Sphynxes and Opossums

This was the week of nakedness. The nakedness came in three forms – a cat, an opossum, and numerous politicians with naked ambition. Since you’ve had enough of the politicians, let’s talk about the cat and the opossum.

On Facebook, I learned one of my friends has a sphynx – a hairless cat. It’s the funniest animal I have ever seen, and I say that knowing the danger. Cats of any stripe do not like to be laughed at. We chuckle at them at our own peril. Hairlessness in cats is a natural genetic mutation, but then humans got involved and bred them because there was demand and that means money.

My friend’s sphynx is male. Here’s a thing I’ve noticed. When people see an animal they do not know personally, they assume the animal is male and use masculine pronouns. This is true from blue whales down to crickets. Listen to people and you’ll see what I mean. The notable exception is cats. We assume all cats are female. Who needs male cats? If any species has females smart enough to clone themselves, it’s cats.

The cat in the picture is not my friend’s cat. I could have asked to use a photo of my friend’s cat, but then I’d need the cat to sign a HIPAA form. Have you ever tried to get a cat to sign anything? They do not give permission easily.

The other hairless creature from the week’s news is an opossum. If you’ve wondered about the difference between a possum and an opossum, here’s your answer. Opossum is the Irish variety, as in O’Possum. The apostrophe was dropped after several generations of Irish o’possums drank too much whiskey and got lazy with their punctuation.

This week a female opossum was brought to a wildlife rehab facility in Texas. She has alopecia, a condition leading to hair loss. It’s rare in opossums but common in human men. If a man has this malady, you should notice the exact pattern of the baldness. If he is bald in front, he is a great thinker. If he is bald in back, he is a great lover. If he is bald in front AND back, he thinks he’s a great lover.

Two great opossum lovers produced this female hairless opossum. With winter on the way, many seamstresses who are tired of making masks have volunteered to knit sweaters for the critter.

But back to politicians with naked ambition. Speaking of hair and fur, should a presidential candidate’s hair guide our voting? Several years ago, when President Trump made a less-than-generous comment about someone’s physical appearance, Bobby Jindal commented, “I think it’s pretty outrageous for him to be attacking anybody’s appearance when he looks like he’s got a squirrel sitting on his head.” On the other end of the hair spectrum, Biden has gotten pretty thin up top. A naked head is cute on cats and opossums. Not so much on humans. If he wins, someone must knit Biden some snuggly hats to keep him warm at the inauguration. My cat says we should catch the squirrel who’s been squatting on Trump’s head and stick him on Biden’s noggin.

The sphynx and the hairless opossum agree. 

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