A snuggle buddy of unusual size
June 19, 2013 7:52 PM   Subscribe

Meet a Giant Rodent Who Hugs Cats

“In some ways capybaras are even more magical than unicorns,” Melanie says, “because they are real.”

ROUS previously on the blue in hot tubs and in song, poetry and literature.
posted by not_the_water (43 comments total) 29 users marked this as a favorite

 
Disclosure: Until last year I worked at the same company that owns Catster.
posted by not_the_water at 7:54 PM on June 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Snuggle buddy also doubles as good eatings. just remember not to give them names.
posted by Bwithh at 7:57 PM on June 19, 2013


"You have to earn their love," Melanie says. "The love of a basically wild animal is a special kind of love. It has not been conditioned into them for centuries. If they love you, it is honest, genuine, and intense."
This is the kind of thing you read in an obituary of someone who was just eaten by their liger. Or, in this case, found dead underneath twelve feet of shredded newspaper.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 7:58 PM on June 19, 2013 [31 favorites]


Oh my goodness. Capybaras Are The Best!!
posted by Philby at 8:00 PM on June 19, 2013


Centuries ago, the Vatican ruled that these furry cousins of rats and mice native to South America's plains qualify as fish - paving the way for capybara feasts during Lent, when red meat is prohibited
posted by Bwithh at 8:01 PM on June 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


Gari desires more closeness than this -- he wants Flopsy to be his snuggle buddy -- but Melanie says Flopsy “isn’t that type of cat.”
posted by Bwithh at 8:06 PM on June 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


The handsome kitty's name is Flopsy the Killer Cat

FUCKING BEST NAME EVER.
posted by Conspire at 8:17 PM on June 19, 2013 [5 favorites]


"The love of a basically wild animal is a special kind of love. It has not been conditioned into them for centuries. If they love you, it is honest, genuine, and intense."

Odds of getting my wife to renew our vows? Low.
posted by yerfatma at 8:31 PM on June 19, 2013


Garibaldi and Flopsy nap together. Gari longs for more snuggle time, but Flopsy won't have it.

Hoo boy.
posted by flyingsquirrel at 8:32 PM on June 19, 2013


the Killer Cat

Redundant.

Capybara's are cool, though. They're no Tapir, but they have their charms.

Especially to giant anacondas.
posted by dglynn at 8:35 PM on June 19, 2013


i love capybaras. GISing "capybara" is a reassuring experience. it's just this endless wall of identically chilled-out rodents. they're all in different situations--with humans, with birds, with stuff on their heads--and none of them are even the slightest bit worried. they have basically one facial expression, and it is the exact correct one for them to have.
posted by a birds at 8:42 PM on June 19, 2013 [18 favorites]


I haven't met Garibaldi, but I met his predecessor Caplin ROUS. He was a very friendly fellow and I'm not surprised to see his people raised a cat-hugger.
posted by immlass at 8:43 PM on June 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Capybara Adopts Dachshund Puppies

Cheesecake the Capybara and her puppies
posted by homunculus at 8:44 PM on June 19, 2013 [4 favorites]


I love capybaras to an unreasonable degree. When I'm overstressed, I put on the video of them kicking it in the hot tub. Seeing how relaxed they are is like some kind of rodent valium. It's ridiculous.
posted by Space Kitty at 8:48 PM on June 19, 2013 [18 favorites]


Unfortunately they're very social creatures so if you want to adopt some you'll need at least five or so.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 9:11 PM on June 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


When I was about eight years old, my third-grade teacher read The Wump World by Bill Peet to my class. My classmates and I LOVED this book. I actually wrote a little book-adaptation play that my class performed for our parents, that's how much we loved the Wumps.

Around the same age I got my first pet who was really exclusively mine—a guinea pig. Her blocky body, her round ears, her stubby pink nose! I adored my piggie, in part because she was my very own pocket-sized mini-Wump.

Skip forward a year to fourth grade, and my class was doing a Nature unit on South America. We each had to draw a rainforest animal to glue on the class construction-paper "river," but the coolest animals—piranhas, parrots, poison frogs—got picked early. The rest of us were flipping frantically through South American Fauna books so we didn't get assigned some dumb beetle.

And there it was, in some encyclopedia, with photographs. The capybara. THE WUMP, who it turns out was really based on a capybara. This was my construction-paper animal! No sharing, no takebacks, keep your piranhas, losers!

If I ever see or a touch a capybara in person I think I will start crying and not be able to stop. Every time I see pictures or video of one I remember being nine years old, feeling !!!!!!!! for the first time. Giant guinea pigs! Really real Wumps! UNICORNS AND GRIFFINS AND MAGIC ANIMALS FROM BOOKS ARE ALIVE.
posted by nicebookrack at 9:29 PM on June 19, 2013 [23 favorites]


Okay, true story: some decades back, there was this ruckus in San Diego about the "GIANT RAT!" that was supposedly at loose around the scrub-land that surrounded Miramar (then, NAS Miramar, now, MCAS Miramar). The local media treated this like a "Big Foot" sighting; "Ha ha! Big rat! You weirdos!"

Then the local paper published on the front page a photo of the critter, photographed in the wild: a capybara, the largest rodent of the new world.

To this day, I have no idea why a capybara was running loose in Miramar, nor do I know of its fate. But I tip my hat to you, Giant Rat of San Diego.
posted by SPrintF at 9:46 PM on June 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


There are capybaras at the San Francisco Zoo. I went down there a little while ago specifically to see them, because I had never seen a capybara in person before. I found them lounging in the South America enclosure in regal sphinx pose, as if to say "Why yes, we are the lords of this small pond."

