[VIDEO] Dog Digs A Hole To Bury Dead Cat Friend But Expert Says Truth Is Less Sentimental
The video has garnered almost 20 million views with hundreds and thousands of comments from people expressing their sadness and heartbreak.
A short clip of a dog digging a hole and burying the carcass of a cat has gone viral on TikTok, touching thousands who were moved by the apparent display of animal kindness
Posted about a week ago by @innerthoughts.99, the video has garnered almost 20 million views, over three million likes, and more than 51,000 comments that show people expressing their sadness and heartbreak.
"HE LOST HIS BEST FRIEND RIGHT THERE," reads a comment with over 185,000 likes.
While it's not clear where the video was taken, according to the uploader, the dog and cat were crossing the road together when a vehicle suddenly ran over the cat. The dog was whining and then ran across the road to pick up the cat, the user described, adding, "You'll see the rest... It's weird how this world works…"
People described the act as both heart-wrenching and heartwarming
One of the comments under the video said "animals mourn just like people", with another philosophising that prior to seeing this act, he has "never had this thought [...] But maybe reincarnation is real."
Many also shared that they were not okay after seeing such empathy from an animal.
Sentimentality aside, the truth is much less heartwarming
Dogs are known to, instinctively, bury meat and bones for potential future consumption.
According to Peter Borchelt, a New York-based expert in animal behaviour, the dog was more likely just storing dead meat, rather than acting out of a soulful response to the death of its cat 'friend'.
"I think that this is a classic case of fascinating behaviour — sort of unusual that somebody actually caught it on video — and we make a big deal out of it, and it's really cute," he said, adding that the touching response from people is because it sort of reminds us of some of the things we do.
"We as humans look at that and say, 'Oh my God, this dog is burying this animal like we bury people.' Except they're two entirely different behaviour systems," he stated.
While some of the comments under the video pointed out that the dog was "saving" the cat to eat for later, Borchelt said that the dog may not necessarily plan on coming back later to eat the dead cat.
"But it's still a piece of this instinctive thing. Here's meat, here's a bone — I'll bury it."