It’s something you just don’t expect to see, a family of dogs playing happily with a cat… a wild cat at that! However that’s just what has happened, as a family of dogs has adopted a wild cat cub in Germany after the cat’s mother couldn’t feed her litter.
The wild cat is called Shakira, a Serval (African wild cat) and she was born in a zoo in Germany. She was very ill after her mother was unable to feed her, and her siblings all died. Luckily for Shakira, animal carer Roland Adam took the wild cat into his care, and that of his dogs.
Shakira came to us when she was just 14 days old. A friend of mine from the zoo contacted me and told me how Shakira’s mother had not produced enough milk for her litter and her other brothers and sisters had died. When I heard this, I decided to take her in.
Fifty-three-year-old Adam nursed Shakira back to health by carefully feeding the wild cat drops of milk. Once her weight improved she was introduced to her new ‘pack’, a family of Rhodesian Ridgebacks. The odd family got on well immediately, as the mother, Katijnga, and her eleven puppies, welcomed Shakira into their fold.
I wanted to provide her with some animal kids that could be a substitute for her own brothers and sisters and for her mother. It turned out that Shakira was integrated immediately into this dog family. She plays hide and seek, catch and even play fights with the dogs. When they tire from playing with each other, the cubs lie down together.
You see a strong bond between Shakira and her foster mother. When they play, Shakira does not even for a moment push out her claws – it is a loving family.
When Shakira grows to adulthood she’ll be of a similar height to the dogs, at 3ft long and 2ft high, weighing almost 3 stone.
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