It was probably one of the best things that has ever happened to me.
It was Staff Fun Day at work. You may recall that back in March, we did some amazing pottery for SFD. This month we brought in a zoo. It's one of those hands on traveling zoo programs that normally visit elementary schools and summer camps...but one of the bosses here was absolutely dying to bring them in for us. I was skeptical at first. I was proven wrong.
I CUDDLED WITH A LEMUR. That's enough to change any stoic's heart.
There were lots of other animals, too- a baby kangaroo!! A spotted Asian baby deer! Some weird large rodenty thing! A (tiny) alligator! A constrictor! All of those things I also petted, although I did not cuddle with them. There was also some butt-ugly horn-beaked tropical bird thing that looked like a dead vulture. It was not cute and I backed up about twenty feet when it was 'petting time' because
Anyways. Then there was Silas the Lemur. Arguably the greatest animal on earth. I actually have been feeling really guilty ever since meeting Silas...doubting my devotion to my previous Favorite Animals (manatees and Lola, of course). But seriously. LOOK HOW CUTE HE IS!!!!
He was maybe the size of a smallish house cat. He was softer than those velvety blankets you give babies. He was as hyper and spastic as a two-year-old who drank a liter of Mountain Dew. He crawled all over me, tickling me with his tiny little monkey hands- they have fingernails, not claws, and they're short (like human nails...well, humans who keep their nails short), so they don't scratch you when they crawl on you. And their paws (hands/feet?) are really soft, too, like they have butter leather gloves on or something? It's really bizarre. I expected the paws to feel more like those of a declawed cat or something (kind of scratchy due to the pads?)...but it really felt like itty bitty leather gloved human hands. Totally crazy.
Silas perched on my shoulder and nibbled on my ear and earrings for a minute. It didn't hurt, but as you can see from the blurry pictures...it was just SO precious and hilarious, I was squirming around like a crazy person.
Silas's keeper kept him on a leash because he is REALLY fast and a REALLY good climber/jumper...he kept eyeing the shiny chandeliers in the room we were in. It's safe to guess that if he hadn't stayed leashed, we may have spent the rest of our Fun Day trying to capture him from the chandeliers. Which would have been fun...but not as fun as having him jump all over us.
So in conclusion, if you ever have the opportunity to cuddle with a lemur, DO IT. I'd go so far as to say you should try to make an opportunity to cuddle with one. Let it be your new life goal. It's kind of like a cross between a monkey, kitten, puppy, panda, and toddler human. In other words, the best thing ever.
PS. Requisite HP Status Update: I'm currently about halfway through Goblet of Fire (Book 4) and it is SO good!! The Quidditch World Cup was one of my favorite scenes/stories so far, particularly all the parts about interactions with Muggles, the anti-Muggle security systems, trying to camp with no magic, and all that. SO funny!