Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The pet of your dreams

Full disclosure: the topic of today's post was shamelessly stolen from a Paul and Storm podcast I had the pleasure of listening to on the Montreal road trip. Many, many times while we listened to their chats, Dave and I hit the pause button and discussed our own views on the topics they brought up, which was really the best part of the drive. I took some notes on topics I wanted to explore on my own blog, and today's post will be the first of (hopefully) several Paul-and-Storm-inspired musings.

Assuming that science was able to make it happen, what pet would you be willing to pay 
20 thousand dollars for?

My first thought, my first immediate thought: House Hippo!!

Hippopotamuses are among my favorite animals at zoos. They look like they've been overinflated with a bicycle pump, and they're smooth and shiny and have those disproportionally tiny tails that make them so comical. Of course, in real life, hippos are vicious. They're incredibly large, aggressive creatures who are known to attack humans any chance they get, capsizing river boats and just being mean old sons of bitches.


But if science could create a teeny little hamster-sized hippo, and maybe breed out some of that aggression, I would be seriously tempted to save up my money and get one. Of course, the cats would hate it, but if I built it a little hippo habitat in a fish tank, it might work.

Unfortunately, I doubt that very much research money is going towards the shrinking of giant wild animals for house pets, so my house hippo dreams are never likely to be fulfilled. So, just in case I ever end up rich enough to spend obscene amounts of money on ridiculous pets, I have a backup plan.

Glow-in-the-dark cats. 

No, really. These are a real thing. When scientists are trying to splice a gene into an animal's genome, they need a convenient way to know whether it worked. One of the simplest ways for them to do this is to pair a glow gene, usually from jellyfish, with the important gene. If your test animal glows, then the insertion was successful. And adorable.

Glowing kitties of the future!

How great would it be to have a cat nightlight? Considering how often my boys like to dart around my feet when I'm walking downstairs in the darkness of early morning, a little glow could go a long way to keeping my neck intact.

What super-creature would you fork over 20 grand to have in your house?

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