It's a confusingly cute picture: tabby cat lies in a box, partially buried in a pile of fluffy yellow chicks. The downy mob is crowded into a corner of the box and one chick is perched atop the cat's back.
Posted on Jezebel, the image raises some interesting questions. Namely, is this an adorable example of domesticated bliss between animals that in the wild would be natural enemies? Or is this the troubling "before" picture of a pending massacre?
To be fair, cat and chick friendships are far from unprecedented. In this video, viewed over 800,00 times since it was posted at the end of August, a ginger kitten is in a very similar situation -- buried in a pile of incredible fluffiness.
For yet another example of cat-chick adorableness, meet Oscar and his fluffy friends (names unknown). They are the stars of a now-famous Youtube series that shows the ins and outs of a very unconventional relationship.
The videos, posted by tubbytubbytubtubs, detail the exploits of a preternaturally patient cat and his "feathered friends."
Just like any pair of friends, the two have their ups and downs. In one video, Oscar calmly seems to be snuggling the chick, which hunkers down underneath its paw. But in another, a clearly grumpy Oscar does not appreciate an exploratory peck from one of the chicks.
What's certainly not in dispute is that many cats, given the chance, would much rather kill these defenseless creatures than shelter them as Oscar does.
Case in point, an August feature in Mother Jones revealed the rather gruesome results of a University of Georgia cat behavior study. Using "kitty cams," the researchers captured more than 2,000 hours of footage of domestic cats in suburbia. A lot of the pets had a greater penchant for killing and torturing than their owners may have liked.
Additionally, the American Bird Conservancy estimates that cats kill more than 4 billion animals annually, according to Robert Johns, a spokesman for the conservancy.
Oscar and his friends have clearly refused to bow to the pressures of popular social mores, and for that HuffPost salutes them. Who are we to say fur and feather can never flock together?
Check out a video of Oscar and his fluffy friends below:
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