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The Price of Cuteness – Part 2

Litte Boy Blue

Sure there is a price to being cute but there are advantages too. Take a look at this great blanket that my Facebook friend Katie Gallo made for me. It is super soft and the blue really brings out the color of my eyes.

Continue reading “The Price of Cuteness – Part 2” »

Carpincho’s New Year

Me with Carpincho

Me with Carpincho

The photo above shows me with my little stuffed capybara friend Carpincho. Carpincho means capybara in Spanish. That’s kind-of funny because Carpincho was born in England and now lives in Russia! He’s a world citizen capybara.

Carpincho lives with my friend Lina in Moscow. The two of them made this excellent slide show of their winter holiday and I just had to show it to all my fans. I hope you enjoy it. If you do, I’m sure Lina would love to read comments from you, so please post your impressions.

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Professor Rous

Me at Hill Elementary School

Me at Hill Elementary School

Not a week goes by where something exciting doesn’t happen to me. You might think it is exhausting (I believe this is my owner’s opinion), but I love it! Last week was an especially big one for me. You’ll recall that my Russian stalker, Rezoner, visited. Well, Rezoner wrote a (hopefully) nice post about our meeting. Only it’s in Russian. I have a lot of Russian-speaking fans so if one or more of you could read it and leave a comment here about whether it is nice or not, I would appreciate it. Only I’m sure it is because Rezoner loved me so why would he not write something nice?

I also got to meet a local stalker Bob Cooksey. Bob posted this video of our meeting. Check it out and leave Bob a comment. He’s only gotten two as of this writing and that video surely deserves more.

But that was last week so let’s get to the new news. This week I did two school visits.

Monday I went to the San Marcos Montessori School in San Marcos, Texas. In this visit I met about 30 students, mostly pre-school but some 1st and 2nd graders since Monday was a holiday for a lot of folks. Gosh I had a good time! The kids sat around me in a circle and were very well mannered about taking turns asking questions and petting me.  I have to say, I wish adults were always so well behaved!

The preschool has a pet guinea pig named Sugar and they brought her out to meet me. She is absolutely the cutest thing ever (next to me). After a bit of nose-sniffing, we were like best buds. That is until I stepped on her! I think guinea pigs can squeak even louder than capybaras because you should have heard the noise Sugar made! I didn’t know what was going on and my owner had to pull my paw off of Sugar. I can’t tell you how embarrassed and worried I was. But a few days later we got an email from the school and Sugar is fine. Whew!

Me with Jeff Djayasaputra

Me with Jeff Djayasaputra

Friday I went to Hill Elementary School. Outside the school I met up with my Houston stalker, Jeff Djayasaputra. You can see me with him in the photo above. I guess I could have been friendlier but I really wanted to explore my surroundings. It’s not every day that I go so far north; I wanted to see if there was any of that white stuff called “snow” up there. For better or worse, I didn’t find any.

JJeff is a graphic artist and he brought a gift for me. Look at this wonderful capybara quadrille he created!

Jeff Djayasaputra's Capybara Quadrille

Jeff Djayasaputra's Capybara Quadrille

Isn’t that great? I wish capybaras really came in all those colors.

One of the dumb things Sheldon always says is that all capybaras look alike except he can always tell a photo of me. Even so, we were surprised that looking at Jeff’s work, we could tell he didn’t model it on me. Turns out he used a photo of a Japanese capybara. I’m going to take credit for being his inspiration anyway.

Then my owner and I gave a presentation to the entire first grade. Zowie! About one hundred kids all in one room.  But the teachers, especially Jill Clark who invited us and organized the whole thing, kept the kids neatly seated in rows on the floor in front of me and they (generally) very politely raised their hands to ask or answer questions.

Me and my owner talking to kids at Hill Elementary School

Me and my owner talking to kids at Hill Elementary School

I must say, I loved those kids. They totally got my sense of humor. And they already knew a lot about capybaras and rodents in general because their teachers had been covering us that week in school. This video shows the first few minutes of the presentation.

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Jill Clark feeding me frozen blueberries

Jill Clark feeding me frozen blueberries

The kids loved seeing Ms. Clark feed me some frozen blueberries. And I thought they were going to explode when I did my “stand” trick for a piece of pear from my owner!

Is there no limit to my cuteness?

Is there no limit to my cuteness?

I left them some coloring pages and a copy of my book, Celeste and the Giant Hamster, along with a copy of Capyboppy by Bill Peet. Sure would love to see how they colored me and hear what they think of my book! Don’t forget, the winter holidays are coming up and my book makes a perfect gift!)

As I’ve often said (or, more acurrately, as I plan on saying often), being the world’s most famous capybara is a the hardest job I’ll ever love!

San Antonio Zoo Capybaras

Capybara encounter at San Antonio Zoo

Capybara encounter at San Antonio Zoo

Do you remember when I adopted a capybara at the San Antonio Zoo? Well, my owner finally got a chance to use the two free tickets and go down to meet my adopted cousins. The zoo people told us there were four capys but my owner (who was with my Russian stalker, aka Rezoner, aka Alex) only saw two.

According to the zoo people, the capys don’t have names. They don’t want to encourage people to think of zoo animals as potential pets. Well, that’s a fine how-do-you-do! And every animal deserves a name. I was thinking of Meg for the female (on the right) and Ryan for the male (on the left). Or maybe Betty and Lou.  Or Carly and Simon. But I just can’t decide. Post a comment if you have any ideas.

My owner and Rezoner picked a great day to go to the zoo. It was a Friday when most people are at work or school. And it rained buckets in the morning, discouraging even more people. My owner said they announced the total zoo attendance at the end of the day and it was only 358 people! So it was practically like having the zoo to themselves.

