1. This dog, who hid her babies in a hole during a raging wildfire.
Sometimes human beings point to animal behavior, and say, "We're one of them! We're savage animals in a constant dance of death and carnage! Coffee is for closers!" Blah, blah, whatever. If you act like a conscienceless maniac, please, blame yourself and leave the cats and dogs out of it.
Mama and papa animals have all the same impulses to nurture and defend that we aspire to in our relationships with other people. Get out your tissues and watch these inspiring furballs go above and beyond for their beloved babes.
2. This swan, who kicked the ass of a guy who touched his cygnet:
He was trying to help, but you know... swans are brave, not nuanced observers.
3. This elephant, encouraging her kid to just keep going a little longer:
Most of the time, what we really need from our moms isn't fierce fireworks, it's the wisdom gained from years of loving and nurturing life. When mom says, "Get up, you're blocking the road," it's because she loves us and knows there's a better place to konk out up ahead.
4. This possum, hissing her way out of a garbage bag with a back full of babies:
Home is where your family is, even if that family is squatting in a trash can.
5. This chipmunk, who is insisting that it is bedtime for baby chipmunks:
This mom is working SO hard to make sure her tiny ones get a full night's sleep. She probably wouldn't like it if you just grabbed her child and shoved it through that hole, but she definitely is going to be too tired to read a bedtime story after all that.
6. This squirrel, defending her young against a beast 10 times her size!:
Shoutout to the editor of this video, who took a few photos and created a hilarious reenactment of the scene. The music really conveys the terror of the squirrel family in the face of a chocolate lab and their ultimate triumph!
7. This rabbit, who makes that squirrel look like a total pansy:
This one is sad, guys. Mom didn't get there in time to save all her wee ones, but one bunny does appear to escape. And then mama rabbit takes her vengeance...
8. This cat, Scarlett, who saved her kittens from a burning building:
Gone, but not forgotten, Scarlett saved her five kittens from a house fire in Brooklyn in 1996 and was severely burned. Happily, she survived and lived another 12 years in a loving adopted home. Her memory is still honored by the North Shore Animal League with The Scarlett Award for Animal Heroism. I don't have a joke about this, I cried when I read about her!
9. This pitbull, who was a loving adopted mom to an abandoned kitten:
You don't have to be related by blood or even from the same species to be a loving parent. This dog found a 2-day-old kitty and took on the task of being its mom. Luckily, the two were found and rescued together, so no broken homes!
10. This cat, who is trying to keep her kitten so clean she licked it clean off the table:
Hey, being a parent is hard. Protecting them, supporting them, defending them and keeping their ears clean? It's a lot.
This dog, who was a mom to an abandoned baby:
Mkombozi means "savior" in Swahili, and it's what this dog was named after she rescued an abandoned human girl baby and carried her to join her litter of pups. See? Animals: they're better than us.