The lengthy winter season in Greenland may be harsh for wandering animals. Snowstorms and extreme cold may linger long into spring, which means that finding a safe haven is critical for cats and dogs that are on their own.
A juvenile tabby cat was rescued from the streets of Nuuk, Greenland’s capital, in mid-April and sent to Dyrenes Venner (roughly translated as “Protector of Animals in Greenland”).
“Stray and missing cats have a pretty rough life up here during the winters,” Dyrenes Venner board member Inunnguaq Christiansen told The Dodo. “They often have to take shelter in the basements of ancient houses due to frigid weather and frequent storms.”
Ulla was given a name by volunteers, and it was evident right away that she was grateful to be secure and warm. Ulla quickly made herself at home in the shelter, cuddling up to her rescuers as well as the other cats, dogs, and guinea pigs.
Christiansen described her as “really sweet and compassionate.” “I once took my own dog, Yaris, to the shelter, and Ulla leapt on the cage right away.”
Ulla’s motherly instinct, at little over a year old, may have given her rescuers a sign that there was anything peculiar about the new arrival. No one suspected, however, that the small cat was concealing a secret.
The once-thin cat looked to be gaining weight at an alarming pace as the weeks passed, and even stranger, Ulla was taking on weight in one specific area.
“One of the helpers mentioned that Ulla was growing rather large,” Christiansen stated. “On closer examination, it was only around the belly button, and her nipples were stiffening.”
Ulla was transported to Greenland’s sole veterinary institution for an ultrasound.
The screen indicated that the young cat was set to become a mother – and very soon.
Ulla’s rescuers were taken aback by the news of the imminent delivery, and her shock was palpable. Tone Frank, a shelter board member, took a few photos during Ulla’s treatment, wonderfully capturing the small cat’s wide-eyed amazement.
Frank shared the news and photos with her other board members, and Ulla had gone viral on Reddit before she realized it.
“During my lunch break, I decided to upload the images on /r/aww to see if a handful of others would share my enjoyment,” Christiansen said. “A few hours later, the post had exploded with over 900 comments and 90,000 upvotes.” I spent the entire evening attempting to communicate with individuals… We received several really nice PMs [private messages] from people praising us for our efforts, which really raised the volunteers’ spirits.”
Ulla’s funny reaction to her pregnancy not only made her famous on the internet, but it also helped her find a genuine home.