More than two years after the launch of Guardian Cities, it seems high time for a round-up of all the animal-related narratives that have kept us amused along the way. Heres our top 10 now tell us yours

Four feral cats, named after the original Ghostbusters, are being be used in a Chicago brewery to guard the grain from rats. In exchange, they are paid a daily rate in the only currency they understand: dry cat food.

As Medill Reports Chicago explains, the owners of the Empirical brewery in Chicago decided to employ these cats, rather than pest control companies, because they are both less costly and, to quote verbatim, adorable.

The programme is part of a wider strategy to release 3,500 feral cats to deal with Chicagos unaccountably virulent rat problem. Chicago is apparently the rattiest city in the US.

That same charity, Tree House, is also creating funds to build a cat house: a large apartment building in which 200 cats would live alongside a veterinarian and other feline-specific facilities. Naturally, Tree House has rendered a reality Tv prove to drum up cash for this initiative chiefly featuring cats behaving cattily towards each other.

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Fur flies during the course of its Real Tree House Cats of Chicago

If all this builds you think that Chicago is undergoing a kind of collective hallucination bring along those parasites that supposedly live in cat litter and embed themselves into the brain stems of their hosts, to slowly change human behaviour over time in pro-cat ways, all we can find is that its not only Chicago, or cats. Increasingly, wild animals are making their mark on urban environments in a host of new and inventive ways. Behold …

Pigeons with backpacks

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In London, pigeons have been equipped with little backpacks to measure air pollution. The ones over Victoria Park wear Fjallraven. No , not really.

Vultures with Go-Pros

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Lima, Peru has a rubbish dumping problem so topographically dynamic that it actually needs to be mapped aerially. So what better animal to track garbage mounds from the skies ( caw !) than a vulture? Limas black vultures, or gallinazo , are also large enough to wear Go-Pro video cameras, and well-trained enough by Alfredo Correa at Limas Huachipa zoo to return with said cameras.

Rats who clean

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This little guy became a viral sensation in 2015. He even earned a clever nickname: Pizza Rat. This, then, would be the trade-off Chicago has made by hiring all those cats: more pizza on the street.( And a skyrocketing avian murder rate .)

The plot, however, thickened like the fat congealing on the slice. Last year was full of rat-related viral videos, such as the rat who took a selfie, the rat who fought a pigeon and the rat who carried a donut through the subway. Wait a second that sounds suspiciously familiar to Pizza Rat, doesnt it? Well, Gothamist reports that Eric Yearwood, relevant actors, says he was paid $200 to star in Selfie Rat by an anonymous artist, casting doubt across the reliability of the entire rat-based internet video continuum. Was the whole thing an obscure art stunt? Dare we call the artist Ratsy? Animal internet narratives are a vestibule of mirrors in which identity itself is but a kaleidoscope.

Monkeys who shop

I come for the Malm but I stay for the bananas. Photograph: Bronwyn Page/ AP

Tiny Monkey in Posh Coat Pays a Visit to Toronto Ikea remains the best headline of the new millennium.

Dogs who ride the subway

In America, you ride subway. In Russia, puppy rides subway!

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An ABC news report on the commuter puppies of Moscow, Russia.

Moscows city workers are nominally meant to keep the citys commuter puppies out of the citys metro system. In practise, however, faculty permit the citys strays free rein to hop on the develops, scavenge for food and policeman a few winks.

The New Yorker reports that the deregulation and new wealth of the post-Soviet era were perfect conditions for the spread of stray puppies. So why do they ride the develops in Moscow in particular? Its cold in Moscow, thats why.

More intriguingly, the dogs are learning new behaviour, such as riding the escalator, which, opportunities are, your pet puppy cannot do. Moscows puppies might not be smart smart, but theyre street smart.

Raccoons who ride the subway

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In Canada, it is raccoons who ride the subway.( Canada is a country next to the US .)

Dead raccoons who bring people together

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While were on the subject of raccoons in Canada, the death of one critter last summer inspired a spontaneous outpouring of pity from emotionally available residents who, shocked at city officials delay in collecting the corpse, made a makeshift memorial that eventually attracted “members attention” of politicians. BuzzFeed Canada had the whole story.

Like failed London mayoral candidate Zac Goldsmith, raccoons might feed our garbage but they still deserve our respect: cities have apparently induced raccoons smarter

Crows who use passing car traffic to crack nuts

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As the dog is to Moscow and the raccoon is to Toronto, so the crow is to Tokyo: a perfectly accommodated urban beast, sharpened into a hyper-competent uber-species by the whetstone of the city streets.( Crows are also vain .)

A black swine called El Chata who roam Mexico City

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We crowdsourced his location during Guardian Mexico City Week. Whoever says citizen journalism doesnt work is badly misinformed.

That squirrel can waterski


What are your favourite examples of animals adapting to urban environments? Share your narratives, photographs and videos and well feature the best

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