The Story of Swoop and Mowgli: How a Magpie and a Cat Became Fast Friends

This unlikely story of friendship between a rescued magpie and a family cat will definitely warm your heart. It seems one day a volunteer firefighter in New Zealand by the name of Matt Owens saw an injured magpie chick on the side of the road. Too young to fly, he named the bird Swoop and brought it home to care for it there. There was only one hitch: Matt had a cat.

Photo: YouTube/@swoopandmowgli5226

Unusual Friendships

While you’re probably assuming the story ended badly after Swoop’s arrival or that, at the very least, it took months of gradual introductions before Matt could stop worrying about the pair, that wasn’t the case at all. Matt’s cat, Mogli, and the little bird, Swoop, soon formed a close bond and went everywhere together. They even enjoyed snuggling together at night. Fortunately, many of their interactions were filmed for posterity and uploaded to YouTube, of course.

Photo: YouTube/@swoopandmowgli5226

Swoop and Mowgli

Matt started a channel named after the odd couple you can find at @swoopandmowgli5226. Between that and his other social media pages, the duo quickly became a heartwarming internet sensation. The trio not only became a family but they were soon pursued by interviewers and the press to share their story of rescue and acceptance. Matt would not only appear on television and radio to help the public understand but he would go on to write a best-selling book about their combined experiences.

cat and bird friends
Photo: YouTube/@swoopandmowgli5226

Spread Your Wings and Fly

Like so many things in life, though, they come to a bittersweet end. Ironically, the same day Matt found Swoop, his father informed him that he had been diagnosed with leukemia and probably didn’t have long to live. When his father passed away a year later, Matt left town to attend the funeral in Auckland. When he returned home, he discovered that Swoop had also left the nest. Initially, he searched for her and held out hope that she would eventually return, but it wasn’t to be.

“It was quite bittersweet,” Matt told Now to Love in an interview. “I’m a big believer that the universe just does things in its own way. And this was just part of that universal plan.”

Photo: YouTube/@swoopandmowgli5226

Animal Rescue

While Matt urges people to leave wildlife be if they can fend for themselves, he ultimately took in another baby magpie discovered in the middle of the road, naming the helpless chick Zoe.

“It was a very different experience to when I had Swoop because they have different personalities,” Matt admitted. He also noted that although Mogli and Zoe live amicably with one other, nothing will ever replace the love that Swoop and Mogli shared. Oh, and in case you’re wondering, for some reason Matt spelled Mogli’s name differently on his SM platforms, so it’s not typos you’re seeing here. Check out their sweet videos below.

People, Pets & Planet

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