It’s no secret that us humans are innately drawn to animals. Our furry friends make us want to smother them with hugs and, in one bizarre case, even drove a man to hold an animal shelter at gunpoint, in search of his cat. Online, a mere two words can put a smile on anyone’s face: animal rescues. When you add no-nonsense military personnel and drenched kitties into the mix, the result is instant virality.
That’s exactly what happened on Tuesday, when a Thai navy team rescued four cats from a capsized fishing trawler 13 kilometers off Adang Island in Thailand’s Satun province.
According to local reports, the boat had caught fire and started to sink. After the crew escaped from the sinking ship and were rescued by a passing fishing vessel, the navy was sent to the shipwreck to check for an oil spill. That’s when one of the sailors saw four cats stranded on a wooden beam of the capsized ship and swam out in a life vest to rescue the frightened felines, Reuters reported. Perched on the rescuer’s back, the cats were carefully transported while other crew members pulled the sailor back to safety by rope.
The dramatic operation was captured in photos posted on the Thai navy’s Facebook page on Wednesday. Guaranteed to melt even the stoniest of hearts, the photos have since garnered over 6,000 likes.
In another post on Wednesday, the Thai navy confirmed the safety of the cats in a Facebook post that featured heartwarming photos of sailors cuddling the cats.
“All four cats are well taken care of,” the post, which has also gotten over 6,000 likes, reads.
People are now swooning over the unlikely bond between the sailors and their new feline companions.
“It's really heartwarming,” reads one comment. “I wonder if the four lucky cats will be in the navy unit.”
“Both the navy and the cat are cute,” wrote another Facebook user.
The navy team and the cats have somewhat become online celebrities, with people even creating fan art and sharing them online.
According to Reuters, the cats are now housed at a navy command post on the island of Koh Lipe and are under the care of their rescuers.