Seven Reasons I Am Awesome

Given the title of this post, I think the first reason should be that I am modest. I would never brag about myself like this except my friend @Pandafur (aka Pandora) tagged me on her blog. She says it’s something called an “interweb meme.” I don’t really know what that is. I suspect it is something like a computer virus and therefore not a good thing (are viruses ever good?), but what’s a capybara to do? Apparently I am infected. The parasitical meme requires me to post seven reasons why I am awesome and then to infect seven of my friends. That seems like a cruel thing to do but how can I help it if I am diseased?

So here are my seven reasons I am awesome.

  1. I am a capybara.
    Is it wrong of me to think that is special enough to make me awesome?

    Me just being a capybara

    Me just being a capybara

  2. I am a pet capybara.
    There aren’t many pet capybaras and even fewer who get to share the house with their owers.  I think this qualifies as something that makes me awesome.

    Being a pet has its drawbacks, like having to get dressed up for Halloween.

    Being a pet has its drawbacks, like having to get dressed up for Halloween.

  3. I am the only capybara in the world with my own YouTube channel.
    I admit there are some capybaras that live in zoos and get their videos on YouTube but I don’t think they have their own channel.

    My YouTube channel logo

    My YouTube channel logo

  4. I am the only capybara with my own FaceBook and MySpace pages and my own twitter account (@CaplinRous).
  5. I am the only capybara with my own blog.
    Don’t hit that link or you’ll be in an endless loop.
  6. I have a book about me (sort of).
    I am not the only capybara with a book though. I share the honor with Capyboppy who is my biggest hero of all time.

    Don't you think the capybara should be in the front?

    Don't you think the capybara should be in the front?

  7. I have been on TV on Animal Planet and on the local NBC affiliate, KXAN. And I am going to be on a new show called “Smash Cuts” on CBS sometime this fall.

But basically, I am just like any other adorable giant rodent!

So here are my seven tags:

  1. HotMBC: The House of Mostly Black Cats
  2. Mulder Cat
  3. George the Duck
  4. Shawnee Shep
  5. Frugal Dougal
  6. Milo Labradoodle
  7. Confucius Cat

Humm. Everyone else seems to be on blogspot. I am the only one with my own URL. Does that make me awesome? You be the judge!

Five Favorite Giant Pets That Live in Houses

Once in a while there is a list, a category, a conglomeration of things that just screams “YOU!” This is the exact feeling I had when I heard about Urlesque’s Five Favorite Giant Pets That Live in Houses. Come on! How could that not include me?

I have to say, there was some stiff competition. I mean a hippo is a gigantic beast and certainly not expected in a human house. Same with a moose; they are surprisingly large creatures. When I saw the others, I breathed deeply, and felt a shiver of fear that I might not be worthy of the list after all.

But I did make it! Check out their short introductory video and then follow the links to the longer videos about each pet. Interesting stuff. Makes me look commonplace.

What I Am Not: Tapir

You would be surprised how many people do not even know what a capybara is. They have never even dreamed of our existence. This is so sad, especially because we are probably the cutest animals on earth. I’m not bragging, just stating the facts.

So I decided to start a new series: Animals I Am Not.

This series will address some of the many, many types of animals I have been misidentified as. Today’s entry is the tapir, possibly the #1 animal I am incorrectly accused of being.

Sarah Cooper provided this photo taken at the Twycross Zoo

Sarah Cooper provided this photo taken at the Twycross Zoo

I think you can see that we do not look at all alike.

Here are some of the ways we are different:

  • Capybaras are rodents, Tapirs are ungulates
    Tapirs are more closely related to horses than they are to capybaras.
  • Tapirs are much bigger than capybaras
    Tapirs are 7′ long and 3′ at the shoulder. Capybaras are 4′ long and 2′ at the shoulder.
    Tapirs weigh 300-700 lbs, Capys weigh 75 – 150 lbs
  • Tapirs have a proboscis, a long snout, whereas capybaras have a beautifully blunt nose
  • Tapirs have a very short tail, capybaras have virtually no tail (just a little nub)
  • There are four species of tapirs and only two species of capybaras
  • Baby tapirs are striped, baby capys are colored pretty much like adults
  • Spellcheckers know the word tapir but do not know capybara (I’m tired of that red underline!)
  • Tapirs are browsers whereas capybaras are grazers

Here are some of the ways we are similar:

  • We both have long, narrow bodies often described as “pig-like”
  • Our hind feet have three toes and our forefeet have four toes
  • Some tapirs live in South America right alongside capybaras
  • Tapirs and capybaras both like water
  • Tapirs and capybaras are both herbivores
  • Jaguars and crocodiles will eat either a tapir or a capybara
  • Tapirs and capybaras both like mud

I hope you have found this helpful. Don’t be ashamed if you have made this mistake yourself, just consider yourself lucky that you now know about the most wonderous animal in the world, the capybara!

Book Reading at Kyle, TX Library

2009_09_10_sKyleLibraryFlyer

Feeding Frenzy

Owners blog:

Sharks may be better known for their feeding frenzies but that is just because people don’t know Caplin Rous!

To say Caplin has favorite foods is putting it mildly. There are some things he just goes wild for and one of those foods is the hard, crisp, green pears that some people grow here in central Texas.

Squirrel with Pear on our back fence

Squirrel with Pear on our back fence

Normally, Caplin is very gentle when he takes food from my hand. His little lips are soft, downy and sensitive. He lifts each blueberry with delicate ease from the tips of my fingers.

Pears are a different story. They are big enough that he has to bite into them and they are very hard. At least the ones he likes are hard. He doesn’t like the soft, juicy ones from the grocery store. I’ve feed him hundreds of pears these past two years and never had a problem…until yesterday.

I was feeding Caplin a pear as he sat on his pool table and I squatted in the warm water beside him. From that angle, I can see his huge teeth chomp into the crispy fruit and think about how those teeth are constantly chipping to keep their sharp edge. I imagine the pears are a good sharpening tool for them. And so I was watching him eat, shifting the pear in my hand so his teeth could find easier purchase when…OUCH! The tip of my thumb had accidently slid into his mouth. He didn’t actually bite down hard on it, but he did bring some pressure to bear.

14 hours post-injury

14 hours post-injury

The pain was immediate and tremendous. Blood spurted from the wound. I grabbed my thumb with my other hand and pressed the flesh back together as hard as I could tolerate. Caplin looked down at me with an innocent air. I shifted the pear to my fingers and let him have the last couple of bites.

My thumb throbbed as I got out of the pool. I sat on the picnic table, afraid to remove the pressure for fear that a slice of flesh might peal off. Caplin eeped. More treats? No? He got out to graze as I watched him and pondered my options.

Fact is, I don’t want to go to a doctor with a wound like that and say my capybara bit me. I’m a little paranoid. What if they think he might have rabbies? I know he doesn’t. It was a simple accident. What if he gets reported as a dangerous animal. He isn’t.

I waited 20 minutes and then went into the house. When I released the pressure, blood oozed from around the edges of the injury but, aside from the pain, it didn’t seem that bad. I tore off a strip of vet wrap that I always keep around in case of horse emergencies, and wrapped my thumb.

14 hours post-injury

14 hours post-injury

It’s now 24 hours later. The thumb still hurts but not nearly so much. I can even use it to type this post (only the space key of course, and mostly I use my left thumb for that). So it looks like I got off easy. I fed him another pear tonight, being extra careful.

Lesson: Never underestimate the sharpness of rodent teeth.