Great horned owl and cat face off through a window

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House cats are not exactly apex predators. Sure, they fare pretty well against a mouse or a songbird, but their small size makes them vulnerable to bigger, more vicious animals like wild raccoons or coyotes.

Which is why we would never recommend a cat enter a fair fight with what appears to be a great horned owl, one of the largest owl species. Able to rend flesh with its razor-sharp talons, this bird would be more than a match for the aggressive cat, except for the pane of glass standing between them.

Animals have notorious difficulty wrapping their minds around windows. Dogs are known to bark at their own reflections, and every year during the fall migration thousands of birds die from collisions with the transparent glass.

In this case, however, the pane acts as a peace keeper, keeping both parties safe while allowing them to posture to their heart’s content. And that’s good news for the cat.