Animals in the wild face a lot of challenges to ensure their survival. They have to hunt or forage for food, seek or build shelters, weather everything that nature throws their way, and actively tend to their packs or herds if they want to protect their progeny. It’s a cutthroat life, and any interaction with another creature is usually a matter of life or death.
Domesticated animals, on the other hand, don’t need to rely on their instincts as much. They’ve got a warm bed to sleep in, an endless supply of food, and friends—whether they’re the furry or human kind! But every once in a while, our pets can’t help but draw on their ancestors’ wild tendencies—and it often leads them into some very tricky (and hilarious) situations. Just take this kitty, for instance…
Some house cats are born hunters. Be it an insect inside of the home or a bird or squirrel just out of reach beyond the window panes, felines can’t help their natural instinct to chase and hunt down prey.
Of course, no house cat truly needs to do this. With a warm bed and a full food dish, they’ve got everything they need to survive—no instincts necessary! Tammy Simpson’s cat, Ginger, seemed to accept this wholeheartedly. Not only had she never indicated any desire to hunt, but Tammy said that Ginger didn’t even know how to do it!
“She hasn’t figured out how to hunt,” Tammy said, “despite the fact that she’s seven years old.” Thankfully, Ginger’s lack of hunting ability has never really bothered her owner; her kitty always made it clear she preferred lazing around to pouncing!
According to Tammy, Ginger also suffered from serious anxiety. Whenever Tammy moved furniture or used the vacuum cleaner, or if a guest made a sudden movement, Ginger would fly into an absolute panic. She didn’t exactly have the demeanor to stalk anything…
And that was all fine by Tammy! She adopted Ginger for companionship—not for her mouse-hunting skills—so she didn’t mind that Ginger shirked her natural instincts in favor of domesticated life. “I was very sick for a very long time. You know, people exhausted me,” said Tammy. “Ginger likes to cuddle, and so cats are good healing companions.”
So that was why it was so surprising to Tammy when Ginger began to develop an interest in something outside: moose. The gigantic creatures would sometimes show up in Tammy’s Alaskan back yard, and Ginger seemed fascinated by them. She even meowed to be let outside when a mother moose and her calf appeared!
Now, moose don’t typically go out of their way to target people or other animals, but they can be territorial—especially when provoked. If a moose spotted a dog or a cat and thought they were behaving like a predator, they can become quite aggressive and charge, causing injury—or death.
Tammy knew this, and she was hesitant to let Ginger outside for her own safety. But the cat was so insistent that Tammy eventually caved. She watched carefully as Ginger faced off against the moose and her calf. It was almost as if Ginger was stalking them!
Thankfully, the mama moose didn’t seem to mind! Their first encounter was so successful that Tammy felt comfortable letting Ginger wander near them. “If I point it out to her—if I’m like, ‘Hey, there’s a moose!’—she’s out on the deck ready to watch them,” Tammy said.
Tammy said that as soon as Ginger spotted the moose, all she wanted to do was go outside and investigate. Ginger became so comfortable around her new friends that she began to inch closer to them every time they stopped by…
One day, Ginger became a bit too curious. She moved closer to the moose—who then stood up. The moment the ginormous mother moose began to approach the curious cat, Ginger seemed to have second thoughts! She quickly scampered back to the safety of the house.
Still, Ginger didn’t give up, and she kept perfecting her “hunting” skills. After that, she was even more curious about the moose family when two calves appeared alongside the mother. Tammy loved watching Ginger become more brave, but each visit also made her nervous. If the moose felt at all threatened, this kitty would be in huge trouble!
Ginger might not have been the best “hunter,” but she certainly knew how to make an entrance! She’d start off by charging down the hill toward the moose. That might have seemed like an aggressive move, but the mother and her babies seemed more content to make friends than anything else…
Tammy believed that the mother moose left Ginger alone because she could sense how excited Ginger was to interact with them—especially the babies. “It seems like when there’s babies in particular, she likes to head out there,” said Tammy.
While Ginger made huge strides in overcoming her anxiety, the moose and her babies also got an incredible opportunity to socialize with a creature outside their species. It certainly made for an unusual experience…
That was because mother animals are usually very aggressive toward anyone or anything approaching their calves. “Young [moose] are very vulnerable,” confirmed Jessy Coltrane from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. The maternal instinct to protect their offspring is stronger at certain times of the year, too.
While that might be the case with most moose, it definitely was not the case here. This was one mama moose who was just fine with Ginger! “She’s not bothering them,” Tammy said. “Like, I’ve never seen the moose get really upset. Even once their were two calves, she just didn’t care.”
To Tammy, none of that was unusual. While Ginger might not have been much of a hunter, she did have her own particular quirks. “She likes to put paper in her water dish and just kind of move it around. She also loves hanging out in the sink!” said Tammy. Ginger also had some funny ways of asking for attention, too…
“She won’t meow or anything,” said Tammy. “She’ll get really close to your face, and just stare. And eventually it wakes you up, like you can sense something’s there. It’s very terrifying, it makes me jump every time.” For such a scaredy-cat, she sure seemed assertive!
Meanwhile, Ginger and the moose family continued to enjoy a very special bond. While they made for an odd couple, there was no denying that they truly enjoyed being around each other’s company—even if Ginger tried to “hunt” the moose at first!
Have you ever heard of anything so sweet? Ginger might not be like most cats, but her unique way of behaving helped her meet some very special friends!
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