things that matter

11 Unexpected Animal Friends That Will Make You Smile

Our animal friends are constantly present in our lives. In fact, most of us have a best furry friend waiting for us at home! They sleep next to us, share our lives, and comfort us when we get bad news. While they don’t look anything like us (preferring kibble over a nice bowl of cereal and often need a lot more brushing than us) we still consider them our best friends. That’s why it shouldn’t surprise us that our animal friends sometimes make surprising friendships of their own, despite all the differences. Here are 11 animal kingdom friends who clearly recognize their best bud despite looking (and acting) so differently:

1. Meet Pickles and Dill.

Credit: @LivingWithPickles / Instagram

Pickles has a somewhat sad beginning, as his humans rescued him from a farm once it became flooded as a piglet. Fortunately, his human parents have spoiled him ever since, and he lives his best life with his human friends and many animal siblings. His favorite friend, though, is his brother, Dill. Dill is a French Bulldog mix, and Pickles and he get along like peas and carrots. Possibly because they share so many favorite hobbies!

Pickles and Dill love taking naps together.

Credit: @LivingWithPickles / Instagram

Pickles and Dill love to take naps together, make fascinating sound effects (they both sound like little piggies when they get going), and finding ways so they both get into the dog food. With a name like Dill and Pickles, they were clearly destined to be together, and love growing up together in their new home.

2. Meet Champy and Morris.

Credit: @Champy_and_Morris / Instagram

Morris, a rescue brought from the local shelter to live his best life on the farm, was at first a regular of the front porch and didn’t take too much interest in his fellow animals. Champy took an interest right away. While Morris wasn’t too sure at first, Champy persisted, and a firm friendship was found after a few weeks.

Morris is always ready for a ride from his bud.

Credit: @Champy_and_Morris / Instagram

While Morris was a little shy at first, this definitely wasn’t for long. Champy now spends most of his time with a tiny rider in tow while he grazes and goes about the property. Morris has tried to make friends with the other horses, he hasn’t been successful yet. Luckily, Champy is happy to have someone visit him in the field and to have conversations with and Morris is always happy to take a ride with his best friend.

3. Meet Rudy and Barclay.

Credit: @ducksmakegreatpets / Instagram

While Barclay’s littermates were going off to be siblings to humans, cats, and other dogs, he was meant for something special: to take care of a flock of ducks! Barclay lives with his human parents and his feathered friends and lives a very fun life. While Barclay is getting on in age, he definitely is kept on his toes by Rudy and the gang. Despite living with so many other animals, Rudy and Barclay have a special bond.

Rudy and Barclay aren’t always about placing their ducks in the water.

Credit: @ducksmakegreatpets / Instagram

Barclay and Rudy love to nap together, wrestle when the mood strikes, and they really love to take naps as well. Rudy will even forgo a good swim if Barclay is looking for a nap buddy. They’ll even share a bowl of peas, as long as the rest of the gang doesn’t grab them first!

4. Meet Bubbles and Bella.

Credit: @Andrianalynn16 / Instagram

The story of Bubbles and Bella’s friendship is as heartwarming as it gets: Bubbles was orphaned and taken in and trained to perform many tricks. Bubbles was even a movie star and appeared in many videos. As an adult, though, she didn’t quite fit in with the other elephants. That’s where Bella comes in. When a pool was built for Bubbles, the contractor left Bella behind when he finished. At first, Bella was scared and nervous, but soon blossomed, and immediately was drawn to Bubbles.

Bubbles and Bella are best friends on Instagram and in real life.

Credit: @Rexyissexy / Instagram

Now, Bubbles helps Bella learn how to play, something Bella probably didn’t do a lot of. Bella helps Bubbles by showing her love, carrying around her drinking bowl and toys, and taking long naps with her when they get tired. Fortunately, they both enjoy the water and spend a lot of time swimming together, including playing with each other in the water.

5. Meet Smeller and Puff.

Credit: @Puff_the_Bearded_Dragon128 / Instagram

Maybe it shouldn’t surprise us that two heat-seeking animals like a lizard and a cat would become best buds, but these two still turn heads. Smeller and Puff both seem to have a special bond that has nothing to do with their shared grooming habits, but more to do with their love of cuddling.

These unexpected animal friends love to snuggle together.

Credit: @Puff_the_Bearded_Dragon128 / Instagram

Puff and Smeller both share a love of catching small insects (although Puff tends to eat them afterwards and Smeller usually walks away) and Smeller has been known to climb into Puff’s house to catch some heat lamp time. While Bearded Dragons aren’t particularly known for being affectionate, anyone can look at the smile on Puff’s face to realize that he’s loving every minute in Smeller’s life. Such good pals definitely belong together but are definitely make an unlikely animal friendship.