They weren't anywhere near as aggressive as the ones in Wizardry 1.
posted by baf at 9:47 PM on June 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


Giant Rat of San Diego

that was a story for which the world is not yet prepared
posted by nicebookrack at 9:54 PM on June 19, 2013 [7 favorites]


Yay, rabbit-camel-hippo-otter-things!
posted by NMcCoy at 10:17 PM on June 19, 2013


the Ueno zoo in Tokyo has a few capybaras. last time i was there two of them were getting chased around by a llama. it was hilarious.
posted by mexican at 10:28 PM on June 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


Ah, capybaras. I've been collecting a list of funny-looking animals with funny-sounding names, to use when I can't decide what to call my next programming project or rock band. So far I have: aardvark, capybara, hyrax, kakapo, marmoset, okapi, quokka, skua, and tapir. Most of them are pretty cute. (Pangolin and quetzal were disqualified for already being versions of Ubuntu.)
posted by narain at 10:29 PM on June 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


So far I have: aardvark, capybara, hyrax, kakapo

Shagged by a rare parrot
posted by homunculus at 10:35 PM on June 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


Holy sweet fuck, I want one.

What's the catch to keeping them as pets? There's always a catch.

I would ride it to work.
posted by eugenen at 10:53 PM on June 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


Possible additions, narain: takin, dik-dik, binturong, klipspringer
posted by LionIndex at 11:01 PM on June 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


Oh man, these are great! So many awesome animals in the world.
posted by narain at 11:21 PM on June 19, 2013


Man, poor Garibaldi just can't get out of Caplin's perfect shadow:
"I got Caplin Rous when he was just 11 days old. Never has an animal–or a person–changed my life so completely. I learned a tremendous amount from him and I loved him with all my heart. When he died suddenly at 3.5 years old from liver failure, I was devastated. ...
Not long after Caplin died, I was offered the chance to adopt an 11-month-old capybara from a home that could no longer care for him. That was how I came to know and love Garibaldi Rous. Garibaldi is not as self-confident and outgoing nor as dignified as Caplin was. He is his own capybara and a bit of a clown."



Also: the dark side of capybaras
posted by Bwithh at 11:22 PM on June 19, 2013


I visited the Apenheul and was delighted to see that, there, capybaras and Colombian black spider monkeys cheerfully share space.
posted by knile at 12:15 AM on June 20, 2013


eugenen: What's the catch to keeping them as pets? There's always a catch.

Well, they aren't very good at crimefighting, if Speak is anything to go by.
posted by Pronoiac at 12:32 AM on June 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


My former boss referred to himself as El Capybara and loved them; he would debate me about their merits relative to my favorite aquatic rodent animal, the beaver. He knew the Miramar capybara and others around SoCal that could be approached. Anyway, re its provinence, one time in the Outer Banks I saw one by the side of the road. According to the local tourism folks, they had been inadvertently introduced via cargo ships from SA. "Were they on the ships as pets or meat?" I asked. Aghast looks. Regaling them with fun facts learned from El Capybara didn't improve matters either.
posted by carmicha at 4:39 AM on June 20, 2013


Sorry narain, but capybara has well and truly flown the coop....
posted by pjm at 4:59 AM on June 20, 2013


Capybara have to be a python's favorite food.
posted by rmmcclay at 6:13 AM on June 20, 2013


Unfortunately they're very social creatures so if you want to adopt some you'll need at least five or so.

And that's unfortunate because...?
posted by scalefree at 6:34 AM on June 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


I would ride it to work.

If I had one I would let it ride shotgun with me.
posted by scalefree at 6:36 AM on June 20, 2013


what he said ^
posted by red47Apple at 6:39 AM on June 20, 2013


Giant Rat of San Diego

that was a story for which the world is not yet prepared


There is actually a Sherlock Holmes pastiche novel where the Giant Rat is a capybara driven mad by Baskerville. Cannot remember the name of it, although now that the plot is spoiled I'm not sure why you'd want to. Sorry about that, can't have everything.
posted by scalefree at 6:41 AM on June 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


These guys would come out the river and hang out on the grass where I used to stay. They are just lovely to watch and I have some great pictures but the locals would come out and chase them away, I guess they eat flowers and vegetables.
posted by fingerbang at 7:46 AM on June 20, 2013


I know it's one of those turns of phrase like "lol" which aren't always intended to be taken as the literal truth, but I really did click the link whilst repeating "Please be a capybara! Please be a capybara! Please be a capybara!"

Also seconding this: “In some ways capybaras are even more magical than unicorns,” Melanie says, “because they are real.”
posted by comealongpole at 8:01 AM on June 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


Garibaldi visits a school with Melanie Typaldos to promote capybara awareness.

Is the visit to promote the school's awareness of capybaras, or the capybara's awareness of the school?
posted by CosmicRayCharles at 9:11 AM on June 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


If I had one I would let it ride shotgun with me.

Me too, it's big enough to count as part of the car pool.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 9:13 AM on June 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


Aww, that picture of the capybara and cat snuggling is adorable.

Centuries ago, the Vatican ruled that these furry cousins of rats and mice native to South America's plains qualify as fish - paving the way for capybara feasts during Lent, when red meat is prohibited

This story goes around a lot, but no one ever seems to have a citation for the alleged pronouncement. I remain skeptical that it was explicitly permitted by the Vatican. (I would cease to be a skeptic if someone had such a citation, of course.)
posted by Zed at 10:15 AM on June 20, 2013


Mom cat nurses baby pit bull, Baby pitpull snuggles with baby cats
posted by Ad hominem at 10:43 AM on June 20, 2013


Oddly enough, I just read an accpunt of a steanded expidition that was forced to eat Cappys. Apparently they taste like veal.
posted by The Whelk at 11:44 AM on June 20, 2013


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