Prepare your heartstrings for some serious pulling. This cute story is one that deserves to be featured on an episode of National Geographic’s Unlikely Animal Friends.
‘Kitten and piglet’ best friends
In Santiago, Chile, a country in South America, two animals of different species have formed a rather unique friendship. It’s one where they comfort each other for the hard lives they have suffered through.
Laura, a piglet and Marina, a kitten, are the stars of this Disney-worthy tale. Their meeting must have been planned by fate. The two animals were brought to the Santuario Igualdad Interespecie, an inter-species equality sanctuary.
The sanctuary is located in El Monte, Santiago. It was set up to save animals from the harsh life they lived in slaughterhouses and instead provide them with a safe and happy place to live out the rest of their lives.
The pair had different lives before coming to the sanctuary
For starters, Marina, the kitten was left to die by her mother. When she was found, she was weak and very unhealthy. If time had been wasted before getting her to the sanctuary, she might not have made it.
As for Laura, the piglet, her case was similar, yet different. She wasn’t left for dead by her mother, but that would have been her fate anyway.
Laura’s mother was a breeder pig in a slaughterhouse. Life in those slaughterhouses is nothing to write home about. Luckily for Laura, she was rescued by some activists who brought her to the sanctuary. 
A match made in heaven
Both animals were in rather bad shapes when they arrived. However, when they met, they bonded almost immediately. They provided each other with the comfort they both deserved, and in a short while, they became best buds.
The pair have become inseparable
They spend a lot of time together just cuddling without a care in the world. And when they are not doing that, they are finding creative ways to play and have fun.
On the sanctuary’s Facebook page, they wrote, “Since her arrival, Laura has been treated with love and care that a baby deserves, and has formed a deep friendship with Marina kitten, showing by example, that when it comes to relations of friendship and respect, no matter the species to which one belongs.”
Click here to watch the adorable pair and their antics
Can pigs and cats truly get along?
Indeed, several people are confused about this. Fortunately, they do get along. Cats and pigs are known to have great chemistry between them.
Surprisingly, this pairing is much less chaotic than the usual cat and dog combo. This could be because naturally pigs are prey animals and would most likely not fight back even if they are threatened.
On the other hand, it helps that cats are more tolerant of pigs than they would be towards dogs. 
There’s a lesson for us here
Interspecies friendships in animals tend to get people oohing and awing to their pictures and videos whenever they are shown online. This has led to researchers probing such relationships to figure out why they are possible.
They go deeper than all the cuteness the animals present, and instead try to figure out if such relationships could give an insight into interspecies communication.
According to Gordon Burghardt, a Professor in the Departments of Psychology and Ecology, and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Tennessee, “There is no question that studying these relationships can give you some insight into the factors that go into normal relationships.” 
Regardless, at this level, we must pick what we can from them. Just like children, young animals have genuinely beautiful hearts and teach us that love or friendship can truly transcend time, race, social standards, and any other thing society considers ‘barriers’ to friendship.
The story is not all sweet
Sadly, there’s another rather depressing side. And that is about the animals’ previous lives. Marina is not the only homeless or abandoned kitten out there; neither is Laura the only piglet from one of these breeding/slaughterhouses. They are just the lucky ones who managed to get out on time.
According to data by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), approximately 3.4 million cats enter animal shelters in the U.S. yearly. Of this number, 1.4 million are euthanized while 1.3 million are adopted.
That implies that 41% are euthanized while 37% are adopted. These numbers are not so encouraging considering the higher number of those being put down. 
As for the pigs, their case is even more depressing. Statistics show that almost 1.5 billion pigs were slaughtered for food according to the United Nations data in 2016. 
The standard of living in the breeding and slaughterhouses is deplorable. The animals face intensive confinement which leads to them being highly stressed out. 
While the tales are morbid, it is refreshing when happy ones such as that of Laura and Marina come up. Certainly, we all look forward to them.
That said, we must appreciate the organizations and individuals who go about fighting for these animals. Shelters, the sanctuaries, the Good Samaritans who rescue them and the people adopt and care for these animals are all to be commended for the parts they have played so far.
Hopefully, more people will join forces and change the narrative of these loving creatures.
- “Kitten And Piglet Take Interspecies BFFs To A New Level Of Cute.” HuffPost. Elyse Wanshel. Accessed March 25, 2020.
- “Do Pigs and Cats Get Along?” Pet Pig World. Cyra Sanchez. Accessed March 25, 2020.
- ” Learning From Animal Friendships.” NY Times. Erica Goode. Accessed March 25, 2020.
- “Increasing survival rates of rescued kittens.” Kitten Coalition. Editor. Accessed March 25, 2020.
- “Global Pig Slaughter Statistics and Charts.” Faunalytics. Bas Sanders. October 10, 2018.
- “The Truth Behind the Pork We Ear.” Independent UK. Lizzie Rivera. June 29, 2017.