Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Perils of Penguin Ownership

I'd like to have a pet penguin, but I hear they are pretty smelly. Actually, this is untrue. The last time I was at the zoo, I smelled that they were smelly. Which was incredibly disappointing for me. I realize all animals have to poop, but penguins are particularly smelly about it. No courtesy air freshener spritz after the deed (what my roommate lovingly calls the "poop-n-spray"), or at least the decency to bury their feces. Nope. Penguins are all like, "HEY! SMELL THAT? THAT WAS ME!" Yes, my little stinky, tuxedo-ed friends, we get it. You are fantastically gifted at dropping a deuce. I felt especially let down because in all the animated films about penguins, specifically, Happy Feet, the penguins look amazingly soft, happy and cuddly. They aren't though. They are smelly, stand-offish and dirty.
I wanted a television version.
"So, really," my then-boyfriend Tom informed me, "you want an animated penguin for a pet."
I agreed and wondered aloud how hard that would be to arrange. He shook his head and muttered something under his breath about acting like an adult, which I chose to very maturely ignore. It turns out, however, that installing holographic penguin material in our townhouse was slightly cost-prohibitive.
So I abandoned the penguin quest and started researching pygmy kittens. Kittens that stay tiny forever! They are extremely cute and cuddly (in real life!) and required no holographic installation. But I was foiled again when I ran into two problems: the kittens' price tag and life expectancy. I was waiting tables at the time and making enough money to afford a regular cat (which I didn't own, due to their not staying tiny forever), but the price tags on these kittens were more than my car was worth (which wasn't saying a lot, but still) and they were only expected to live for about five years. As much as I wanted a tiny pocket kitten that I could carry around with me, and shock people by allowing her head to pop out of my clothing unexpectedly, I was also terrible with money. And following through with things.
So, after a few weeks of research, I realized that I'd have to sell my car to buy the kitten, and then would have no way to get the kitten home from the airport, and further that the kitten would probably die before the car ever would, I discarded this idea as well. It's probably for the best, as both real and holographic pets need food, love and attention. (What? Even virtual pets need love. I know, because my nano-pet died when I forgot about it when I was ten.) I was almost never home an they probably would have died soon after joining my household and then I would've felt terrible.
The moral of this story is that I have always wanted weird, exotic pets, but have never actually owned one. My current boyfriend, Roo, and I are thinking of getting a dog soon, but I'm somewhat concerned about my complete lack of skills as a pet-owner. I'm not even a plant owner. I own electronics. This could be bad. Or it could be awesome, as I plan on teaching our dog impeccable hygiene-manners. Our dog will not be a smelly penguin. We'll teach him the poop-n-spray method.


  1. Long live the Poop-n-Spray!

  2. duuuude. neopets.com
    i've been playing for YEARS.
    no poop smell either!

  3. Penguins are gross. Which, I agree, is totally a shame.

    Along the same lines, I think having a pet skunk would be total awesomesauce. Again, the smell is an issue, or so I've experienced. Even with the spray gland removed, I read they're still stinky.

    Long story short, I think we should both hop on the Muntjac train. They're gonna be huge, I tell ya!