A Helpful Guide to the Wonderful World of Mammals
by Timothy the Talking Cat
Mammals! They are furry and you can pat them. I’m a mammal and you’re a mammal (not you Susan) but deep down what are mammals? Let me guide you through the wonderful world of mammals!
- Bat: Bats are pathological liars and are known for spreading weird stories. They like to prank biologists. Most of them pull stupid faces at photographers and are actually quite cute looking.
- Dog: What would happen if a dog got bitten by a werewolf so that it got werewolf germs and every month it turned into a half-wolf/half-dog? I asked a dog that question and it just licked my face like a drooling monster.
- Hedgehog: Each spine tends to an infinitely thin & infinitely long surface that defies normal geometry. Ask yourself: are there any hedgehogs in those freaky H.P.Lovercraft stories? There aren’t. Ask yourself why. Every hedgehog is a crime against sanity.
- Vole: don’t exist.
- Squirrel: Sinister bastards who crave power and control and off-season nuts. You know they are whispering about you in the trees with their clever little hands and distracting tails.
- Giant Panda: The giant panda evolved to fill a key evolutionary niche otherwise unoccupied, that of the giant pillow cushion monster. Their distinctive colouring is disruptive camouflage that allows them to hide on giant novelty chessboards without being seen.
- Red Panda: 22% of pastry chefs in Alaska are red pandas in disguise. Red pandas are naturally attracted to the oil industry but purely in service roles. In the harsh conditions of the North Sea, they specialise as canteen workers on oil rigs. If you have ever bought a croissant in Texas there is a reasonable chance it was baked by a red panda.
- Sloth: Sloths are the only remaining species in a whole phylum devoted to the seven deadly sins. Lusts, greeds, envies, gluttonies, and wraths once all inhabited the jungles but deforestation and outbreaks of puritans removed their habitat. Prides ended up living with lions but naturally got eaten.
- Bear: Galumphing fools.
- Giraffes: Giraffes were once named after two different animals: giras and affes. I don’t know what a gira was but an affe was a very tame and placid animal from which we get the term “affable” as in “behave like an affe”.
- Bilby: This cute endangered Australian marsupial is under threat due to redundancy. A worldwide survey of mammals found that the market for small cute insectivorous little balls of fur with sparkly eyes and nimble paws is just completely saturated. If you speak to a bilby these days you’ll hear a lot of talk about them rebranding as “charismatic megafauna”. They hope to achieve this using forced perspective shots and clever camera angles.
- Possum: Possums come in two varieties: American and Australian. This should worry everybody. I stay up at night worrying about it. “You stay up at night because you are a cat,” says Camestros but that doesn’t mean I’m not worrying about stuff in the dark. You would. You know a possum can fit through a cat flap right? They could sneak into your house and sit on your bed while you are sleeping.
- Ibex: The mighty ibex! Are they real or just a myth? Medieval monks speculated on the nature of the ibex but could settle on no answer. Half animal and half beast, the ibex is a mystery even today that challenges modern biology.
- Water buffalo: Their name is truly ironic as they are one of the few animals that contain no water at all. Instead, their bodily fluids are mineral oil based. Traditional water buffalo were highly flammable and were nearly farmed to extinction during the petroleum jelly boom of 1922. Modern water buffalo now use a base of hexamethyldisiloxane, which is non-flammable and also stops their hair tangling. With improved safety features, the water buffalo is returning from the brink of extinction.
- Weasel: Most mammals are one kind of weasel or another leading to the huge pyramid scheme that runs throughout the Mustela genus. The scheme was established by Little Sally Weasel of Little Brockington, Surrey who was inspired by a stockbroker who owned a delightful little cottage near a mill-stream. The stockbroker sadly fell on hard times due to over-investment in the dot-com boom of the 1990s and it seemed like his plans to renovate the cottage into a charming home with a traditional exterior and a modern interior would never come to pass – a situation further compounded by his cocaine habit. Christmas eve was truly a dark time for the stockbroker, his dreams of being featured in glossy home-renovation magazines seemingly thwarted. Outside the snow fell gently onto the tarpaulin that covered a section of the cottage roof that the builders had left unfinished when the stockbroker’s line of credit had collapsed. Then, he heard a tiny tapping at the cottage door. Bewildered, he made his way through the darkened house casting aside his normal paranoia about urban gangs somehow catching commuter trains out to commit home invasions. He opened the door and there was the tiny form of Little Sally Weasel who chirruped to him weasel “Gawd bless you sir, here is a little Christmas gift to tide you over!” Unfortunately, the stockbroker could not speak weasel but kindly patted Little Sally Weasel on the head and gave her a tiny saucer of egg-nog. It was only after she gambolled away into the night that he saw the sack that she had left behind. Opening it he found a treasure trove of pre-paid Visa cards! It was a Christmas Miracle! With the new found wealth the stockbroker could finish his cottage and pay off his drug dealer! He lived a very happy life from then on but never forgot the little weasel who helped him out on that dark night.
- Otter: Aresholes.
- Beaver: The beaver (genus Castor) is a large, primarily nocturnal, semiaquatic rodent. Castor includes two extant species, the South American beaver (Castor canadensis) (confusingly native to North America) and Eurasian beaver (Pollux fibre) (Eurasia). Beavers are known for building dams, canals, and suburban railway lines. They are the second-largest rodent in the world after the elephant.
- Echidna: Rumoured to be a natural cure for the common cold, the echidna is a common sight in Australian homes. The jolly people of Sydney will frequently rub a tame echidna across their noses at the first sign of a sniffle! Unfortunately, whole echidnas may be efficacious against the cold virus they exacerbate the symptoms of hay-fever and other allergies. It is very important to establish FIRST what the cause of your symptoms is before the topical application of an echidna. A common saying in Sydney is “When the wattle’s in bloom, give the echidna room. When it’s a rhinovirus, keep the echidna beside us.”
- Capuchin monkey: This delightful New World monkey is a pleasure to have around. Named after the cappuccino because of their famous barista skills, there are few primates quite as adept with an espresso machine. True, some claim the lemur can make a better cup of coffee and others swear by the macchiatos brewed by a slow loris but in independent taste tests by “What Coffee” magazine, the capuchin has always come top.
- Humans: Bred mainly by cats for food, the human is quite tasty but a little on the sweet side for some palates.