attack_laurel (attack_laurel) wrote,

An overwhelming overdose of cute...

I  watched Web Soup yesterday, and they showed a YouTube video of a Slow Loris[1] being scritched under its arms, which elicited coos of joy from me (not the loris - they buzz or chitter). They are adorable.

However, they NO IZ PET.

Exotic cuddly animals with big eyes and little tiny paws are incredibly adorable, yes, but good pets they are not (as the site says, they're poisonous, pee everywhere to mark territory, and bite incredibly hard). Not to mention the whole ethical considerations of taking a wild animal and turning it into entertainment, and oh, hey, they're on the threatened and endangered lists, too.

Bush babies (to whom they are related) have a similar death-from-cuteness ratio, and, like all prosimians, they get nachos, since they have thumbs.[2] 

One site I looked at suggested getting sugar gliders if you just have to have an exotic cuddly-appearing pet that will sit in a cage and ignore you, but I'm not that hep on the idea of anything that jumps a lot and likes to bite.

Of course, I'm a total hypocrite, and dream of getting a hedgehog someday, but I would argue in my defence that hedgehogs do not jump (though they do like to swim, apparently)[3], therefore are not as difficult to catch, which makes them more suited to being a pet.

That this rationalization makes no sense is part of what gives it such effectiveness.  Bow to my superior powers of not-reasoning!

The other possibility is a rat, and this I do not feel bad about, because rats and humans have a somewhat symbiotic relationship at this point (I give you food, you give me plague; everyone wins). But in the end, one should probably stick to the animals one knows best - cats and dogs.

Now, I do not deny that a slow loris, is, on the surface, cuter than a cat (you know, except for when they're itty-bitty kitties and, for me, hairless, but that's my obsession, not yours), a cat does have certain advantages over a slow loris, to whit:

1. Cat less likely to bite for absolutely no reason (biting reserved for when hungry, playing, or pissed at human).

2. Cat's bite marginally less poisonous (staph infection, ahoy).

3. Cat less clingy on day-to-day basis (except when it senses human needs to do something important, at which point, it hangs on like radioactive flypaper)[4].

4. Cat more likely to choose one place to urinate (next to the litterbox or in human's shoes preferred).

And a slow loris requires a lot less walking and grooming than a dog, but the dog, too has advantages the slow loris lacks:

1. Dog much less likely to bite for no reason (biting reserved for when toys are taken away, and mailman arrives).

2. Dog eliminates waste outside (unless purse-sized dog). (Recommended: Waterproof purse.)

3. Dog better at guarding house at night (though the possibilities of a nocturnal creature biting intruders' ankles with no warning is intriguing).

4. Dog will play Fetch for hours (and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours...).

So, clearly, though considerably less likely to bump your YouTube viewing stats once past kitten/puppyhood, a dog or a cat is a far more sensible choice.

Personally, I'm still leaning towards a rat. The similarities are remarkable:

1. Rat will also chomp on stuff all the time.

2. Rat also fuzzy and likes tummy scritches (once trained with cattle prod).[5]

3. Rat also pees everywhere.

Not to mention the advantages:

1. Rat much cheaper than slow loris (free, if you hit the DC sewers with a live trap).

2. Rat shorter-lived, so committment is less long-term.

3. Not neccessary to fly to Thailand/Malaysia/Vietnam/Bangladesh for fresh rat food (rat usually happy with whatever you are eating)[6].

Plus, owning a rat does not require an investment in bite-proof gloves.

Or, I could just get a fake one.

[1] I'll update with a link when I am at a computer that does not block access.

[2] My friend Tracy and I used this completely arbitrary critera to determine the relative sophistication of animals - any animal that can hold a nacho chip laden with cheese and other good stuff and eat it without sticking its head into the bowl (therefore violating the "double-dipping" rule) gets nachos (and the keys to the car). Therefore, mice, raccoons, bush babies, lemurs, and all primates get nachos, but squirrels, cats, and dogs do not (squirrels prefer corn chips, cats will lick the cheese off everything and leave you with soggy bare nachos, and dogs can't really grok the concept of sharing). The idea of giving a slow loris the keys to the car is amusing, but rest assured they can't do too much damage, since they only drive 3 mph. That, and they can't reach the pedals.

[3] Link, non-blocked computer, etc.

[4] I am well aware that this joke makes no logical sense.

[5] It should not need saying, but joke.

[6] And anything edible you have thrown out, electrical wires, and the stuffing from soft toys.
Tags: animals, humour, pets, silly
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