6. Meet Suryia and Roscoe.

Credit: @docantle / Instagram

Suryia and Roscoe are extra unexpected as they became friends after a chance encounter when Roscoe slipped into the Wildlife Sanctuary where Suryia was living. Roscoe, a stray who was a little bit too thin, was fed by animal caretakers and allowed to follow them as they worked. As soon as Roscoe spotted Suryia, a bond was formed. While dogs are normally afraid of primates, Roscoe immediately took to Suryia, and Suryia immediately made friends with him.

These furry friends also have some very famous friends.

Credit: @saltsox / Instgram

Suryia, an orangutang who helps raise orphaned and baby primates, may have a lot of love to give, but Roscoe is a good friend in return. Suryia often takes Roscoe for walks around the sanctuary where they both stay, feeds him chimp biscuits, and sometimes they even go for rides on their animal friend, Bubbles (not the same Bubbles as with Bella). They are so famous, they even have been recognized by National Geographic and Oprah for their special friendship.

7. Meet Bacon and Pepino.

Credit: @Bacon_the_Piglet / Instagram

You know you’re in for a good story when you hear about a pig named Bacon! Bacon is a baby piglet who lives with his porcine brother Pancetta. Bacon also has a soft spot for pups, which is where Pepino comes in. While both Bacon and Pepino both love taking naps, they also find that they share a love of sniffing out mischief, making new friends, and digging under blankets.

This pig and dog are taking over the world.

Credit: @Bacon_the_Piglet /  Instagram

While Bacon and Pepino may surprise people passing by while they are out and about, they soon win people over with their smiling faces, friendly kisses, and obvious love of each other. Bacon is growing up into a very handsome adult piggy, so is a little bigger than Pepino now, but they both maintain their fast friendship.

8. Meet Osiris and Riff.

Credit: @OsirisAndFriends / Instagram

Osiris might be a tall and beautiful pup, but Riff won’t be left out on their adventures, even if he is just a rat! Osiris is a rescued mutt living in the fast and fun city of Chicago and his human parents are big believers in big families. That’s why Osiris has some surprising siblings, from rats, to cats, to anything else that might need help. Osiris plays his part by providing warm cuddles and the occasional piggyback ride.

Osiris is a good sport about giving Riffa a lift.

Credit: @OsirisAndFriends / Instagram

While rats often get a bad rap, Riff prooves Osiris with plenty of love, play time, and snuggles. Osiris just seems happy to have someone along for the ride! While Riff has other rat siblings, only he can be found going for a lift on Osiris’s back.

9. Meet Antoine and Mir.

Credit: Instagram @AntoinesFund

When Antoine’s human family found him, he was just a husky who was paralyzed due to an unknown cause. Without them, though, he would probably not have lasted long. That’s when they brought him to their farm, already full of plenty of farm animals in the process of rehabilitating, where he met up with Mir. While Antoine is still undergoing plenty of physical therapy (and making slow but sure progress), he’s making the most of life by making friends.

It’s adorable how Antoine is always there to provide company.

Credit: @AntoinesFund / Instagram

While horses are normally afraid of dogs as they are a little bit too much like predators, Mir and Antoine have a special bond. Antoine frequently keeps company with Mir while they are out in the paddock, and always make sure to make small talk. While Antoine has plenty of recovering to do from his paralysis, Mir helps to raise his spirits.

10. Meet Sniffer and Tinni.

Credit: @OrganicBurst / Instagram

Sniffer and Tinni, the real-life inspirations for the Fox and the Hound movie, are exactly as adorable as you’d expect a fox and Norweigian hound to be. Tinni met Sniffer in the forest in Norway when walking with his human parent, and, despite having a reputation for not getting along with humans or dogs, Sniffer was instantly smitten.

Sniffer and Tinni are the real life ‘Fox and Hound.’

Credit: @istapetofficial / Instagram

Sniffer and Tinni are more than best friends now, they not only run around the woods together doing exactly what best friends do, they’ve become the image of interspecies friendships! Their favorite thing to do is to run around and play tag, and to see who can get the farthest first. When not running as fast as they can, they love to wrestle and snuggle when tired. Who’d know they weren’t brothers!

11. Meet Kate and Pippin.

Credit: @Isobel_Springett / Instagram

While it might be unexpected to see a giant pooch and a deer running around playing, it has become completely normal for neighbors of Kate and Pippin. Pippin, a deer found in the lawn of a home in British Colombia, has learned that good things come of approaching houses and has made a habit of it ever since meeting Kate. Kate, in turn, has learned that she has a best friend in Pippin, and always begs to go out and play when she spots him in the yard.

These two have a special bond no one saw coming.

