I always talk about the weather here, at the beginning of The Petting Zoo, and I think that is because what else am I supposed to talk about? If I had it my way I’d just copy and paste “ANIMAL VIDEOS” over and over and over for a longer-than-reasonable amount of time and then we’d get to the jump and we can finally watch all of the wonderful animal videos that I’ve been putting aside throughout the week. But that’s not the way the world works, so here we are, talking about how it was ELEVEN DEGREES THIS MORNING IN BROOKLYN, NY, WHERE I LIVE. Ahhhhh! Listen, if it is that cold where you are and you are at work right now and you can’t watch these animal videos right away here is what I want you to do: On your way home, buy hot toddy ingredients. When you get home, make yourself a hot toddy and put on casual clothing and wear a winter hat indoors and watch these animal videos until you are warm inside and out. And then dig a hole in the ground and get a friend to cover you up with dirt and sleep there until next Wednesday, ok goodbye! Animal videos!

10. Cat Washes And Dries Face

9. Cat In Snow

8. Distracted Meerkat

7. Puppies Love Slippers

6. Hedgehog Getting Dry

5. Slow-Mo Floppy Tongue

4. Hamster Eating A Pretzel Stick

3. Dog “Drives” Tractor

2. Girls Play With Fennec Fox In The Desert

1. Howling Mouse

I included two videos of the Howling Mouse today because I never knew it even existed before and it is possibly my new favorite animal. (Thanks for the LIFE-CHANGING tip, Alissa!) The only thing holding me back is the idea of responding with “Howling Mouse” and then having to explain it after someone asks me what my favorite animal is (like, on a date? or in a magazine interview.) and having it seem far too precious. “A tiny, tough mouse that howls at the moon!” Really if someone asked me what my favorite animal was in a magazine interview I would probably say “dog” because I think that is funny and it is also pretty much true. But I’d be very close to saying “howling mouse.” Anyway. What other questions do you have for me? “Girls Play With Fennec Fox In The Desert” is the best art film I have ever seen. “Dog ‘Drives’ Tractor” is hilarious and very sweet. The rest are just cute. CONGRATS EVERYBODY!

Comments (42)
  1. You’d be surprised, Kelly, people have asked me many times what my favorite animal is and it’s always nice to have an (honest) answer ready so people know you’ve given it some good thought and that the animal that you list really IS your favorite. So, in case you were wondering, my favorite animal is the tiger.

    • Mine’s the Liger – Napoleon

    • Mine is the cat. WHAAAAT? But also I love skunks and racoons a lot. (I’m from the burbs so I like what’s nearby.)

    • Mine is the basset hound. (Whaaat?)

    • Mine is my dog. He’s asleep in a little canyon fort of pillows right now and he’s snoring and it’s the most wonderful thing in the world.

    • I wanted to be a zoologist as a kid so, yeah, every animal that’s not a fish/reptile/insect/arachnid/goat.

      I can’t say I have a #1 favorite but kittens and puppies are high up on the list. Everything is cuter in miniature.

      • Take the goat thing back. Have you seen baby goats? Or everyone’s favorite asshole goat? Goats are the best!!!!! I saw a whole field of baby goats this weekend and they are the cutest things ever.

        Also I still want to be a zoologist and I’m a grownup.

        • Goats are cool, but their eyes scare me. Have you seen their pupils?

          I still want to be a zoologist but I don’t know how to switch jobs or if I have to go to a special school for it. Instead I inquired for a position as a caretaker person thingy position at the zoo, but in order to work with animals but you need 2+ years of experience working with wild animals. And references.

          If anyone at VG knows stuff about how to work with wild animals or how to be a zoologist, hit me up.

    • My favorite animal is the dog, especially my dog, who has made me feel better while I’ve been sick. But I also really like squirrels. There is a family of squirrels that lives in my front yard, and they are so fun to watch, even though they scare me when they are right outside my front door staring at me. For my birthday this year, my coworkers gave me many squirrel related things including squirrel candy molds, a giant purple squirrel eraser, and a puppet of Scaredy Squirrel, who is the star of some of my favorite children’s books. It was a good birthday.

    • slow loris with a tiny umbrella! It’s a special species of slow loris…

  2. It was ONE DEGREE outside when I got to work yesterday. After work I made a big mug of hot chocolate that was 50% liquor.

    The cat playing in the snow is the best.

  3. OMG the howling mice even eat bugs Kelly! They can kill all the spiders for you. Truly life-changing indeed.

    • Plus I bet you could get a howling mouse in your apartment!!

      • KELLY!!! I take it back. Don’t get a howling mouse as a pet, even if your landlord says it is okay. My friend in college got a chinchilla and it, like the howling mouse, is nocturnal. That little thing screamed all night long and ran around the room and then into dust bowls to clean itself. And while that was very very cute in general, it wasn’t cute for my friend trying to get sleep.

