In pictures: Orphaned kitten ‘adopted’ by bulldog

Bulldog Harley with Tigger the kitten. Picture: Hemedia

Bulldog Harley with Tigger the kitten. Picture: Hemedia

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IN most cases, this pair would be at each other like cat and dog. But Tigger the orphaned kitten has found an unlikely surrogate mum - Harley the bulldog.

The grumpy two year-old is keeping a close eye on her tiny ginger charge - and has even started producing milk to feed him.

Clare Evans with Harley and Tigger

Clare Evans with Harley and Tigger

Their unlikely bond developed when Tigger - who is just two weeks old - was found alone and abandoned in a church.

He was handed in to Arvonia Vets in Cheltenham, Gloucesteirshire, where trainee nurse Clare Evans instantly fell for him.

She took him home and was amazed when her pet Harley, who is unable to have pups herself because of a tumour on her spine, adopted the role of surrogate mum.

Clare, 37, who has three sons, said: “From the moment I took Tigger back to mine Harley completely tried to take over the care of him.

“She washes him and lets him cuddle up, and now she’s producing milk and feeding him.

“She can be quite a moody so-and-so and I never thought she would be this way with him.”

Whenever Harley is around Tigger buries himself into her flaps of skin to keep warm.

In return her new mum stands in the way of curious approaches from Clare’s other dogs - a male mastiff called Yogi and Kya, a female German shepherd.

Yogi, however, is also getting parental and has started giving Tigger a protective lick to keep him clean.

Clare added: “Yogi has given him a few baths, but even then Harley will stand very close.

“Yogi sort of acts like a father towards Tigger, so I’m pretty sure that kitten will grow up rather confused.

“Kya meanwhile can’t get anywhere near Tigger at all.”

Harley and Tigger are set to keep their bond for life, even after Tigger leaves for a new home.

Clare’s parents Christine and Alan have agreed to take him in - and they live right next door.

Clare said: “We thought it would be too distressing to separate them completely and my boys were quite taken and didn’t want to lose him either.

“They are thrilled nan and granddad have decided to take him in.”

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