Credit: @Isobel_Springett / Instagram

Pippin, the deer, was found as a baby several years ago and was instantly drawn to Kate the Great Dane. While still a fawn, Pippin learned to look up to Kate as a parental figure. As she grew, Pippin learn that Kate could also be the best play partner ever! While Pippin is now quite a bit taller than Kate, they still get together to play the odd game of chase and to catch up on the gossip.

These Pics Of Sweet Bodega Cats Are Proof That The United States Does Have A Royal Family

Entertainment

These Pics Of Sweet Bodega Cats Are Proof That The United States Does Have A Royal Family

OK,  so you’re a sorry person you might be wondering what the heck a “bodega cat” is, right? Well, a bodega cat is a special and hard-working kind of kitty who often lives in a ship or has taken a stroll away from home to find comfort in strangers…. and by comfort we mean food, comida, la papa. If you want a longer def, then you can find one here (and of course, remember gatitos are the kings and queens of the Internet). These kitties are often found near delis, lonjas mercantiles or anywhere that sells food. As we said, sometimes bodega cats actually live in the shop and will do anything within their means to get some abracitos y mimos from the customers! They often become legendary dwellers of their hoods.

They will employ their best gatito de Shrek antics to get a slice of pastrami or a little bit of queso, or perhaps a little cuddle, and like any good cat, they will just ignore you once their feline cravings have been satisfied. Just so you are prepared next time you encounter one of these, this is what we mean by gatito de Shrek (yes, we know he is the Puss in Boots, but us Latinos call him differently):

Credit: Puss in Boots / Dreamworks

And without further ado, these are some of the most tiernos y descarados bodega cats on the web:

This New Yorker who has made the streets his paradise

Credit: Twitter. @literElly

Just look at the masterful way that this bodega cat seductively twists and turns around Elly Belle’s ankle. Hard to say no!

Mayor Tom, a sus ordenes

Credit: Instagram. @fernandothebodegacat

Tom is laying the law of the land straight away: if you want anything you will need to pay him some attention, and some respect. He will be by your ankle, tus tobillos, of course! Are we the only ones who think cats were put on this planet to be the stars of the Internet?

Want a B&J ice cream? Well, too bad, I am just cooling here!

Credit: Instagram. @fernandothebodegacat

Good luck to whoever wants to grab an helado in this shop. That bodega cat is not going anywhere. Do we blame him?

Just woke up from my long siesta

Credit: Instagram. @mrmatthoffman

Just look at that rico bostezo. This cat found the perfect nap spot behind the Premium crackers. Just be careful next time you visit the shop: you don’t want to unleash hell by waking him up!

This cat found an ally!

Credit: Instagram. @rob_banks

Very cute. These two seem to have hit it up. This animal defender will surely visit this bodega cat often, and perhaps bring some fishy treats with him. This kitty struck gold: a co-dependent lifelong friendship with a human.

Do not disturb, por el amor de Dios

Credit: Instagram. @catswhoroam

That bag of Book Chicka Pops seems to be the best pillow ever. This cat is just so comfy we even feel like peeping toms looking at this picture!

The guardian of the chelas

Credit: Instagram. @photon41

This minino knows that when new boxes of cerveza arrive, it is of the uttermost importance to guard them. Just look at the serious and committed expression on its face. Well done, chaparrito.

This is one aristocratic cat

Credit: Instagram. @bauerwines

Everything in the dweller of this bottle shop screams class: from the long whiskers to the furry chest to the aristocratic way in which he yawns. Perhaps some sherry, my lord?

Cats of anarchy! 

Credit: Instagram. @devilsreject13

According to common lore, if you cross a black cat you will face bad luck. But this one is just so cute on that motorbike. Or, is he part of a biker gang? Shall we call Ron Perlman and ask if he is part of Sons of Anarchy?

Ready to jump! Watch out!

Credit: Instagram. @klararob

This cat by the name of Max seems to be ready to jump on the first customer that walks in. We wonder what is going through his animal mind? Sardines, perhaps.

No, kid, no chocolate today!

Credit: Instagram. @izzy_sabbath

We love, and are terrified by, the judgmental look on this fluffy face. No chocolate for you today, escuincle. Or perhaps he is shaming an adult cliente for having a Kinder huevito every day.

Cat not for sale

Credit: Instagram. @laurasplan

Cats and boxes are like chicken and rice, peas and carrots… we just want to clarify that this cat was not being sold! He just loves to spread sus patitas open wide in this box.

Guardia de lujo

Credit: Instagram. @heyitsarongold

No, he is not a criminal. This cat is there as a customer service liaison for the shop and is ready to assist you if you have any questions in regards to the operation of the Automatic Teller Machine. Ha.

This gatito de bodega sure strikes a pose! 

Credit: Instagram. @brookejaconpetphotography

Just look at how professional this cat’s modeling is. It captures the golden hour perfectly, and that look towards el horizonte near the Yucateco sauce bottles and the Cholula sauce box would surely make a spreadsheet in a fashion magazine. Miau!

