Forbidden Love: An Owl and a Cat’s BFF Video Goes Viral


Mention “The Owl and the Pussycat,” and most people will think of the children’s poem written by Edward Lear. If you have a taste for retro romantic comedies, you might think first of the 1970 movie with Barbra Streisand and George Segal, but most people will think of Lear.

Either way, the romance is a fiction. If you were to put an owl and a cat into a pea-green boat, one of them would probably end up being lunch rather than finding a Turkey to marry them, right?

Well, maybe not. Maybe you just haven’t met Cleo the owl and Forbi, her BFF who just happens to be of the feline persuasion.

Cleo and Forbi have been raised from childhood by Brazilian biologist Andr├® Costa. They bonded very early in life, and instead of one turning the other into lunch, they became best pals. This month, they became stars of the Internet when Costa put up a short video of the two together. The video went up on Sept. 7, and since then, it’s been featured by major media outlets including The Telegraph and Time and shared by thousands across the web.

It’s easy to see why. The unorthodox couple look adorable. In the very short video, it seems that Forbi wants to play; she keeps nudging Cleo with her paw, claws completely sheathed. Cleo, obviously having better things to do, just politely hops away, ignoring Forbi. It’s less than a minute, but the video has a sweet, gentle charm.

Despite that “one of them would be lunch” idea, Cleo and Forbi aren’t that unusual. Back in 2011, we wrote about Fum the cat and her buddy Gebra, who hang out together in Spain. (“Fum” means “smoke” in Catalan, and “Gebra” means “frost.”) All these years later, Fum and Gebra are still friends, and they’ve accumulated lots more thanks to Facebook. Their page has 48,260 likes as of this writing. Hopefully, Fum and Gebra will be able to verify that those are their real, legal names, or they may have to look for a new virtual home.

Maybe it’s not surprising that an owl and a cat can get along so well. After all, they both love eating small rodents. Maybe they just recognized the predator in each other and came to some kind of arrangement. Seen in that light, it seems somewhat appropriate, although perhaps a little darker than the Lear poem.

Via YouTube

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