The protracted winter in Greenland may be challenging for wandering animals. Finding a secure haven is crucial for cats and dogs that are on their own since the snowstorms and extreme cold can linger long into the spring.
A juvenile tabby cat was rescued from the streets of Nuuk, the capital of Greenland, in the middle of April and taken to the local animal shelter, Dyrenes Venner (which approximately translates to “Protector of Animals in Greenland”).
Inunnguaq Christiansen, a member of the board of Dyrenes Venner, told The Dodo that stray and lost cats struggle greatly during the winters in this region. “They sometimes have to take shelter in the basements of ancient houses due to the frigid weather and frequent storms.”
Volunteers named the friendly cat Ulla, and it was clear from the start just how grateful she was to be safe and warm. Ulla immediately made herself at home, cozying up to her rescuers, as well as the other cats, dogs and guinea pigs in the shelter.
“She’s very lovely and caring,” Christiansen said. “I brought my own dog, Yaris, to the shelter one time and Ulla immediately jumped on the cage.”
Ulla’s maternal inclination may have given her rescuers a sign that the new arrival was out of the ordinary at little over a year old. However, nobody suspected that the little cat may be keeping something hidden.
Stranger still, Ulla seemed to be gaining weight at an alarming pace in one particular area as the weeks went by. Ulla had previously been rather slim.
One of the volunteers mentioned how huge Ulla was becoming, according to Christiansen. When examined more closely, it was only in the tummy region, and her nipples were becoming rather rigid.
Ulla was brought to the sole animal hospital in Greenland where she had an ultrasound.
Sure enough, the screen revealed that the young cat was about to be a mom — and soon.
The news of the impending birth not only caught her rescuers off guard, but Ulla’s shock was evident as well. Tone Frank, a board member at the shelter, snapped a few pictures during Ulla’s procedure, capturing the little cat’s wide-eyed surprise perfectly.
Ulla quickly gained popularity on Reddit after Frank informed her colleagues board members and posted the story and images.
In order to check if any people would find the photographs amusing, Christiansen decided to upload them on /r/aww during his lunch break. “A few hours later, the post exploded with over 900 comments and 90,000 upvotes. I tried to respond to everyone I could all evening. We received several very kind PMs [private messages] from people praising us for our efforts, which greatly cheered up the shelter volunteers.
Ulla’s funny response to her pregnancy not only made her famous online, but it also helped her in finding a genuine home.
For the time being, Ulla is prepping for the birth of her kittens and getting to know her new feline sister, Sofus.
According to Dyrenes Venner’s Facebook post, “They’re doing fairly well, and the family has compassion and understanding that Ulla needs a little more space right now.”
Ulla will soon be able to give birth in the comfort of her own home rather than a small, loud shelter. Ulla and her new family are ready to offer the kittens a wonderful start in life, despite the fact that their presence may have first surprised them.