The kiwi cat who thinks it's a lamb is responsible for putting Ngamatapouri (near South Taranaki) on the map recently, after a video of Steve the cat playing with his crew of lambs made headlines in the likes of the Daily Mail, the Daily Mirror and the Daily Telegraph. Turns out the whole world loves a feel-good story about unlikely friendships between animals, and so do we. Here are some of our global faves:
Boots the Kitten Nanny
Boots the 'Kitten Nanny' is a living legend. One of around 300 dogs found abandoned in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Boots has since been adopted by the Arizona Humane Society and, due to his laid-back nature, has become a 'nanny' for new kittens in the home, to help them adapt and become used to being around dogs, making them better candidates for adoption.
(Source: National Geographic)
The three little pigs (and a cow)
Three pigs at an Austrian farm made headlines earlier this year when farmer Hans Gumpitsch realised they were the reason behind his cattle seemingly not producing as much milk over the summer months. Turns out the three little pigs, owned by the local mayor, had been suckling milk from the cows - and the cows didn't mind. The farm has become a local tourist attraction since the discovery was made.
Lion and tiger and bear!
After being rescued from a home in Atlanta, this unlikely threesome now lives at Noah's Ark Sanctuary in Georgia, USA, where over the past decade they've become even better friends - not to mention a major tourist attraction, with visitors coming especially to witness their unlikely inter-species nuzzling and friendship. Staffers at the Noah's Ark Sanctuary have dubbed the unlikely trio the 'BLT'.
At first glance, Bea the giraffe and Wilma the ostrich have nothing but long necks in common - but it turns out they're actually the best of friends. According to zookeepers at Busch Gardens in Tampa Bay, Florida, where the two buddies live on the 65-acre Serengeti Plain, the improbable duo can't get enough of each other's company.
Kiki and Dabai
Back near home shores, you might remember the Rarotonga wild rescue cat Kiki and pet dog Dabai, who became friends when Kiki rocked up at Dabai's owner's home unannounced one day. According to Dabai's owner, Kiki the cat wouldn't let anyone touch him except for Dabai, with whom he ate, slept and spent as much of his day with as possible.