Golden Retriever Rosie raises kittens like they’re her own

Golden Rosie with 1 of her kittens

Golden Rosie with one of her kittens

Island Cat Resources and Adoption is an all volunteer non-profit organization dedicated to reducing the suffering of abandoned and feral (wild) cats and to educating and empowering the local community to relieve them from their plight.

It is because of their provision of foster care for tame or socialized rescue kittens/cats until they can be placed into quality permanent homes through their adoption program, that the wonderful story below evolved.

I am kind of late discovering it but it just tickles me so much that I knew I had to share it. Rosie is just one sweet girl, that’s for sure. And, I love how she was brought up by 5 family cats, imitating some of their behaviors, and now mothers litters of kittens, resulting in their being more like tiny Goldens.

Golden retriever raises kittens like they’re her own
By Martin Snapp, Correspondent, Contra Costa Times, June 26, 2009

. . . . Rosie, who is a little over a year and a half old, raises homeless kittens for Island Cat Resources and Adoption. If she’s in a calm mood, she’ll lie down and let them climb all over her and play with her feet. If she’s in a playful mood, she’ll gently roll them across the floor with her nose.

If they get too rambunctious and start nipping or scratching, she’ll look up at her owner, Gail Churchill, with a look that says, “Help!” But she still lets them do it.

It all started a few months ago, when Churchill, who fosters homeless kittens for ICRA, had a litter that was so young, the kits had to be bottle-fed.

“Rosie was absolutely mesmerized and would sit by my lap while I was feeding them. As babies do, they got messy faces, and I knew mommy kitties clean their babies with their tongue. So I got the idea of holding the baby kitty up to Rosie, and she started cleaning its face.

Golden Rosie doing some Kitty face cleaning

Golden Rosie doing some Kitty face cleaning

“This went on for weeks. As they grew and started running around on the floor, she would corral them and keep them where I could see them. If one ever got out of my sight, I’d just go look for Rosie because I knew that’s where the baby was.”

Before embarking on her career as a kitten raiser, Rosie used to sleep every night right beside Churchill and her husband Jim’s bed. “But now she insists on sleeping in the kitchen, right beside the big kitty condo where the kittens sleep at night, so she can keep an eye on them.” Rosie is now working on her third litter, with no end in sight.  . . . .

One of the reasons Rosie gets along so well with kittens is that she was raised by cats: the Churchill family felines Howdy, Jackie, Jenny, Yoshi and Jacques.

One day, when Rosie was 4 months old, Churchill came home and found her standing on top of the kitchen counter. The look on her face seemed to say it all, Churchill said: “What’s the problem? The cats do it, don’t they?”

Go over and visit the article’s talented author, Martin Snapp. He’s a longtime newspaper columnist in the San Francisco Bay Area, and has an online version of his column.


5 thoughts on “Golden Retriever Rosie raises kittens like they’re her own

  1. As a Labrador trainer, I know well that if a dog and a kitten are growing together, then both of them will develop a beautiful relationship that is otherwise not possible. This looks very good because there are two different types of animals that are interacting with each other.

  2. Hi. Thank you for the kind words. Rosie is even sweeter than I made her out to be. If you’d like to see a picture of her on the kitchen counter, it’s on my blog. Just click on the 07/05-07/12 arrow and you’ll find the link.
    Martin Snapp

  3. Martin, I have not forgotten about putting up those photos of Rosie. I was waiting as you wrote about her having a new litter that she was taking care of, with promises of new photos.

  4. Sorry, Rochelle. We (ICRA and I) have been busy on something else for the last few weeks – an infuriating case of kitten abuse. This has been going on for years, but the abuser was finally busted last week, thank God. And there’s a happy ending: The kittens have turned out to be amazingly resilient and are doing extremely well in their foster homes, especially considering what they went through. I posted a story about two of them on my blog a couple of days ago.
    The alleged abuser is being held without bail.
    Meanwhile, Rosie is mothering her latest batch of kittens, so she’s happy. But this abuse case has her mom pretty occupied, so no new pictures for a while. But I’ll ask her to send me some as soon as she takes them.

  5. Martin, I saw that posting, which just about broke my heart. I cannot read about these kinds of stories because it is just too distressing to acknowledge how inhumane many of the supposed humans are.

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