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Conditions: Rain showers throughout the day, could be heavy at times.
Many of you have no doubt heard of the pilot fish (Naucrates ductor), a carnivorous fish that feeds on ectoparasites attached to sharks.
The relationship between a shark and pilot fish is a mutualistic one, in the sense that the pilot fish gets a steady meal while the shark gets the equivalent of a living, swimming heartworm tablet each day.
Here at our house, however, we have a very different kind of pilot animal. Meet Mouse (aka, Peskus felinus):
What does a brazen polydactyly cat have to do with a pilot fish, you might ask?
Admittedly, there are some profound similarities between the species. Like a pilot fish, Pilot Mouse spends most of her time hovering around her host animal.
And, also like a pilot fish, Pilot Mouse occasionally grooms her host:
Most of the time, though, she prefers just to hang around the host animal, generally making a nuisance of herself and sometimes annoying said host.
Particularly when that host is trying to eat her breakfast:
Is it a mutualistic relationship? Mouse certainly thinks so. As for Ari, she's pretty sure she doesn't need any grooming help--from a cat or anyone else. And she certainly doesn't need any help figuring out where her food is each morning.
Still, even this independent dog can admit that having a pilot cat around can make for a cozy afternoon.