A cute monkey and cat have struck up an unlikely friendship and are now as close as siblings, according to their owner.
Izzy, a 10-year-old female black capped capuchin monkey and Zhoto, a three-year-old male cat are totally smitten with each other.
The sweet animal pals are inseparable and sleep side by side, play together and even groom one another.
The two best friends live with their owners Malaine and Tom Courser in the US.
‘Izzy and Zhoto are best friends for life,’ says Malanie. ‘They never bite each other. Not even when they’re mad. They never fight.
‘We had hoped Izzy would like the kittens but we never imagined how close Izzy and Zhoto would become. They play in the backyard together, looking for neighbour cats to harass. She’ll stand and bark at the cat while Zhoto hisses.’
The 50-year-old retired cardiac monitor tech in the ICU, got Izzy ten years ago and Zhoto three years ago.
At first, she wasn’t sure how the cat and the monkey would bond, but says she was pleasantly surprised when Zhoto kept following Izzy and brushing herself against Izzy to become her friend.
‘Izzy stopped running away after a few hours and began to relax around him and started grooming his fur which he loved,’ she explains.
Malaine says the two best friends spend their time napping in warm spots around the house. They also have a third sibling named Millie, but Izzy is not too close to her.
‘Their favourite spot is the upstairs bathroom because there is a floor heater that shoots right on the fluffy rug area,’ says Malanie. ‘Zhoto goes there to nap and Izzy will follow him and start grooming.’
The pets have diverse eating habits but their bond is such that Izzy even shares her favourite meal – eggs – with Zhoto.
She adds: ‘Izzy eats chopped greens, veggies, nuts and fruits. Zhoto eats dry cat food. But they both love cream and raw eggs.
‘Izzy will get a cup and beg for vanilla coffee creamer so she can pour it on the floor and share it with her cat.
‘Same with the egg. Izzy will open the fridge, get an egg and crack it open on the floor to share. Zhoto really likes the yoke and Izzy really likes the white so when they’re done, the floor is clean.’
Malaine, who has three adult children – said she always wanted to get a monkey as a pet.
She got Izzy in 2012 after a male monkey she had first hoped to buy died. Since then, Malaine and her husband Tom have been taking care of Izzy.
She says: ‘She was two weeks old. They are much like human babies being totally dependent on a caregiver.
‘When I brought her home for the first time, reality really set it. My husband and I got on a routine of diapering and feeding and when she wasn’t doing that, she was busy crawling around her playpen.
‘I remember the first time I saw her climb to the top of her baby jungle gym. I was so proud. It was like a baby’s first steps learning to climb.’
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