#525 Kitten and her crow mother

By Cathryn Wellner / December 23, 2012
Crow and her kitten

Clip of crow feeding kitten, from the video below

In 1999 Wallace and Ann Collito of North Attleboro, Massachusetts, were sitting on their front porch when they saw a tiny kitten wander by. Several days later they saw the kitten again. This time she had a companion, a crow.

Ann Collito worried the kitten might starve and began putting out food. She soon realized the kitten was just fine. The crow was picking up insects and feeding the kitten. She (or he – no one caught and checked the crow’s sex) was making sure the kitten had water, protecting her from predators, and monitoring her when she crossed the road.

Ann called the veterinarian’s office. Neither the administrator nor the vet had ever heard of a crow caring for a kitten. The vet advised her to videotape the friendship since the story sounded unbelievable. Thanks to that advice, the Collitos recorded an extraordinary friendship between two unlikely allies.

When Ann fed the kitten, the crow ate too but always made sure the kitten got the largest share. The two buddies romped, wrestled, and hung out together, like the best of friends.

Eventually Ann invited the kitten inside and named her Cassie. The crow, called Moses by the Collitos, seemed OK with her pal’s spending nights inside. Each morning she would appear at the door and caw until the kitten was let out.

We know how the story turned out thanks to the July 2008 article Linda Faber wrote for The Sun Chronicle. The friendship persisted five years, and then one day Moses disappeared, probably having reached the end of her life. In 2008 Cassie ran from an attacking dog and could not be found.

Three years later Michael Gold contacted Linda Faber to find out if Cassie had ever shown up again. In an update on his blog, he wrote the cat came back, three and a half months after disappearing.

The story of this unlikely friendship went viral on YouTube and caught the attention of Lisa Fleming. She wrote the story as a picture book and started a Facebook page.

Thanks to the video, the book, and the public library of the Internet, the extraordinary story of the kitten and her crow mother will be around for generations.


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