The instinct to mother isn’t just found in humans – dogs, cats, and many other animals have been documented caring for animals of other species. Those who nurture and care for animals see this firsthand.

Margie Morris works at Project Purr Animal Rescue in Mobile, Alabama. One day, she arrived for her shift and found two sealed and battered cardboard boxes. Someone clearly wanted them to be found because they were on the shelter’s front doorstep.

Project Purr Animal Rescue

Margie brought the taped boxes, which had holes punched in their sides, into the shelter. She was more than a little anxious when she opened them. Most times, animals who are abandoned and left at the shelter’s doorstep are abused.

When she lifted the flaps of the first box, Margie gasped. Inside were two orange kittens and a female cat that Margie presumed was their mother.

The second box caused Margie great concern. It was empty. Margie wondered if there had been another kitty inside who had somehow escaped.

Margie named the “mama” cat Caroline and the two adorable kittens Shilo and Neil. “We set up a little bed and a little kennel for her to keep them safe,” Margie said. “We’re giving [Caroline] extra cat food with vitamins.”

Project Purr Animal Rescue

It was still a mystery as to who had dropped off the kittens and the adult cat and why.

Margie mentioned how playful the kittens were with each other and the female cat: “As small as they are, the kittens will play, and they’re wrestling each other and jumping around, and they cuddle up next to the mom,” said Margie. “She loves them, and she’s taking very good care of them.”

The cats appeared to adjust well to their new life at the shelter. A few days later, though, something seemed wrong with the mama cat. Margie started to grow concerned.

The next day, to Margie’s surprise, Caroline went into labor and safely delivered four kittens!

Project Purr Animal Rescue

It turns out Caroline wasn’t Shilo and Neil’s mother after all, but you wouldn’t have known it by seeing her interact with the kittens.

“I’m just grateful that she didn’t run away and leave the babies,” Margie said. “I think that might be the best thing I love about that cat—she did not leave those babies.”

Despite their uncertain introduction into the shelter, Caroline and the two kittens banded together as a family. Caroline took care of those little ones like they were her own, even while she was carrying her own litter.

They may not all be actually related, but these six adorable kittens all have a mama who loves them unconditionally.

Were you touched by this sweet story of Caroline’s love and care for these kittens as much as we were? So share this!