Beauty and the Beast
That’s how I think of them.
Uma, with her demure eyes, lush growth of fur framing her face, and her graceful body.
Scrappy, with his funny-looking teeth, gangly build (all knees and elbows) and… other peculiarities…
But they’re a team, and they both celebrated birthdays last week: she was born September 5, 1985, and Scrappy’s natal day was September 8, 1974.
At least, the scanty records we have of them indicate those dates. That’s what the zoo transfer sheet shows. But the same paper states that Uma and Scrappy had no medical records prior to their arrival at that zoo, so maybe those birthdays are an estimate. But they’ll do!
Scrappy seems very focused on people, and his teeth look so bad, I suspect he must have been fed a really inappropriate diet during his formative years. (Fortunately, he doesn’t seem to have any active dental problems.) That all suggests that he was a pet at one point. He also is quite fond of people’s accoutrements. Our caregiver Cheri Lutz apparently has the most fascinating shoelaces. He simply must untie them first thing every day, so he’ll sprint right out the door of his night quarters whenever Cheri lets him out. Cheri makes a point of refraining from double-knotting, just for him. And if she wears capri pants with drawstrings, he is mesmerized.
Uma is rather more reserved, but (as our senior animal caregiver, Donetta Pacitti says), she never acts ugly to anyone. She’ll let some staff members scratch her back periodically, but she doesn’t seem interested in interacting with me. Except if I’ve been showing Scrappy too much attention! Then she sidles over and begins grooming him with great care. At least she doesn’t feel the need to intimidate me the way she does with E.T., her gibbon neighbor. Uma spends large portions of her day monitoring the movements of the “gal next door.” And if E.T. does (something? anything?), Uma will dash into her night quarters to get as close as possible and stare her down, all the while chewing vigorously on one of her swinging ropes.
They’re IPPL’s own Odd Couple!