So when I’m not spending my weekdays writing (or more often than not, avoiding writing), I am often spending it instead with fuzzy, adorable animals.
Not everyone thinks the animals I coo over are adorable, mind you. For example: we’ve had a spider living outside our front door for several weeks now, and I’ve grown strangely attached to him. He’s our spiderbro and I root for him when he rebuilds his web. I totally look for him every day to say hi.
But I didn’t come to talk about spiderbro. I came to squee about some of the adorable animals I work with at the best volunteer job ever.
I volunteer for an animal education group, and a lot of my time is spent prepping animal diets and cleaning enclosures. BUT, another big part of my time is spent socializing with the animals, and it’s almost always one of the high points of my week (except for when I get into boxing matches with the kangaroo. No, really. That happens a lot).
A new little animal came to us recently, and he has stoleth my heart, I daresay. Like a thieving thief.
His name is Lionel.
Oh little tiny baby sloth, my husband is so sick of hearing about you. Because I talk about him all weekend long. “Do you want to go drive over and see Lionel?” I’ll ask him, when we’re taking a walk, and he’ll sigh. “I just wish I could hold Lionel right now,” I say, as we’re sitting down to watch a movie. My husband looks skyward and nods his head, knowing there’s no way to break me out of animal mania once I’ve gotten sucked in.
So, I’ve taken to sitting with Lionel for ages, and he’ll fall asleep on my chest, his little claws curled around wrinkles in the fabric of my shirt. And when I put him back in his enclosure, he’ll wrap his arms around his ‘Mama bear,’ which you can see in the picture. He lost his mom at a young age, and Mama Bear acts as a replacement and a security blanket. He spends most of the day sleeping with his arms wrapped around her.
Seriously. He needs to stop being so freaking adorable.
I work with a lot of other animals, but this post has already gotten ridiculously long enough since I can’t seem to not turn into a cooing, melting mess when I start talking about Lionel. But I thought I would share this picture with you guys, because it amused me how this little armadillo was eating.
This dillo lives with eight other armadillos, but he’s a baby and hasn’t seemed to grasped the concept of ‘sharing’ yet. Nobody else needs to eat, right?
Interestingly enough, he and his brother were actually ‘surprise babies.’ We’d had no idea the mama dillo had had a litter until they were old enough to start wandering around on their own. It was definitely a pleasant surprise.
Also, the food he’s eating took a long, tumbling route to get to him, as I managed to trip and roll down a hill while carrying it, spilling a bunch of it everywhere in a rain of insectivore, dog kibble, and shredded carrots. Sigh. I’ll say this: picking pebbles out of your forearms and limping up a hill to remake food for 26 armadillos is not the funfest you might imagine it would be.
But it’s totally worth it.
So since my husband fell asleep and I can’t keep talking to him about my animal friends, I’m babbling to my blog instead. I mean, it’s just hard for me to focus on writing when Lionel is a little distance away, wishing I could hold him (and he totally wants me to hold him. We’re going to be total BFF’s one day. I have to get started on the friendship bracelets). So, I have an excuse for not having written yet today, right? Right? Sigh. No. Okay fine, I’ll get to work.
* grumbling and stomping back to writing desk *