A long-haired tabby cat has been hailed a hero after finding an abandoned baby in a street and climbing in the box he had been left in to protect him from the cold.
As well as making sure the three-month-old didn't freeze to death, the moggy raised the alarm by crying out to make people aware of the boy's presence.
Irina Lavrova, 68, who lives near to where the tot was dumped in Obinsk, Russia, was throwing out rubbish when she heard Masha the cat meowing near the bins.
She went over to check Masha - a communal cat - was all right, and could not believe her eyes when she saw the baby boy lying among next to the moggy.
"Masha is a communal cat who everyone takes turns in looking after," she said.
"She is very placid and friendly so when I heard her mewing I thought that perhaps she had injured herself because normally she would have come and said hello to me.
"You can imagine my shock when I saw her lying in a box next to a baby.
"Clearly her mothering instincts had taken over and she wanted to protect the child.
"He was well-dressed with a little hat and whoever left him here had even left a few nappies and some baby food."
The baby boy was taken by ambulance to hospital where he was given a check up and declared fit and healthy.
A hospital spokesman said: "The baby had only been outside for a few hours and thanks to Masha and the child’s clothing he was not damaged by the experience."
Now residents in the area have hailed Masha a hero.
Irina said: "Everyone in the block is very proud of her and we have all spoilt her rotten by giving her her favourite food."
A police spokesman said officers were looking into the case and had launched a search for the baby’s mother.
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