A stray cat in Obninsk, Russia is being hailed by local residents as a hero when she saved the life of an infant abandoned in the snow for hours.

Masha kept the 3-month old boy warm with her body inside the cardboard box the baby was left in, and called the attention of neighbors for help by meowing.

"She is very placid and friendly, so when I heard her meowing, I thought that perhaps she had injured herself. Normally she would have come and said hello to me. You can imagine my shock when I saw her lying in a box next to a baby," said local, 68-year old Irina Lavrova.

Although Masha is a stray, residents in the area already knew her well and all help care for her by giving her food. They all agree that their little moggy's mothering instincts must have kicked in when she saw the baby in trouble and did all she could to protect it. Some reports even say that Masha wanted to accompany the baby in the ambulance when it arrived and waited a few hours for the infant to be returned to her. Medical workers at the hospital where the baby was taken said that he is in perfect health - all thanks to Masha.

"The baby had only been outside for a few hours and thanks to Masha and the child's clothing he was not damaged by the experience," a spokesperson at the hospital said.

Authorities are currently looking for the mother, or whoever abandoned the baby in the snow. He was left in a cardbox box where Masha found him wearing a hat and a few diapers and baby food with him.

Meanwhile, residents couldn't be prouder of their little long-haired tabby Masha. They have been spoiling her with her favorite food and calling her a bona-fide hero.

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