When Randy McCray’s daughter lost their longtime family cat several months ago, the family decided to bring another kitten into their home. What they didn’t expect is that their standard dachshund, Stitch, would take this kitten on as her own.
McCray, from Iowa City, first went to a local horse farm whose cat had recently had kittens. They found a kitten who was no more than five or six weeks old, who they were worried about accidentally getting stepped on by one of the many horses around the farm. So, they brought the kitten, who they named Kitty, to their house.
“We brought the kitten home and I introduced it to the dog,” McCray said. “I thought (Stitch) was either going to try and chase it, or she didn’t care, one or the other. (Stitch) took one look at it, and literally curled up in a ball around it and within an hour was nursing her. She was bathing it, washing its face, washing its little butt, she was full-blown mom within an hour.”
The dachshund had just been in heat the month before, which can lead to her having false pregnancies. McCray was wondering, after all the nursing the kitten had been doing, if Stitch was actually making any milk. He was surprised to find out that she was, and it shows, as apparently the kitten has put on a fair bit of weight and is getting a little fat, according to McCray.
“They’re very happy together,” he said. “They sleep together and play together. We put the kitten down at night in a kennel, so she can be litter box trained, and my dachshund gets up in the middle of the night to check on her to make sure she’s OK and goes back to bed.”
While McCray has had a number of animals over the past two decades, Kitty will be their fourth or fifth cat, with Stitch being their sixth dog. Stitch is trained as a tracker to look for things like rabbits when McCray goes out hunting. The family now has two cats, two dogs, a lizard and a fish. But despite this menagerie, one thing is clear: the whole family is happy and loved.