  4. I have issues with the cat who washes its face. First of all, I don’t trust any damn cat who likes being wet. Second, a cat doesn’t need a faucet when it has to wash its face because it has its tongue and its little paws and it’s already ever so cute when it washes its little face with its paws. Awww, so cute. But I guess at least the video cat is being sanitary, and it is flu season, so whatever.

    Also, that tongue dog is the dog from Neverending Story, right?

  5. That cat in the snow is pretty much me getting to the mailbox today. I never shoveled the driveway yesterday and now it’s just too late. 5 degrees this morning. I comforted myself with a pan of brownies.

  6. I dunno. She kind of sticks her whole head under there and she doesn’t react too much when her face gets wet. My cats were always outraged whenever they were made to get wet, so maybe this one’s just super chill. Still, I don’t trust chill cats, but that’s me.

  7. “That hamster has no gag reflex.” – some youTube commenter and definitely not me.

    OK downvote away.

    • Initially I thought it was a pixie stick and wanted to see how the hamster would react to its sweet innards. I was a little disappointed but still very amused.

      Also that fennec digging next to the little girl?! I died from exposure (to cute).

  8. Dog driving tractor is my favorite. When two of my cousins were little, they were obsessed with John Deere. So when we went to visit, we always had John Deere tractor rides, which consisted of hitching a trailer to the back of a riding lawnmower and my uncle driving it around the neighborhood. It was really cute because they were little and thought it was the best thing ever, but now I realize how much better it would have been with a dog driver.


    I am meeting this pup today to see if he gets along with my pup and I may foster him. Fingers crossed, guys. Fingers crossed.

    • Did your heart burst with joy when you saw him? Cause mine just did.

      • YES!!! I think he’s a lab/mogwai? He’s supposed to be coming over any minute with his brother and we’re going to see if my pup likes them. So I might have a puppy party AT ANY MINUTE. But the (human rescue) guy was supposed to come over much earlier today and he still isn’t here so I’m also nervous that the (human) guy is a flake.

        Also, did you know that if you foster a dog, the rescue group gives you everything you need — food, blankets, crates, medicine, etc.? I didn’t know that until last week. And if you live in Portland (which I know some of you do) or Northern Oregon in general… a dog hoarding group in Salem was busted up last week and the dogs were taken into the Oregon Humane Society, which is now bursting at the seams for adoptions and fostering… so other rescue groups are helping and foster care is very very needed right now. And it’s cold and sleeting so maybe you want to foster a pup to stay sane? That’s my plan. Actually it was my landlord’s plan first. He has been socializing the dogs from the hoarding group and said they’re all really nice. If this little dude doesn’t work out, I already have an application pending with OHS for standing foster help. And a couple other groups. (I wanted to hedge bets and help out as quickly as possible so I applied to a bunch of rescues this week and last.)

    • That puppy is so cute. Those ears! I hope things work out!

    • That looks like a plush toy. I hope you can foster him because I want more pictures proving to me that is not an adorable baby toy.

    • He’s so cute! Oh his widdle ears!

  10. Yay, I’m gald you love the Grasshopper Mouse as much as I do! I mean it eats tarantulas. What is not not love? National Geographic also made a free app all about it;


    This mouse is sweeping the hearts of the nation (except for the hearts of grasshoppers, tarantulas, and scorpions)!

  11. That jaunty 20′s music made me wish that this video of a cat washing its face was really the beginning of an entire makeover sequence where the cat gets gets a fashionable bob, paints her lips into a perfect cupid’s bow, hems her skirt to above-the-ankle length, and goes out to do the charleston on a table at a speakeasy.

  12. Real talk, you guys. That girl with the slippers is jumping around on the newspaper that those adorable puppies peed on. Then she will track that around the house. That is not cool. Play with your adorable puppies somewhere they aren’t peeing.

    • Those were my thoughts exactly. The whole time I was watching it, I kept thinking, “Please don’t fall. Please don’t fall.”

      • It’s been a cold and terrible day here in the Hub of the Universe. Repeated interaction with boss only reminded me just how This Little Light of Mine is barely flickering here in the corporate dungeon, where health insurance definitely has me chained to the wall. BUT THEN I watched the video and read all the great comments and YES! Thank you! OF COURSE WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT THE PUPPY PEE!!! YES!
        Okay, now I CAN get up the energy now to go to my car, and drive myself to the liquor store and then home.

  13. I think I saw the howling mouse before on a National Geographic schedule. She was edited to look like she was howling in defiance after slaughtering a centipede that had tried to invade her burrow.

    That’s pretty badass.

  14. Wow, you guyz! This week’s “The Petting Zoo” post has by-far the most commentss ever for a “The Petting Zoo” post! (Fact created using anecdotal evidence.)

  15. What witchcraft is this? They’ve all been struck dumb! Can her influence have spread as far as Spare Oom?

  16. Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh oh my gosh oh my gosh. The little girls playing with the fennec fox . Guys. I don’t know how I’m going to make it through the rest of my life knowing that video exists and I don’t get to watch it every second of every day.

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