Local artist Klew, who owns the Spirited Bead, took these photos of her cat and a California Mule Deer doe being inquisitive about each other.

The photos bring to mind a Natural Sightings installment from a few weeks back that featured a housecat and a Gray Fox engaging in playful interaction. The doe and cat that Klew photographed looked and sniffed at each other, but there was no aggression between them.

There is a common misconception that most animals are mortal enemies of each other, particularly predators and prey or predators with each other. In actuality, most animals show aggression only defensively, or when they are hungry and seeking a meal.

Young animals in particular, even if they are predators, are often more curious than covetous toward their animal neighbors. There have been countless sightings of Black Bear cubs or young Mountain Lions or Bobcats being playful with other creatures, even those that at other times would be considered prey.

Under captive conditions animals seem even more receptive to forming bonds with the members of other species, and YouTube has innumerable videos of assorted odd pairs of animals from zoos around the world.

Domestic livestock also will bond to other species besides their own, like a horse and a goat, or a pig and cow, a turkey and chicken, etc. These interactions are entirely dependent on the "personality" of the individual animals involved, and suggest that animal behavior is even more complex than we already realize.

NATURAL SIGHTINGS is a regular feature of the Tehachapi News edited by Jon Hammond which showcases photos of the natural beauty that enhances the quality of life in Tehachapi. If you have a good quality image of plants, animals, insects, trees, birds, weather phenomena, etc., taken in the Tehachapi area, you may submit it to the Tehachapi News for possible publication. Submissions can be dropped by the News office in the form of a print or CD, or sent by email to: editorial@tehachapinews.com.