A one-year-old Argentine baby boy apparently had the same fate as wild child Mowgli in Disney's film The Jungle Book, when he was found being kept alive by cats on the streets.
Police officers who found the tiny lad were surprised to see how the cats snuggled up to keep him warm during freezing nights, which would otherwise have claimed his life.
AdvertisementThe animals licked the baby boy as he ate scraps foraged by them.
They even hissed when a female cop approached the boy in Misiones, Argentina.
The tot was rushed to hospital, where doctors suggested that he was kept alive by the care he received from the animals.
Policewoman Alicia Lorena Lindgvist found the baby by a canal in the Christ King district on Wednesday.
"I was walking and noticed a gang of cats sitting very close together. It is unusual to see so many like that so I went for a closer look and that's where I saw him. The boy was lying at the bottom of a gutter. There were all these cats on top of him, licking him because he was really dirty," the Sun quoted her as saying.
"When I walked over they became really protective and spat at me. They were keeping the boy warm while he slept," she added.
Alicia also revealed scraps of food were lying by the kid.
"I picked him up and took him to the nearest police station. He was still really dirty and he was then taken to the hospital. The doctor who examined him said he should have perished in the cold," she said.
"The cats knew he was fragile and needed protecting," she added.
The police have found the baby's father, who himself is a homeless man.
The tot's father has admitted that he had lost him several days ago while collecting cardboard to sell.
He even revealed that his son had always received good care from cats.
Explaining how the boy could have survived due to the cats' behaviour, a spokesman for Thames Valley Animal Welfare, which deals with feral cats and strays in Berkshire, said: "They would have viewed the baby like a big hot water bottle. Cats will cuddle up to anything to keep warm, even dogs."
He added: "In our experience of cat colonies, when a mother has a litter, all the other cats will go and fetch food. The baby could have been feeding off the scraps they brought. Cats in Argentina stay in large packs to survive - much more than cats over here."