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It's an unlikely partnering, but a lonely chicken has struck up an extraordinary friendship with a cat.
In another life, Snowy the cat would surely be chasing chicken Gladys round the farm they both live on.
But against all the odds, the pair have become firm friends - even lavishing affection on each other.
Firm friends: Snowy and Gladys gaze into each other's eyes
The incredible friendship blossomed just over two months ago when a fox killed 13 chicks leaving Gladys as the only survivor.
Alone and in need of a friend, Gladys was brought into the farmhouse by her owners to keep her safe. And it was here her beautiful friendship with Snowy began.
Now the two pals are inseparable at the farm in Middleton, near Leiston in Suffolk, and Snowy even puts her paw around the chicken to comfort her.
Owner Jane Etheridge says one of her bantam hens hatched 14 chicks — including Gladys — but after just two days a fox attack left just three of the chicks alive and a pile of feathers.
Snuggles: Snowy leans in for a cuddle
Two of the chicks later died but Gladys survived and was brought into the farmhouse where she was fed breadcrumbs to build her strength.
It was here Gladys was befriended by 10-year-old Snowy, and the cat would even wash the fragile bird as well as affectionately rub up against her.
Mrs. Etheridge, a 69-year-old pony breeder who is married to Albert, 70, said: "Gladys would not have survived outside, she would have died, so we kept her inside where she was warm.
"Snowy cleaned her and washed her. Gladys is now about two-and-a-half months old and is our pet."
Happy family: Jane Etheridge with Gladys and Snowy
"She still comes into the house to play. She comes in and bounces up and down in front of Snowy and he just stands there and takes it and puts his paw around her.
"They are the best of friends, very much so, and when she first started going out she would not go unless they went together.
"He is a very strange cat and was actually feral when we got him, completely wild. But now he is all too human and a real softie. He sits on my lap, rolls over and puts his paw out on the chair.
"They are a strange couple but we love them both very much."
Originally published on the Daily Mail website.
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