An abandoned newborn baby was saved from freezing to death by the unlikeliest of hero – a stray cat.
The tabby named Marsha climbed into the box the infant had been dumped in and kept the child warm for several hours as the mercury plunged below zero.
Residents in the block of flats found the unusual surrogate curled around the freezing boy and licking his face after being alerted by his cries.
Mothering Marsha ran after paramedics as they took the tiny baby to the ambulance, it was reported.
Vera Ivanina, a paramedic, told REN TV: 'She was so worried about where we were taking the baby.
'She ran right behind us, meowing. She was really a rational creature.'
The baby, a boy aged between two to three months, was taken to hospital where he was checked over by medics.
The infant, who was found in clean clothes and with a pack of nappies, was declared fit and healthy, despite her hours in the cold.
Marsha has since been spoiled rotten with food by the residents in the block of flats.
Police have launched a search for the parents while the baby is being cared for in a hospital.