We want this on a t-shirt, like as of yesterday!

Credit: Instagram. @gerardoromo via @carmenmt347

What a cool design. It is influenced by pop art and yet captures the magnificence of bodega cats. Can we buy a t-shirt or poster now, please? Take our money

Florecita roquera

Credit: Instagram. @sellinggotham

Ohh la la! No bad luck at all bumping into this amazing New York scene, with fresh tulips and a gorgeous black cat. Can it get more urban chic than this?

Ask Nelson, if you can wake him up that is

Credit: Instagram. @elctwit

Nelson seems to have an appointed role in customer service, but he also seems to not give a damn. Good for him. Long, restful periods of sleep are important for any employee.

Come back soon, have a nice day!

Credit: Instagram. @lizbreeezy

We would totally come back to this shop if this awesome one-eyed cat was there to bid us goodbye. We love that he is having a happy life, as evidenced by his lovely panza. We just want to scratch his tummy!

Bodega cat in training

Credit: Instagram. @jolenesiana

This kitten has all the necessary attributes to become a great bodega cat: the posture, the intensity in his gaze and a very healthy dose of cuteness. We can’t wait to see where his career takes him!

Hipster bodega cats, of course, giving us all the High Fidelity vibes

Credit: Instagram. @castleblackpaw

This super hipster gatito lives in a record store that sells vinyl and of course wears a jeans vest. He has that Marlon Brando air about him and is plain awesome. Can someone sign a sponsorship deal with him already?

Last but not least: the smart cat who found summer relief in the fridge

Credit: Instagram. @fernandothebodegacat

New York can get pretty hot in the summer, and muy humid, so Fernando found the perfect spot inside the fridge. If it is beer o’clock he can just crack open a Red Stripe and feel the sweet flavors of Jamaica travel his furry body.

People From Around The World Are Responding To A Billboard Asking For A Kidney To Help Save A Young Man’s Life

Things That Matter

People From Around The World Are Responding To A Billboard Asking For A Kidney To Help Save A Young Man’s Life

GoFundMe / Ilya Polyakov

On the corners of Barrington and Mississippi avenues in West Los Angeles, you can find a billboard of a man looking for a kidney. That man, Antonio Calderon, 31, suffers from a kidney disease known as FSGS, or Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis. So when his friend, Ilya Polyakov, wasn’t a match, he stepped up in the only way he could, buying a billboard to help find a matching donor.

Antonio Calderon has been on the kidney donor waiting list for about two years. He hopes this billboard will help find a match.

Calderon was diagnosed with the rare kidney disease back in 2009 and has been on dialysis for the last two years. This means every night he’s hooked up to a catheter machine to remove excess waste from his body.

The 31-year-old is now in desperate need for a kidney transplant. “I just got bum kidneys. It’s not a hereditary thing, it’s just bad luck,” he told CBS2.

Polyakov, with the help of about 30 others, stepped up and raised $5,000 through a GoFundMe to purchase the billboard in West LA. He hopes it will catch someone’s attention and help find a kidney match for his dear friend.

“I tried to be a donor for Antonio two years ago and unfortunately due to my own health I was not a compatible match,” Polyakov said. “I couldn’t really think of a more visible way than a 48 x 14-foot billboard that is there for the city to see.”

“You can’t (legally) buy a kidney, so we bought this billboard to save our friend’s life,” the billboard reads. “Find out if you are his donor match.”

The billboard has already caught the attention of people from around the world trying to help.

The billboard, in addition to posts across social media and the GoFundMe page, has resulted in about 200 inquiries. Calderon has been blown away from the quick responses from complete strangers willing to help.

“It’s kind of surreal,” Calderon told LA Magazine. “It’s surreal and then it’s just cool to know that there are that many people that seem to genuinely be good people and be caring. You know, none of them know me, but at the same time, they’re touched by the gesture that my friend has done.”

Calderon has been sharing some of the feedback and support he’s received since the billboard went up. He said on Twitter that a person from as far as Turkey contacted him about the billboard.

While the billboard has gotten a lot of attention, Calderon is still looking for a matching donor.

Calderon is blood type O+ and can get a kidney from those with blood types O+ and O-. He is still currently looking for a matching donor with those specific blood types.

Despite all the hardships Calderon has gone through the last few years, he’s grateful to have the support he’s received from his good friend and complete strangers.

“To know that there’s this many people that care about me to donate and then to actually see the billboard to get a bunch of eyes to give me a kidney is like so awesome,” Calderon told FOX11. “I’m personally prepared to live on dialysis for as long as it takes on the deceased donor list but this will get it much quicker and it’s incredible.”

READ: 21 Health Instagram Accounts You Need to Follow Right Now

Paid Promoted Stories