Why does my dog lick my kitten?

Canada
June 15, 2008 7:36pm CST
Yesterday, I got a new cat. He is 7 weeks old and cute as hell. I'm wondering why my dog constantly licks my cat. He follows him around and always sits and lies down with him. They are already fond of each other, and I think the licking may be a protective thing, along with lying down with the cat between his paws. I've been suggested it may be a mothering thing, because I know it's what a mother dog does to it's pups, and my dog may be doing the same thing. (Even though it's a male.) Anyone have any idea why he's doing this? I think I'll upload some pictures of my new cat too. :D