Reports that a dog had given birth to a kitten attracted scores of amazed observers in Phnom Penh Thursday and ran up against a long-standing natural law stating that such a coupling is biologically impossible.
Officials in Meanchey district confirmed rumors that a 9-year-old dog had birthed a 20-gram gray kitten, and said several curious Phnom Penh residents had come to Sleing village to see the mysterious newborn by mid-afternoon Thursday.
“It is a miracle of animals,” said Sin Sakhon, chief of Chbar Ampou II commune.
Quoting the dog’s owner, Tea Huot, Sin Sakhon said the dog in the past had given birth to other canines but never a cat. He said he took a photograph of the newborn kitten to carry back to his superiors.
Kuch Chamroeun, governor of Meanchey district, said he too received word of the so-called miracle. If true, the birthing would be the first of its kind. Commonly known to revile each other, cats and dogs are also members of two distinct families in the animal kingdom and cannot mate.
“As far as I know, that is impossible,” said Matt Hunt of WildAid, a wildlife conservation NGO.