The chicken and the cat - a love story

IT is an unlikely tale of love - but Gladys the chicken has found a best friend in a farmhouse cat.

IT is an unlikely tale of love - but Gladys the chicken has found a best friend in a farmhouse cat.

Two-and-a-half months ago, the chick was in need of a friend after 13 of her fellow baby birds died after a fox attack.

She was brought in by her owners to keep her safe, and the start of a beautiful friendship with Snowy the cat began.

Now the two are inseparable at the farm in Middleton, near Leiston, and Snowy has put a protective paw around the comforted chicken.

Jane Etheridge, who lives at the farm, said the unlikely alliance began when one of her bantam hens hatched 14 chicks - including Gladys.

But after just two days she found just three of the birds left and a pile of feathers after a fox paid a visit.

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Two of the chicks later died but Gladys survived and was brought into the farmhouse in a box to enjoy crumbs to build her strength.

While inside she was befriended by 10-year-old Snowy, who would wash the fragile bird and rub up affectionately against her.

Mrs Etheridge, 69, a 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. 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 arm 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 arm out on the chair. They are a strange couple but we love them both very much.”

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