This Cat Café Employs Rats to Look After Orphaned Kittens

Thought cats and rats were always enemies? Think again!

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Welcome to the Brooklyn Cat Café in New York, where cats aren't the only animals you'll find!

In addition to offering an ambient café full of sweet, adorable felines like most cat cafés, this particular New York hotspot is also a nonprofit that aids in animal welfare and rescue. They have nursed many mother-and-kitten families since they opened in May 2016.

They now even feature a 24-hour live "kitten cam" on their website, where you can see the current family of nursing  kittens living at the terrarium.

But adorable baby felines aren't all you'll find. They're joined by a fearless rat duo, Remy and Emile.

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The rats look after the kittens as they grow, teaching them how to behave and interact with other cats, animals, and eventually humans. This is especially instrumental learning for orphaned kittens, who don't have their mother available as an example.

Watch Emile give these tiny kittens a bath!

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The cat café first introduced the idea of rat nannies when they began caring for a sick little orphan named Ebony. This kitten had Feline Leukemia virus, a disease that is contagious to all other cats and meant that Ebony had to be quarantined.

This disease isn't, however, contagious to rats.

That's when the café owners introduced Ivory, a kind, loving rat who became best of friends with the poor sick 4-week-old. Although Ebony couldn't be saved from her incurable disease, Ivory made her life a beautiful story of love and friendship.

Une publication partagée par Brooklyn Cat Cafe 🐱☕️ (@catcafebk) le

Ivory nannied other kittens after Ebony, and after his passing, the café introduced Remy and Emile. These two young rescued rats add so much playful energy to the little kittens' lives as they grow!

With the constant supervision of the professionals who run the café, both the kittens and the rats are kept safe and allowed to bond and form a totally unlikely friendship.

The kittens are just the right size to play without harming the rats, and the rats have no fear of their baby companions!

Josephine the Cat and Ivory the Rat break bread together. Peace IS possible in the world.

Publié par Brooklyn Cat Cafe sur Sunday, July 17, 2016

They make the cutest, most unlikely pairing! Would you ever have dreamed it possible?

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by Andrea Heckler