When Yessica Rodriguez was getting ready for work one day, her husband made an unusual announcement regarding their cat. Confused, Rodriguez then went to see what her partner was talking about. And that’s when she realized that her pet had brought home a companion.
Rodriguez lives in the city of Altamira in Mexico. There, she also shares her home with a cat named Blanquis. Rodriguez had adopted the feline in December 2017 after having found her abandoned.
And at the time of her rescue, Blanquis was just a kitten. In fact, she was so undeveloped that she hadn’t even opened her eyes yet. With that in mind, the baby cat’s chances of surviving alone on the streets were slim.
You see, in an ideal world, kittens should stay with their moms for at least four weeks. During this time, cat babies rely on their mothers for milk and warmth; they also require stimulation from their female parents to help them pass their waste.
And as kittens usually open their eyes before they are ten days old, it went without saying that Blanquis was far too young to be away from her mother when Rodriguez found her. But, luckily, the small cat had found herself in good hands.
Yes, Rodriguez brought Blanquis into her home and acted as her surrogate parent. She raised the cat until the animal was big and strong, in fact. And if an incident from August 2018 is anything to go by, it seems as though Rodriguez’s kind nature has rubbed off on the kitten.
On one day that month, Rodriguez was getting ready for work; then, her husband shouted out to her. He had stumbled upon an unusual sight, and he was so taken aback with what was in front of him that he wanted his wife to witness the scene in person.
Recalling her encounter with her husband, Rodriguez told The Dodo in in August 2018. “He said, ‘You have to come down here.’” However, unable to keep the secret in, her partner blurted out, “Your kitten has an animal on her back!”
With her curiosity well and truly piqued, Rodriguez then darted down the stairs to see what her husband had meant. And, indeed, he hadn’t been lying: somehow, Blanquis had picked up a passenger during her daily travels.
The hitchhiker in question was a tiny opossum, and the baby marsupial was riding along on Blanquis’ back as if the feline were a bus. Perhaps, then, Rodriguez didn’t quite believe just what she was seeing.
Opossums are found throughout the Americas and, much like cats, young joeys rely on their mothers after they are born. For at least the first 70 days of their lives, in fact, an opossum feeds in its mom’s pouch, and the animal only ventures out of the pocket when it is fully weaned.
But while there was no way of telling how old the joey Blanquis had found was, it was clear that the young opossum had somewhat of a bond with the cat. And, luckily for the animal, Blanquis was more than happy to step into the joey’s absent mother’s shoes.
Indeed, it appeared that Blanquis had found the abandoned joey and taken pity on it – much in the same way as Rodriguez had saved her. Soon after, the cat had seemingly allowed the opossum to clamber onto her back so that she could take the other creature home to Rodriguez.
Furthermore, the way in which Blanquis was carrying the joey was not unlike how opossum moms carry their babies in the wild. “I know that this is how their mother transports them,” Rodriguez revealed to The Dodo. “Blanquis brought him to me.”
An opossum only moves onto its mom’s back when it has outgrown her pouch, however. As a joey continues to increase in size, it competes for space with its siblings; then, ultimately, each baby is pushed off their mother one by one. After that, a young opossum is forced to fend for itself – whether it is ready to do so or not.
Now that Blanquis had brought the joey home, though, Rodriguez was eager to do all she could for the new arrival. As a consequence, then, she contacted a wildlife expert who told her how she should care for the critter until someone more experienced could take over.
But while Rodriguez took over the care of the opossum from Blanquis, the cat was never far away. In fact, the feline treated the baby as if it was her own. “[Blanquis] licks at [the joey] as if it’s nothing,” Rodriguez explained. “It’s very emotional seeing her loving other animals.”
However, like all good things, Blanquis and the opossum’s relationship will eventually come to an end. That’s because Rodriguez doesn’t intend on keeping the joey; instead, she just hopes to provide the creature with temporary shelter until it’s strong enough to go its own way.
Still, in the meantime, the cat owner was thrilled to see Blanquis turn from the rescued into the rescuer. It was almost as if the once-abandoned feline had taken Rodriguez’s good deed and paid it forward to another animal. And her human couldn’t have been more proud.
Speaking of the unique turn of events, Rodriguez said, “It feels to me like a token of appreciation. It is very tender.” Gushing over her precious cat, she added, “We love Blanquis very much. She is very special.”