Strong bond between "mama" Chihuahua, "baby" kitten

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Dec 5, 2013 in Rat News | Subscribe

RACINE – It’s said that sometimes you just can’t help with whom
you fall in love.

It is just as true that some crazy-sounding things have happened
to the lovestruck.

Both can be said of Layla. Although this 2-year-old Chihuahua’s
love interest is of the maternal kind, it is no less unusual.

Enter the 3-month-old kitten called Pistol Pete, whom Layla has
been nursing and caring for as if her own pup since the kitten was
rescued this summer by Layla’s owners.

“This is a dog that’s never had puppies and she just developed
milk for this baby,” Jillanne Rodeman, 33, said Sunday of

The kitten, along with his litter of brothers and sisters, was
found earlier this summer by her boyfriend, Jeremy Dale English,
32, in a garage across the street from their Racine home. Now, he
may be the only kitten left from this litter.

English, a yard maintenance worker, said he put all of the
kittens back after he found them. Later, the mother cat – who is
believed to be feral – carried away three of her kittens, Rodeman
and English said. A woman adopted two kittens in response to a
Craigslist ad, Rodeman said. And a couple of weeks ago, Pistol
Pete’s sister was hit by a car and killed, English said.

Rodeman said another woman had planned to adopt Pistol Pete, but
she and English have decided they must keep him. They told the
woman they’re not letting him go, said Rodeman, a stay-at-home

“There’s nothing I can do. This is love,” she said with a grin,
watching the kitten play in an empty soda can box on their front
porch while Layla kept watch as she sunned herself. “I could have
gotten rid of him, but I saw the attachment she had for him and
(considered) what the retaliation would be.”


“She started retaliating when she couldn’t find him (when he was
napping),” Rodeman said. “There were times she couldn’t find him
and she would pee on my bed.”

But what shocked her most, Rodeman said, is how Layla began
nursing little Pete shortly after they brought him into their

“He’s so cute when he nurses from her. He still needs her,” she

While some veterinarians say that a dog nursing a kitten is
highly rare, the phenomenon is gaining attention. From Wisconsin to
Texas, media accounts detail similar tales of dogs suddenly
lactating to nurse often-abandoned kittens.

“He’s a puppy cat. A cuppy,” Rodeman laughed. “He thinks he’s
part dog.”

Pistol Pete joins an already full house. Beside Rodeman, English
and Rodeman’s son, Pistol Pete and his doggie mama live with a
2-year-old cat named Diablo, an 8-year-old dog named Baby, a
hamster and two pet rats.

Originally the couple named the kitten “Holler” because he was
so vocal, Rodeman said: “But I changed it to Pistol Pete because he
is a absolute pistol.”

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