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This cat has made no surprising interspecies friendships.

Here’s a look at the most likely of animal interactions — those that hew closely to predictable predator/prey relationships. As you might expect, the majority of these animals have never met and have no particular bond with one another, although we can guess that if they were to ever meet, their reactions would range from general indifference to outright hostility, as this is the way of all things.

Here are a cat and a baby duck who have never met.

This cat has made no surprising interspecies friendships. This cat has made no surprising interspecies friendships.
These chicks are being raised by their biological mother, according to custom, rather than by a friendly cat. These chicks are being raised by their biological mother, according to custom, rather than by a friendly cat.

Here is a baby elephant who has never bonded with a sheep after his mother’s death.

baby elephant This elephant is, as pictured, alone.
sheep This sheep has no idea that the elephant even exists, and vice versa.

All over the world — every day — animals you would never expect to meet never meet. They go about their normal routines, interacting only with the animals it makes sense for them to interact with. Here is a deer that has never deviated from its typical behavior by helping a mother bird guard her eggs.

deer This deer has a lot to do; guarding a clutch of eggs is not on his list.
These baby birds are not aware of the existence of deer in general, much less this deer in particular. These baby birds are not aware of the existence of deer in general, much less this deer in particular.

Unlike in the popular movie, this fox and hound are not close friends.

This fox is not looking for a friend.
This hound socializes exclusively with humans. This hound socializes exclusively with humans. He has no idea what he is missing.

They have never gambolled together in a sunny field. They will never be torn apart by social forces and angry farmers outside of their control. Never will the fox sigh dreamily to the hound, “We’ll be friends forever, won’t we?” because they do not know one another, and because we live in a world without magic.

Here is a baby bear that has never snuggled with a tiny, warm piglet.

bear cub He might as well live in a world free of piglets entirely.
piglet How can you miss something that you’ve never known?

Here you will see a picture of a turtle who was raised by other turtles. They died, as turtles do, and he continued to live until he died, without ever riding adorably across a flooded river on the back of a friendly hippo who helped to raise him, despite their many differences.

This is a turtle qua turtle. This is a turtle qua turtle.

Here is the hippo, who has never touched a turtle, except perhaps once by accident. They have no relationship whatever to speak of.

This hippo will never know the joys of raising an orphaned turtle. This hippo will never know the joys of raising an orphaned turtle.

This monkey has never seen a baby tiger, and would not know what to do if it did.
monkey
This baby tiger has never seen a monkey, but it would figure out what to do pretty quickly if he ever saw one.

tiger He would eat it without a second thought.

All over the world, animals are eating and ignoring each other, “friendship” being a human construct that does not enter into their daily struggle for survival. They would eat you too, given half a chance. If the hills beyond your home were just a bit more wild, if you wandered just a bit too far afield, if your glasses slipped from your breast pocket and you stumbled for just a moment, they would eat you too.

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