Shakira the Serval kitten finds puppy love in her adoptive home ... with a pack of Rhodesian Ridgebacks
By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 1:54 PM on 18th November 2008
Peeking out from among these puppies this tiny kitten may look a little out of her depth but in fact she is right at home.
Shakira, the five month-old Serval cat, was welcomed into this unlikely clan after she was rejected by her mother from a local zoo near Munich, Germany.
'Shakira came to us when she was just 14 days old,' says animal carer Roland Adam.
'A friend of mine contacted me from a local zoo and told me how Shakira's mother had not produced enough milk for her litter and her other brothers and sisters had died.
'When I heard this I decided to take her in.'
Acting as a surrogate mother, Mr Adam spent two hours each day feeding the tiny kitten who only weighed 1000 grams.
After six weeks of care and attention, Shakira became strong enough to be introduced to her new family - a pack of Rhodesian Ridgeback dogs.
Bearing 11 cubs in July of this year, mother Katijnga accepted the spotted cat into the clan straight away.
'I wanted to provide Shakira with some animals that could be a substitute for her own brothers and sisters and for her mum,' says Mr Adam, 53.
'It turned out that Shakira was integrated immediately into this dog family. She plays hide and seek, catch and even play fights with the dogs.
'When they tire from playing with each other, the cubs lie down together.'
And it looks as though Shakira is happy with her new mother too.
'You see a strong bond between Shakira and her foster mom,' says Mr Adam. 'When they play, Shakira did not even for a moment push out her claws - it is a loving family.'
Serval cats are native to the grasslands of Africa. Weighing an average of 40 pounds they can grow 24 inches in height and up to 36 inches in length.
Despite being wild cats, the Serval cat has been kept as a pet by Europeans for hundreds of years.