Vice President of the North American Pot Bellied Pig Association Anna Key wasn’t sure how her beloved pig, Ellie, would react after she brought a kitten into the mix. A year after she adopted Ellie, Anna was riding her bike when she found a kitten abandoned in a pile of trash. She rescued the lone kitty, named her Mercy, and brought her home—where she immediately bonded with Ellie. From snuggling up to piggy-back rides, the unlikely duo remains the best of friends years later.
Even though a pig like Ellie is an unconventional pet, Anna says that studying up on her needs for space, stimulation, and socialization was well worth it, since Ellie has inspired her over the years and even led her to her leadership role with NAPPA. She works to reverse the misconceptions about pigs as pets, as tens of thousands of pigs are abandoned and discarded yearly as a result of their size. Though they’re not the right pet for everyone, the intelligent, affectionate, innocently curious animals can make a great pet. They’ve been considered smarter than dogs and some even say smarter than the average young child! Ellie is trained to do all sorts of tricks, and when she is done training for the day she looks forward to cuddling up with Mercy.
Watch: Kitty Gets a Piggyback Ride
Mercy, the orange tabby cat, takes piggyback rides on her best friend Ellie, the potbellied pig.
To see more of Mercy and Ellie’s unbreakable bond, as well as an Australian shepherd who acts as the resident nanny for a zoo’s orphaned animals, a lioness whose best friend is a tiger and more, check out Unlikely Animal Friends tonight at 8/7c only on Nat Geo WILD.