There aren’t too many wild creatures that would befriend a domesticated feline, but this deer seems to be the exception.
Pictured below in some aww-inducing photos are a deer and cat who’ve formed an unlikely friendship in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
The cat’s owner says the deer unfailingly shows up on their property every day to play and prance around the yard with her pet cat.
The pictures indicate the two are fairly affectionate with each other, too, taking turns to groom one another as they lie close together.
They first appeared on Reddit, and though there are plenty of people cooing over the photos, some of the commenters presented some substantiated concerns for the animals.
In general, their friendship is likely quite harmless, but the deer has very likely lost its fear of humans along with cats, being that someone is obviously documenting the pair from a close distance.
Because of this, the deer may start to frequent more high-traffic areas, posing a threat to the deer and humans. In general, a wariness for humans helps wild animals’ chances of survival.
There is also a potential threat to the cat and its owner because of the prevalence of deer ticks. In the United States, Lyme disease is the most common vector-borne illness. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it hears of approximately 20,000 cases a year, though it is estimated that that covers only 10 percent of actual incidents.
Deer are commonly associated with Lyme disease because they provide ticks with plenty of food and transport them long distances. This is why most people concern themselves with keeping deer away from their yards, and inevitably, away from their pets, though it would be tough for any pet owner to disrupt this adorable friendship.