I'm still trying to figure out what (besides signed books on the auction comm) I can offer. I just really don't know that I can fulfill a promise to write a Movies in Fifteen Minutes. Shit, I was never able to go back and do Order of the Phoenix, and I wanted to do that. I don't want to promise something I can't deliver, and I'd also like for everyone to be able to read it. On the other hand, a terrible thought did occur to me: I never recapped The Host. And recaps are a lot easier to write. The dread spectre of some kind of recap blogathon, whatever people are interested in me torturing myself with, occurred to me. I'm open to suggestions.
Meanwhile: Valerie and I took little Henry to the zoo today. Guess I who saw there?
The zoo was, very entertainingly, tricked out for Halloween ("Boo at the Zoo," if you will), while various Scary Movie Themes played over the PA.
Valerie, God bless her, suggested that we go straight to the Predator House, rather than put it off and risk Henry getting tired. This is where they keep the Big Cats--and also the Little Cats, and the meerkats, and the red panda, and the otters, and sometimes two different kinds of predator in the same habitat. I'm assuming the zoo knows what it's doing.
But we all know who I was really there to see.
When we got to the meerkats, someone was in the empty habitat cleaning it, so we realized that the Pallas cat was just not at home at the moment. So maybe he will come back soon! And he will be nice and waked up and pissed off and moving around, and he will glare at us wonderfully! So we started going through the rest of the predator house, thinking we'd come back and check later--and when we saw that the meerkats were back, we knew: he must be there.
He proceeded to chew on his paws for the entire rest of the time.
Then, I am sorry to say, the tiger SCHOOLED the Pallas cat on animal-visitor relations. When we first came around, he was way far at the back of his habitat, the jungly outdoor portion, with a giant ball, rolling around and stretching. Then, when we came back around to see if the Pallas cat had been brought back yet, the tiger was RIGHT THERE on the ledge, up against the window, looking through the glass at us, pacing back and forth. He was so thin, compared to his big head and paws, that I suspect he might have been an adolescent. Apparently a white tiger had died recently, so he may have been a young replacement.
That last picture is the part where he head-butted the glass like he really, really wanted to be petted. It was wonderfully terrifying because there's this HUGE tiger head and these EYES looking straight AT YOU and you are like THAT IS A WILD ANIMAL WHO WOULD BE MORE THAN HAPPY TO EAT ME but it was so beautiful and it was right there and I have never been that close to something like that before.
And meanwhile, the Pallas cat is all like, fuck you, do you know how endangered I am? These paws aren't gonna chew themselves.
All the other animals in the zoo were just like, hey: s'up. I hadn't been in years, so for some reason, I was amazed by how close all the animals were to the visitors, and how open everything was. I could pretty much reach out and get my hand chewed off by almost any animal I wanted. They don't have capybaras anymore, which made me sad. The kangaroos aren't coming back until the spring, and we don't have a polar bear anymore, and we have a lot fewer sea lions. In fact, we only saw one--Valerie was saying that apparently we get young ones, train them, and then send them out to other zoos. We even saw a training session while we were there:
The red panda was up and about, the otters were chilling in a waterfall, I forget who these two little dudes are but I think they were exotic squirrels, the zebras were noshing, a stork came up to say hey, I caught the flamingos mid-frolic, Aslan was taking a nap right up by the fence, umpteen varieties of goats (and some sheep) were all very eager to eat our hands in the petting barn, free roosters were strutting around taunting a coop full of their inexplicably imprisoned brethren. And meanwhile, we circle back to the Pallas cat one more time, and it is...
@LiterateKnits: @cleolinda Sometimes if you wait around and/or ask a zookeeper they'll let you go in the back and see the animal.
If that's the case, then I am genuinely considering calling up the zoo and asking if I can have a private audience with the Pallas cat. "I'm telling you, tens of people on the internet want to see this!" Or I could "adopt" him, and I can even get a personal tour if I shell out for the $500 level, which is totally going to happen.
So that was my day. I am tired at a molecular level. It was a good day.