You know what I miss?
Besides central heating and jalapenos?
There are no squirrels here.
Lots of people think they are just bushy-tailed tree-rats but I’ve always thought they were adorable.
I used to love making squirrel sounds whenever I passed a squirrel….kinda like how I like mooing at cows and baaing at sheep.
I swear, sometimes I’d get a reaction out of squirrels. More than once, a squirrel in a tree would immediately flatten itself down like a little furry pancake and stare at me in confusion when I started chittering at it.
This makes me pretty sure I know how to talk shit in squirrel language.
Anyway, there are not many mammals native to New Zealand at all. Up until recently they thought the only mammals which existed here before humans were bats and marine mammals. But in 1978 (I guess this is considered recent in science-y years) they discovered the bones of another, extinct, mammal which looks like a rat that they named the Saint Bathans mammal. Scientists have no idea why it went extinct.
There are possums here….and they aren’t like Texas possums. They are big-eyed and cute and furry and I was hoping they could fill the squirrel-shaped hole in my heart….
Isn’t it adorable? Especially compared to that freaky monster on the right…
BUT….New Zealanders hate possums.
It is practically considered to be an act of patriotism to kill a possum. They are considered to be evil, habitat-destroying, bird-eating Australian assholes.
If you see one, go get your gun and shoot it and turn its soft fur into nipple warmers.
That’s what you’re supposed to do.
Possum nipple warmers are kind of a big touristy thing here. I’ve seen them in kitschy tourist shops. Along with possum fur scarves and gloves and taxidermied whole possums.
They were introduced to New Zealand from Australia in the 1800s to establish a fur trade and they quickly multiplied, decimating the flora and fauna of New Zealand in the process. They eat the leaves, flowers, fruit and bark of trees, decimating canopies and depriving endangered birds of food And they eat the eggs and chicks of birds as well. Sometimes they even eat full-grown birds.
New Zealand birds evolved in an environment pretty much devoid of mammals so they had no natural predators.
It’s not the possum’s fault that New Zealand birds are just feathery little wimps that never learned to be tough or wily to avoid being eaten.
I mean, think of the kiwi…that fat and round flightless bird. It doesn’t look like it could get anywhere fast. It’s pretty much just a delicious and easy meal on two stumpy little legs.
If I was a possum, I’d probably be eating all the kiwis. They look like they’d be easy to catch.
It’s hard to love an animal that is so disliked by everyone in this country.
Plus, they’re nocturnal, so unlike squirrels, I can’t watch them scamper around on the grass collecting nuts.
When I Googled “why are there no squirrels in New Zealand” (I already kind of knew the answer but needed more info to write about) at the bottom of one of the articles it said…”However, there was an otter spotted roaming about in the foothills of the Canterbury Region on the South Island”.
It seems the author of the article feels otters and squirrels are similar.
But I guess that’s to be expected of someone from a country with hardly any mammals.
Otters roaming about in the foothills….hide yours kids, hide your wife…there’s a necrophiliac rapist mammal loose on the South Island.
What I really wanted to write about today was The Great California Squirrel War of 1918 but I got distracted writing about possums.
Come back tomorrow for more details plus the most hilarious anti-squirrel propaganda you’ll ever see.
You haven’t lived until you’ve seen an old-time-y drawing of a squirrel in a pickelhaube.
That’s a pickelhaube in case you were wondering.
I’m trying to be productive today but Tom is on lunchbreak and keeps posting adorable videos to me on Facebook.
Now all I want to do is sit around and watch videos of cats and bunnies becoming the best of friends.
Bye bye, y’all.