Mother's Day is all about celebrating the greatness of maternal love. But because there are enough paeans to human moms and their incredible acts of kindness and sacrifice, this year, we're celebrating moms from the animal kingdom. Not just any animal moms, though, these are cats and dogs who've adopted babies from a different species and treated them like their own.
From cats who've adopted wolves and pandas, to dogs who've nursed piglets and Bengal tigers, this slideshow is a testament to the utter blindness of a mother's love. Take a look at the stories below, let your heart melt and don't forget to call your mom!
<a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7498895.stm" target="_hplink">According to BBC News</a>, a Dutch zookeeper's cat adopted two baby red pandas after the cubs were rejected by their mother. The cat -- which had just given birth to a litter of her own kittens -- nursed the panda cubs alongside her own babies, giving them a chance of survival. The red panda is an endangered species that lives in Himalayan regions in China, Bhutan, Nepal, India, and Burma.
A rescued mother cat named Emmy adopted an animal in need of its own -- a baby squirrel named Rocky who fell out of a tree, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/09/10/cat-adopts-squirrel-teach_n_712377.html" target="_hplink">The Huffington Post reports. </a> After Rocky was rescued by Emmy's owners and included in her litter, the mother cat immediately took to the little guy and cared for him as if he were one of her own. Incredibly, after being nursed back to health by his new mom, Rocky learned how to purr, just like the other kittens.
Isabella, a golden retriever, adopted three white bengal tiger cubs after their mother abandoned them at a rural Kansas zoo, <a href="http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/31541834/ns/today-today_pets_and_animals/t/tigers-say-bye-mom-dog-raised-them/#.T6BZGcRYvMA" target="_hplink">MSNBC reports.</a> The white bengal tigers thrived on Isabella's milk and grew into strong adults.
It was love at first sight for a mother cat and baby raccoon that -- by a stroke of serendipity -- were placed together in the same cage at the Jonesboro Animal Control, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/03/mother-cat-jj-adopts-baby_n_1400863.html#s839858&title=Cat_Adopts_Three" target="_hplink">The Huffington Post reports. </a> Last month, a 10-month-old cat named J.J. arrived at the shelter in Jonesboro, Ark., with two tiny kittens in tow. On the very same day, a 2-week-old baby raccoon -- now called 'Bandit' -- was rescued by an Animal Control officer. The raccoon was having trouble eating and so, the officer placed it next to J.J., hoping that the mother cat would take to the little animal. J.J.'s maternal instincts quickly kicked in and she immediately started nursing and cleaning the little fellow, <a href="http://www.journalgazette.net/article/20120403/BLOGS22/120409885" target="_hplink">Associated Press reports.</a>
A wolf-cub in a Siberian zoo was adopted by a cat after it was rejected by its mother and was on the brink of death, <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kWR_mLFo1-k" target="_hplink">RT News reports.</a>
A French bulldog named Baby has adopted six orphaned wild boar piglets after finding them in a forest near Berlin,<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MO9FBW8Dlus" target="_hplink"> ITN News reports.</a>
"She's his momma," said veterinarian Dr. Kelly Hogan, referring to Sasha -- the rescue dog who adopted an orphaned baby raccoon. <a href="http://www.foxillinois.com/news/top-stories/Dog-rescues-baby-raccoon--121633389.html" target="_hplink">Fox News reports</a> that after Sasha was saved from the brink of death by a local rescue group, the dog soon returned the favor when she took in a baby raccoon that was brought to the same shelter, nursing it back to health and treating it as her own.
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=iUaHLdzSgpo" target="_hplink">According to U-Zoo</a>, a cat took it upon herself to nurse and protect three puppies after they lost their mom.