A stray Russian cat has been hailed as a hero by members of the domestic and international media after it helped save an abandoned baby in the town of Obninsk near Moscow.
Masha the cat has been credited with keeping the baby warm by climbing into a cardboard box with him and meowing to attract residents' attention, Russian media reported. The story was even picked up by the New York Post, which quipped: 'Eat your heart out, Lassie!'
The baby, estimated to be about 2 months old, was rushed to a hospital, where doctors said he was healthy and appeared to have been well-cared for before he was abandoned, regional news site KP.ru reported.
The report added that the baby was left by the entrance of an apartment building in Obninsk on Jan. 10, clad in a jumpsuit and accompanied by a package of nappies and some baby food.
He was discovered by Masha, a communal tabby cat that lived in the building and was cared for and fed by its residents. Besides meowing for help, Masha also "consoled" and licked the baby, KP.ru reported.
When an ambulance arrived to take the baby to a hospital, Masha followed the paramedics outside to "see him off," the Dni.ru news site reported.
Police are still searching for the baby's parents, and the case has prompted a flurry of responses from Russian Internet users.
"If the baby's mom isn't found, is there a possibility of adopting this child?" KP quoted one of its readers, Svetlana Kuznetsova, as saying. "Feel terrible for the little one who may be left in an orphanage."
Some have also expressed a wish to adopt Masha — who, besides her share of media coverage, received treats of her favorite foods from local residents, media reports said.