Life on the cold streets of Russia can be hard for humans and animals alike. One such animal who's spent years toughing it in the freezing winter months is Masha the cat.
Masha has spent years roaming the streets of Obninsk, Russia in search of food and love - some days are better than others. But when Masha stumbled upon an abandoned baby, she knew exactly what to do...
While most days Masha roams the streets alones, a handful of kind Obninsk residents do their best to care for her when temperatures become unbearable. Irna Lavora is one of the generous people who looks after Masha during the Russian winters.
She'll leave out food for the fluffy cat or let her sleep inside when the temperatures drop to frigid levels. So when Irna heard what she thought was Masha meowing in pain from somewhere inside her apartment building, she jumped to help!
The high-pitched meowing lead Irna to the ice-cold basement.
That's where she saw Masha curled up next to a tiny baby boy in a cardboard box. Even though the temperature was below freezing, Irna discovered that the boy was nice and warm.
68-year-old Irna realized that Masha's knew the boy was in trouble and used her own body heat to keep him alive until help came! Irna immediately called for help and rushed the 12-week-old baby upstairs into the heat!
Masha followed closely behind as she ran upstairs, Irna explained.
"She was so worried about where we were taking the baby. She ran right behind us, meowing. She was really a rational creature."
Since that evening, the baby boy has recovered fully and now the hunt is on to find the parents who left their child in a frigid basement!
As for Masha's heroic actions, Irna is convinced the cat knew exactly what she was doing.
"[Masha] is very calm and friendly, so when I heard her meowing, I at first thought she might have hurt herself. But clearly, it was just her maternal instincts taking over and she wanted to protect the child."
Thankfully Masha was there to save the boy's life. Without her body heat, the baby would surely have froze - possibly before anyone stumbled upon him!