Apparently, April 25th is World Penguin Day: http://earthsky.org/earth/world-penguin-day-2017-state-of-antarctic-penguins-report
Who would have thunk it? That there is a World Penguin Day? But out of all the animals, penguins pretty much dominate – alongside with pandas and koalas – the adorable, cuddly and unattainable section of a Venn diagram of exotic and cute creatures. Don’t get me wrong, I would love to have a chinchilla (if I wasn’t allergic) or a hedgehog, which is reflective of my personality, with all its prickles. But you can still buy those at a local pet store. You are not able to buy a penguin, panda, or koala. So they fall into an entirely different category.
Actually, believe it or not, there is a National Hedgehog Day. This year, it was on February 2nd, so let’s not downplay hedgehogs. I love them. And they are unusual creatures.
Per a previous post, I had dogs and bunnies for most of my life. My mother relegated our dogs to the outdoors in doghouses, Snoopy- and The Fox and the Hound-style, in structures that actually looked like tiny houses. I always felt bad when it rained and I would contemplatively gaze out a window and see my dogs with their graying snouts poking out their front doors as snuffling black noses dripped water with each stormy raindrop. Honestly, my dogs didn’t seem to mind the wetness and there was nothing I could do anyway as my mother had an adamant rule about how dogs should stay outside. But I still wanted to smuggle them inside and under the covers of my bed.
Unlike the photo of the “luxury doghouse” (okay, WTF is up with that shit?), my dogs inhabited the stereotypical ones, not those made out of clapboard and random planks of wood like “in the mountains”, but more of the type you see at Home Depot. You know, the mass-produced houses made of sturdy, hard-plastic materials. The ones that stand the test of time. Gnaws and scratches. And, obviously, thunderstorms.
One of my dogs liked to claim his territory in our covered car park while he burrowed into blankets, basically getting the best of all worlds: shelter, warmth, space, and freedom of movement while being closest to our side door which is how he was always able to make sure to be the first one to get fed. His ears would perk up when the metal door creaked open and he would instantly lop over with that inquiring dog-look of hey, what’s up? I love you!! Love!! Food?!!? For me? and be all cute.
Unfortunately, I am pretty allergic to dogs. Much more to cats. And bunnies. Basically anything with fur. Or plants with pollen. Such as ragweed, which affects me mainly with melons such as cantaloupes and watermelon. So, essentially, if I had been born decades or millennia earlier, I may have keeled over and perished due to sneezing fits.
However, I do not have allergies to any type of aerial or aquatic creatures, which probably would include penguins (but maybe not otters? Who knows?). Which is fantastic! Except I CAN’T HAVE ONE AS A PET.
Wouldn’t it be great, though? Realistically not so much for the penguin, but for ourselves in a fantasy world of make-believe. Because I think at one point or another we’ve all watched March of the Penguins or a similar documentary or movie and thought, “Awwww! I wish I could have a penguin!! Look at them as they waddle!”.
Like pandas, the very cuteness of penguins has raised a lot of awareness about the threats to their continued lifestyle and existence. They are like the supermodels and poster children of the animal world. And I hate to admit it, but single guys would totally score a lot more if they brought a penguin to the park as opposed to a puppy. I envision this entire scenario in my head where a guy has a fuzzy, adorable Golden Retriever puppy that a bunch of women are fawning over and then…ta da! Here comes a man, all sensitive and hipster yet cool, toting a small, peeping baby penguin, strolling through the local dog park while feeding it ice chips and bites of fish. The first guy would be toast. All the women would immediately flock to the other one with the penguin. THAT, my friends, is the power of penguin-cuteness.
They are so darn squishable and we just want to gather them up in our arms and hug them and pat them on the heads while they sit by us as we watch movies which…c’mon, people, you know we’re like that. You know that our dogs and cats don’t actually, 100%, understand what they see on tv while they’re lounging out in the living room on the sofa, but we think they do and we love them for it. And how much more awesome would it be if our companion in that situation was a penguin?
Given their level of adorableness and the fact that I would most likely not be allergic to them, I kind of wish that I could have a penguin as a pet. I can’t. Apparently there are a bunch of regulations against it (also, how would you acquire one?). In addition, PETA and other organizations would rail against me or any others who harbored a penguin. Not to mention that I have neither the financial resources nor space in my house to set up an adequate sanctuary made of ice and a small lake filled with yummy fish. But I wish I did.
So the only thing I guess I can do is to celebrate and promote World Penguin Day. So…happy World Penguin Day!!