Orphaned Kittens Get Lots Of Love From Pet Rats At Cat Cafe

Rats and cats are enemies — except when they aren’t.

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Kittens are getting the attention and love they might lack from some very caring pet rats. Via Brooklyn Cat Cafe/Instagram
Anastasia Thrift

A cat cafe in New York City gives cats and kittens a chance at adoption and a new life and home. But the cafe workers need help with the big, important task, so they turn to some unlikely assistants.

You can witness it when you watch a pet rat groom merely weeks-old kittens in an Instagram video posted by Brooklyn Cat Cafe earlier in the week. Emile, in the video, and fellow pet rodent Remy give love and comfort to the bottle-fed kittens in the cafe, run by Brooklyn Bridge Animal Welfare Coalition.

Adoptable cats and kittens from BBAWC, as well as a few from other local rescue groups, live at the cafe. Two years ago, staff decided to try a new approach.

They took in an orphaned 4-week-old kitten, Ebony, who tested positive for feline leukemia and needed companionship — but who couldn’t pair up with other cats for risk of infection. Instead, they let her cozy up to a little white rat who needed a home.

Etta and Ivory, BFFs.

Posted by Brooklyn Cat Cafe on Sunday, July 31, 2016

“Of course we named him Ivory,” Anne Levin, BBAWC executive director, told The Huffington Post. “He and Ebony became great friends and would cuddle and romp in their crate.”

We are heartbroken to announce that Ivory was euthanized by our vet this morning. His elderly body had been declining…

Posted by Brooklyn Cat Cafe on Monday, February 6, 2017

According to the cafe’s website, Ebony and Ivory would “romp and play together until they passed out cuddled up together.” Ivory continued to nurture other kittens until his recent death from old age a few months ago.

Now, Remy and Emile have taken on the role. The kittens in the Instagram video need cleaning, and the rats are the right ones for the job.

“I know the rats we have often groom themselves and each other and it seems to be both a self-comfort and a friendship connection,” Levin told the news outlet.

The match-up is great for all involved. The kittens get the love and attention they need, which will help them be happy, socialized cats in the future, and the rats get to be seen in a different light than usual. Their caring, playful side is in full view, benefiting some animals in need.

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