Sobe Green Iguana

Photograph by Rina Deych

By Elisabeth Deffner

New York, New York

When Sobe the green iguana first met Johann the cat, the reptile seemed unsure what to make of the pointy-eared fur ball. So Sobe puffed up to appear large and menacing. But Johann didn't buy this tough-guy act. Instead of scampering away, the cat nuzzled the iguana. Sobe immediately relaxed, sinking to the floor and closing his eyes. "He just went to mush", says caretaker Rina Deych, who had adopted the two animals.

Soon the pair was hanging out all the time. Johann often entered Sobe's enclosure to nap by his scaly buddy. If the cat didn't come visit, Sobe went looking for him. Johann would give his iguana pal tongue baths, and Sobe shared his leafy snacks when the cat wanted a nibble.

Sobe even knew when his fuzzy friend needed some extra TLC. After Johann had surgery, the iguana stuck close by, protecting his buddy if anyone got too close. When Johann recovered, the animals went back to their regular routine of basking, cuddling, and napping. Sound like these two were the ultimate dream team.

Green Iguana Facts

  • They are found in Central and South America.
  • Their diet is mostly plants.
  • Green iguanas are able to remain underwater for up to 30 minutes.
  • When threatened, a green iguana can detach part of its tail to distract predators.
  • Green iguana mamas bury their eggs underground. The baby reptiles must dig their way to the surface after they hatch.

Domestic Cat Facts

  • There are more than 40 recognized breeds of domestic cats.
  • A group of cats may be called a clowder or a glaring.
  • Cats nap about 16 hours a day.
  • Some studies have shown that purring may help cats heal damaged bones and muscles.
  • You can get clues about a cat's mood by its body language and the position of its whiskers.