The Most Adorable Animal Stories in 2019
From alcoholic bears to cats on treadmills, why animals are seriously the best.
Cutest critters of 2019
Hung Chung Chih/Shutterstock
Novelist and playwright Thornton Wilder once wrote that “the best thing about animals is that they don’t talk much” but while he may have been technically correct we think animals actually have quite a lot to say—in their own way. Even better, everything they communicate is often hilarious and always adorable. Read on to see what these cute critters got up to this year. You’ll also want to check out these 12 incredible stories of animals acting just like humans.
The cat who snuck into first class
Cats need to be under 17 pounds to fly on the airline Aeroflot. Unfortunately, chunky boy Viktor weighed in at a hefty 22 pounds so the airline told his owner, Mikhail Galin, that he’d have to fly in the cargo hold, which isn’t very safe for animals. Desperate to get his feline friend on the flight, Galin devised an elaborate scheme, according to The Washington Post. He found a pet double for Viktor through Facebook and convinced that cat’s owner to bring Phoebe, a much svelter kitty, to the airport where he used her for the weigh-in before switching the cats back and sneaking Viktor on the plane. While the plan worked, when officials discovered the trickery on social media, they stripped Galin of his frequent flyer miles. Viktor was worth it, he says. Flying with pets? Here are the 10 best airlines for traveling with your furry friend.
A deer who is a real dear
It almost sounds like the opening to a fairytale: A lonely old woman who lives in a secluded cabin in the woods is visited every day by a magnificent stag who rewards her for her unselfish deeds. But this is 100 percent real life! Mette Kvam, 81, of Norway, had recently suffered the loss of her husband and was trying to adjust to living alone when one day she noticed a deer at her window, according to Caters TV. She fed him a piece of bread and immediately a friendship was born. “Flippen” now comes to visit her daily. She makes sure to always keep his favorite bread on hand and he keeps her company. She says he has saved her from loneliness and she loves nothing more than to feed and visit with him. Jealous of this animal friendship? Your own might not be far off. Your yard may have more wildlife than you realize.
Narwhal the unicorn puppy
All puppies are adorable but Narwhal, a 10-week-old pup, has something that makes him extra cute: An extra tail… in the middle of his forehead, reports HuffPost. It doesn’t cause him any pain or disability but does give him a rather unicorn-like appearance. He’s currently in foster care but is reportedly fielding adoption offers from around the world. There are no plans to remove the bonus tail and, no, it doesn’t wag. Whether your dog has one tail or two, you’ll want to know the secrets it’s trying to tell you.
Quilty, a 6-year-old shelter cat, is as kind as he is smart. He learned how to “liberate” his fellow kitty compadres from their enclosures by opening the doors, a trick he did several times a day but particularly liked to do at night while shelter staff was gone. While the cats enjoyed their nighttime parties, the staff did not enjoy having to repeatedly wrestle all the cats. “Quilty will not be contained. And he has no shame,” the shelter wrote underneath an incriminating picture on its Facebook page. “Come meet him. Take him home. Please!” Good news: It appears that the rascally cat may have found his forever family. These 21 before and after cat adoption stories will melt your heart.
This bear is the life of the party—the frat party, that is
Bears love human food, that’s no secret, but it turns out they love our beverages too, including the alcoholic ones, as some unlucky campers discovered when a bear broke into their campsite and guzzled 36 cans of beer. How did they know it was a bear? Because he had passed out in a drunken stupor right next to his empties. “He only drank the Rainier and wouldn’t drink the Busch beer,” noted one camper, according to Animal Channel. Thankfully, rangers had a smart idea to get the bear out of the campground before his hangover turned him into an angry monster—they lured him out with another can of beer. Love hilarious animals? Check out 50 funny animal stories you need in your life.
Cat on a treadmill is all of us, really
An obese gray cat, aptly named Cinder-block, is doing what many people are this time of year: Embarking on a journey to lose weight and get fit. She’s currently 22 pounds and her vet would like her to get down to 12 pounds, to help with her “joint issues.” Even though it’s for her own good, you can see the seething hatred on her face when placed on her kitty treadmill. She squishes herself into a corner and “walks” one paw on the belt while yelling at her humans. “Are you doing your workout?” the vet coos and she gives him a death glare. It’s a feeling that so many of us can relate to, honestly. Cinder is pretty obvious but not all kitties are—do you know the 15 signs your cat is mad at you?
Birds can be buddies too
Digital Masters Imaging/Shutterstock
Tough, tattooed, and burly, Mark Cardenaz is probably the last person you’d describe as “Dr. Doolittle” but that’s exactly how friends describe the ex SWAT officer. So no one was surprised when he took in an injured hummingbird he found on his back porch, nursing “Buzz” back to health with Pedialyte and sugar for six weeks. But that’s not where the story ends. After he released Buzz back into the wild he thought he’d never see his little buddy again but every year the bird flies from South America back to Cardenaz’s home in Georgia and lands in his hand. This year, Cardenaz worried something had happened when Buzz didn’t show up at his usual time but several weeks later, there he was, flitting around his head and begging for pets. Find out about the man who only adopts “unrescuable” dogs—he now has 21 pets!
Pup demands to be packed out on a paladin
Some dogs love hiking. Not Floyd. The 190-pound mastiff decided halfway through a long hike in the mountains with his family that he was just done. Exhausted, he sat down on the trail and refused to move, no matter what his owners did. Finally, one person stayed with Floyd while the others hiked out to get help. Park rangers called in an emergency rescue team that carried him out on a litter. “He was just chill,” one of the rescuers said. “He knew he was getting carried out. He just laid there and enjoyed the ride.” Apparently mastiffs are known for just deciding they don’t want to use their legs anymore and many owners have commented on the Facebook post that this is why they always bring a wagon on walks. These 10 shelter dogs, on the other hand, rescued their owners.
Horse rescues her grand-foal from a fire
The recent California wildfires have provided numerous examples of human heroism but it turns out that animals have been superheroes too, including a black mare named Prieta. People saw the grandmother horse heading back towards the flames, into a stable, to find two other horses, including her two-month-old grand-foal, Onyx, reports Inside Edition. Once she’s found them, she herded them back towards the road, to safety. “It’s just a natural instinct for a mother to want to go back for their child and animals have the same instincts that we do,” noted one touched observer. Prieta isn’t alone, read up on 28 ways animals show their love.