Allyson and Micah Radach of Alexandria, Minnesota are raising their 2 daughters Lylah and Rhea to be animal lovers. The family has a chocolate lab named Newt and a backyard full of free-range chickens.
The only thing missing was a kitty, but that changed last November when a tiny orange tabby appeared in their yard, huddling beneath the children’s trampoline against the biting Midwest cold.
“He was just tiny,” Allyson told Echo Press. “I don’t even know how much longer he would have survived (if we hadn’t found him).”
Lylah named the kitten Caramel for his lovely ginger coat and the family welcomed him with a first meal of leftover pancakes and milk from the girls’ breakfast. Although Caramel loved being spoiled with human food, the Radachs bought him his first bag of kitten chow later that day.
As Caramel grew, he began gravitating towards the chicken coup in the backyard. Unlike your average mischievous kitty, he didn’t chase or harass the birds, instead he seemed to genuinely enjoy their company. Micah told Echo Press:
“One day I came home in the afternoon and the chickens were out by the big shed and the cat was right by them. Wherever they’d go, he’d go.”
Kitten found cooped up and cuddling with chickens
It certainly doesn’t hurt that the coup is warm and toasty with plenty of hay and a heat lamp, but the Radachs know that Caramel gets far more than warmth from his time with the chickens. Having been orphaned at such a young age, the little cat seems to take comfort in the nurturing presence within the coup.
“One time I went in there and he was actually laying on the eggs over the nesting boxes,” Allyson said. “I’ve also seen him snuggled up against one chicken in the corner.”
Caramel has also bonded with his canine companion Newt and, of course, his human family. The Radachs had not intended to add a cat to their home, but they are grateful that Caramel came along and they believe that his relationship with the chickens provides a valuable lesson for their children.
“These animals are a perfect example of how they are very different in most ways, but very similar in a way that they are accepting of each other’s differences and now have become friends,” Micah said.
H/T to Echo Press