San Antonio Zoo Capybara Enclosure

San Antonio Zoo Capybara Enclosure

As you can tell from the photo above, the capybaras have a really nice enclosure. You can see Betty here in the front, chomping on some greens while Lou hangs out way down at the end of the pond. They even have some birds that could (theoretically) land on their backs.

Female Capybara. Carley?

Female Capybara. Carley?

They two capys are incredibly cute and you can get right to eye-level with them without a glass or anything in between, which is not true at many zoos. It’s too bad they don’t have any actual grass to graze on. That is one of my favorite activities and it is quite different from eating food that has been picked and deposited for you. But you can’t have everything.

I don’t know why, but my owner wanted me to include photos of some of the other zoo animals. This next one is one I can appreciate.

Rock Squirrel at San Antonio Zoo

Rock Squirrel at San Antonio Zoo

It is a zoo animal in that it lives in a zoo. But it is not confined to a cage. This is a cute little rock squirrel. We don’t have them at my house, possibly because we don’t have any rocks, but they are native to Texas.

Boat-tailed Grackle

Boat-tailed Grackle

Rezoner was fascinated by these birds even the next day when we saw them at lunch. They are some of the most common birds in this area. We don’t have many of them at my house because they prefer the city. I wonder if one would sit on my back? Their South American relatives do, I think.

My owner said I do not have to be afraid of the gharial in the next photo.

Gharial or gavial at San Antonio Zoo

Gharial or gavial at San Antonio Zoo

Owner says they can only eat fish with that long, narrow snout. Still, they remind me of crocodiles and that is not good.

Rezoner apparently has a way with birds. This pied dove landed on him and wouldn’t get off until he shook it really hard.

Rezoner with an Australian Pied Dove

Rezoner with an Australian Pied Dove

Why doesn’t that happen to me?

Well, that’s about it. But it is my opinion that every blog post should end with a photo of a capybara. Here are Ryan & Meg saying goodbye at the end of the day.

San Antonio Zoo Capybaras

San Antonio Zoo Capybaras

What a Weekend!

Me with Alex (aka Rezoner)

Me with Alex (aka Rezoner)

Did anyone ever tell you never to meet someone you know from the internet in person? Gosh, I blew that warning to shreds this weekend! Do you see that photo above? That is me sitting on the couch with my friend Alex, aka Rezoner. Rezoner and I “met” when I was just a baby ‘bara and only had a MySpace page to my name. In fact, Rezoner found me through my owner’s old blog, possibly from the very first reference to me on the internet EVER.

I call Rezoner my Russian stalker. He’s not really a stalker though, he’s just a fanatic–I mean fan. And he lives in Boston, not in Russia. And I have lots of Russian fans when it comes down to it. But since he was my very first Russian fan, he gets to keep the title, caveats aside.

Anyway, Rezoner had to come to San Antonio this weekend for a conference and so we finally got to meet in person! You can see by the photo above that we really hit it off. The photo below shows why.

Rezoner offering me a bowl of blueberry yogurt.

Rezoner offering me a bowl of blueberry yogurt.

Let it never be said that my affection cannot be bought by treats! Plus, look at this, he brought a stuffed capybara named Carpincho with him.

Me with Carpincho

Me with Carpincho

You may remember Carpincho from my post about capybaras at Moscow zoo. You can imagine how surprised I was to see Carpincho. That toy capybara is a serious world traveler!

You might think that was enough excitement, and it sure would have been, but there was even more in store for me. Two new admirers showed up. Shruti from my owner’s work and Shruti’s husband Vikram came over to my house too! We had a serious party going on.

Me, Carpincho, Rezoner, Shruti & Vikram

Me, Carpincho, Rezoner, Shruti & Vikram

You can see the party was (naturally) centered on me.  I loved that. Everyone was petting me and giving me treats. This is the life.  I really thought it couldn’t get any better…but it did!

My owner and Sheldon, who was also there for the party, put my harness on me and the whole lot of us went out to the creek. It rained again and the creek was full to the brim.

The water in Capybara Creek was cold so I had to ease myself in

The water in Capybara Creek was cold so I had to ease myself in

It was actually deep enough for a serious swim.

Me swimming in Capybara Creek

Me swimming in Capybara Creek

Look how much room I had to roam around in.

Me in Capybara Creek--and this isn't even the deep part

Me in Capybara Creek--and this isn't even the deep part

If it hadn’t been so cold, they never would have gotten me out!

These little plants are quite tasty

These little plants are quite tasty

The plants on the bank were almost irresistable. They weren’t there a couple of weeks ago. This rain stuff is pretty amazing. It fills the creek with water to swim in and the ground with food to eat. Wow!

So you’d think that would be it, wouldn’t you? What a day I’d had already. But it was getting to be lunch time and we all piled into cars and headed to Austin Java for a quick bite.

You’ll never guess but I met two more friends there. Bob Cooksey is someone I’d been trying to meet up with for a while. He was at work downtown and managed to spend his lunch hour with us.

Me with Bob Cooksey at Austin Java

Me with Bob Cooksey at Austin Java

It was great meeting him! Of course, he loved me. Maybe someday someone will be disappointed when they meet me but it hasn’t happened yet.

And my friend @FabiolaThrasher (aka Etienne) whom I’d met at my birthday party was there too. Wow. My owner didn’t get any photos of me with her so I’m kind-of mad about that.

Of course, I met lots of new friends too.

Me and my owner at Austin Java

Me and my owner at Austin Java

I even did a few tricks for them. Can you see that I am standing in the photo above? It’s not a big stand, I’ll only do that for yogurt. But I will do a trick in public for a pear. I also shook hands but only with my owner.

So what a weekend! I hope every one of my readers had as good a time as I did. And maybe someday I’ll get to meet you all. What a party we could have!

\@FabiolaThrasher