Some years ago I went to see some kittens and picked out one of them, a little black girl. I got the shock of my life when I got a knock on the door one night and there stood the owner with kitten in hand. She said "Here's your kitten", dumped the kitten in my hands and before I could say anything, she ran down the path jumped into the passenger seat of a waiting car and took off
leaving me speechless.
That was Topsy. She was barely 5 weeks old
I quickly discovered she wasn't weaned and couldn't even lap. Now, as most of us know, cats are amazingly clever animals. Along came Blue, one of my Toms, picked Topsy up by the scruff of her neck and proceeded to mother her. He (with help from me) taught her how to lap, eat and use the litter box. He would take Topsy and wash her from head to tip of tail and back again. Poor Blue ended up with bald patches all over his tummy because he would let her "suckle" from him. Well, with Blue's wonderful "mothering", Topsy flourished into a lovely, very affectionate cat. I'm sure Blue knew that she was far too young to have been so cruelly taken from her Mum and took it upon himself to play the role of surrogate mother. I do believe, that if he hadn't, Topsy may well have died.
Here's Topsy now just waking up from having a nap.
and her "surrogate mother", Blue (the grey cat in the pic - the other is Tibs). They are still very close friends and often curl up together.