.
But as the small, furry balls of joy grew, he began to realize that these weren't ordinary cats he'd discovered.
In fact, they looked little like "normal" cats. Still the farmer was unsure of their origin... until the truth emerged. That's when he took immediate action.
At first glimpse, nothing appeared unusual with the litter the farmer discovered on his barn - especially as he had little experience or knowledge of different cat breeds.
When the farmer realized that these kittens were not ordinary farm cats, he contacted the Daurskys nature reserve, located in southeast Russia.
As it turns out, the cats were actually Pallas's cat, a breed of small wild cats living in Central Asia.
Pallas's cats are about the same size of domestic cats. They have long coats and weigh about as much ordinary domestic cats.
Their tails are thick and have the same thickness throughout their length. The cats have clear black rings on their tails and dark spots on their foreheads.
The four kittens were soon brought to the Daursky nature reserve, where they were raised by two female cats who also lived on the reserve.
The momma cats had no problem taking care of the newcomers and soon took care of them as if they were their own, according to Lovemeow.
But because these beautiful felines belong in the wild, the kittens only remained in the nature reserve for a short time, until they were ready to be released in the wild.
According to representatives from the nature reserve who continued to monitor the cats following their release, the kittens have made four sibling friends already and are doing well!
Given that Pallas's cats are endangered (the Animal Care International Union estimates the entire population to less than 50,000 adult individuals and lists the species as near threatened), I am so glad that this farmer brought his beautiful discovery to a nature reserve, so that they could eventually be returned to the wild.
I really hope that many share this article, so that more can become aware of these fabulous felines and get the chance to pay tribute to those who work hard for animals' best interests!