MISIONES, Argentina, Dec. 20 (UPI) -- Argentine police say a destitute 1-year-old boy was kept alive by a colony of stray cats who shared food scraps and kept him warm in the city of Misiones.
The boy, who had been missing for several days, was found by Police Officer Lorean Lindgvist, The Daily Telegraph reported Saturday
"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," Lindgvist said. "When I walked over they became really protective and spat at me. They were keeping the boy warm while he slept."
Lindgvist said she noticed scraps of food near the boy and surmised "the cats knew he was fragile and needed protecting," the Telegraph reported, noting doctors said the warmth of the cats saved the boy during freezing nights that could have killed him.
The boy's father, who is homeless, said his son vanished several days ago and that cats had always been protective of the boy, Lindgvist said.