When staff at a vet’s clinic found a box of four abandoned kittens on their doorstep, they fell in love with them straight away and were more than ready to nurture them themselves.
But the next morning, they noticed an adult tabby loitering near the front steps, desperately trying to dash inside every time the door opened.
Eventually, the nurses relented and picked the cat up, only to discover that she was a feeding mother.
Then the ‘penny dropped’ and they introduced her to the ‘orphaned’ kittens – three tabby and white males and a black tabby female aged around three to four weeks.
Sure enough, the bond was instant.
Revealing the heartwarming story on Facebook, staff at the Mill Road Vet Clinic in Whangarei, New Zealand said: ‘There was a very happy reunion!
‘Presumably she had been in the box too and escaped before we arrived for work.
‘She’s probably been prowling around all night looking for her kidnapped kittens!’
Describing how they came across the babies, staff said: ‘Yesterday, we found a box of kittens dumped on our front door.
‘Of course we all fell in love with them and vet nurse Nicole took them home to care for them overnight.
‘This morning, we noticed a tabby cat hanging around our front door, trying to sneak in every time a client arrived.
‘When we realised it wasn’t going to go away, we picked her up and discovered she was a feeding mum. Then the penny dropped!’
They said the reunited family had now been found a new home with a relative of member of staff who had lost their own cat.