Unusual bonds have formed between rats and kittens at the Brooklyn Cat Cafe.

It all started when Ivory, a white rat, became a foster parent to a kitten named Ebony. Ebony suffered from an illness contagious among cats, but still needed companionship. Because rats are immune to feline leukemia, Ivory was a perfect match. The unlikely pair were inseparable until Ebony lost her battle at four months old.

Ivory continued to fulfill a parental role at the cat cafe after losing his companion. His next task was to help a mother feline care for her litter. Ivory’s affectionate demeanor quickly earned him the trust of the kittens and their mother.

Ivory passed away shortly after Ebony, but their unique friendship began a legacy. The Brooklyn Cat Cafe continues to place rats and kittens together, enabling them to develop therapeutic connections similar to the one between Ivory and Ebony.

Among the cafe’s main “nannies” are Remy and Emile, who take great satisfaction in caring for the kittens and even help groom them! Remy, Emile, and the rest of the caretakers residing at the Brooklyn Cat Cafe have their hands, er, paws full — in addition to nurturing kittens, they also take care of baby rats.