Cold Blooded Companion Warmed By Feline Friendship

I think this about at the limit of friendships between different species of animal: a rescued iguana and a rescued cat. Great combination. But no communication except through close friendly contact and behavior that seems to speak louder than meows and hisses (iguanas hiss just like cats).

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When a New Yorker is a devoted animal rescuer anything can happen and in this case it has. The iguana was found wandering around Brooklyn – 71st Street and 13th Avenue – and then found its way into the apartment (er…no…zoo) of Rina Dech because she can’t turn away a animal in need.

The scraggy little kitten, near death’s door, also found his way into her flat because Dina can’t say no. Rina named the iguana “Sobe” and she named her kitten, who is now a healthy adult, “Jo”. There are other cats too in Dina’s apartment. And all of them get on with Sobe.

It is a really strange friendship. Or is it? When Sobe first saw Jo he hissed and in response Jo gave him a cuddle, rubbed against him and bingo, Sobe chilled out and through body language (do iguana’s do body language?) indicated he liked a cuddle from a scraggy rescue cat.

Apparently Sobe wanders around the apartment looking for feline company if they aren’t in his temperature and humidity controlled enclosure. Rina seems to be an absolute wizz with animals as she has provided an environment and diet that is perfect for iguana.

There is the occasional spat, however. This is because iguanas can be too affectionate says Rina. She means “aggressive”. Iguanas can be aggressive. Probably not as badly as male homo sapiens, though. Everything is in harmony in Rina’s home even when it isn’t.

The domestic cat seems to be incredibly adaptable. This is possibly the result of 10,000 years of domestication. They are far from the wild cat ancestor, the African/Asian wildcat in personality.


The title is a reference to the cold-blooded nature of the iguana, a reptile. Their body temperature is cold unless warmed up by external heat. The events in the story happened in 2008. I don’t know if they are still together. It would be nice to know.

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Cold Blooded Companion Warmed By Feline Friendship — 5 Comments

  1. That is truly incredible. Thanks for telling us about it. It’s one of those things that reminds us just how unexpected nature is and how much we don’t understand it from an emotional point of view. Goodness knows what other potentials exist out there – or are even happening as we speak. It is we decide that a set of arbitrary rules dictate that certain things should not go together. Infact we are so sure of it we think we are right and will often proceed accordingly, and yet how wrong we may be.

    • We don’t give animals enough credit. The worst offenders are the most arrogant humans. The best people are those who show some humility. Marc you are in the latter category I believe. I certainly am.

  2. Pingback: Not Dr Doolittle But Still Communicating | Pictures of Cats

  3. Thank you, Rina and Michael, this is truly humbling. An emaciated rescue kitten who doesn’t even care that the other “little” friend is furless, different body temp and pulse. Just wants to nurture him and is thankful/content for being fed, sheltered in a loving home, at last.

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