Masha is a long-haired cat in the Russian city of Obninsk. She lived as a stray around one particular apartment building where residents knew her and liked her. Since she seemed especially clever, they tolerated and fed her. But one day Masha proved herself to be a truly heroic member of the community.
It was January, which means exceedingly cold in Russia. A 65-year-old retiree named Madeschda Machikowa heard a miserable yowling coming from the staircase. She thought it was Masha, whom she adored. She quickly descended the steps to come to her rescue.
But the closer she got, the clearer it became that that was no cat. Below the staircase she found a cardboard box and, upon looking inside, simply couldn’t believe her eyes. Masha was snuggled up inside the box next to a baby. A human baby. The cat was gently licking his face, despite his howls, and trying to comfort it.
Madeschda was both shocked and touched. What monster had abandoned their baby here in the freezing staircase? Next to the box lay a pile of diapers and, luckily, once Madeschda picked him up the baby seemed chipper and bright-eyed.
But if it weren’t for Masha the stray kitty, Madeschda would never have left her apartment for some mysterious noise in the dark, and the baby might actually not have made it in the sub-zero temperatures.
When the ambulance came to take the baby in to the hospital, Masha meowed heartbreakingly. She tried following the medics into the ambulance, to stay with her little companion. In the end, Madeschda had to comfort Masha in her turn!
To this day the baby is doing well, though no one discovered who the neglectful parents were. The Russian winter wouldn’t have spared the newborn if Masha hadn’t been there to look after him. The whole city eventually heard about Masha’s good deed and celebrated her heroism and warmth.
And she earned it. Sometimes animals have a lot to teach us about decency and love!