At first glance, I couldn’t tell what I was looking at. This animal-thing was wrapped around a tabby cat, having long claws that looked very dangerous. The cat was either in dire danger of its life or was thoroughly enjoying herself. Which was it?
The “animal-thing” turned out to be a three-toed sloth, a mammal that hails from Central and South America, living in the tall trees found in rain and cloud forests. It reminded me of what I thought a miniature Big Foot might look like, and thousands of years ago, according to the San Diego Zoo, they were as big as elephants. Maybe that’s where the myths came from. For a moment, I was worried about the cat!
Daisy, the tabby, seems content to lie in Prince’s arms and let him gently scratch her head. A lot of the time, Daisy is completely hidden under Prince’s body as he hugs and pets her.
Interestingly, sloths do not groom each other—or even themselves—in the wild. In fact, this lack of grooming allows algae to grow on its dense coat, according to National Geographic. The algae helps the sloth blend into the foliage in the trees, hiding it from predators who could otherwise easily capture the slow moving animal.
Cats, on the other hand, love to be groomed. Cats spend from 15% to 50% of their waking time grooming themselves or each other. Daisy can just take it easy and let Prince do the work, though he seems more intent on petting her than getting her clean.
He does, nevertheless, spend a little time licking her head, which she seems to tolerate just fine. She maintains her kitty smile throughout the process.
The three-toed sloth’s mouth in shaped in a manner that makes it look like it’s perpetually smiling, and it can rotate its head 90° or more!
Since the sloth’s 3” long claws make ground movement difficult, Prince’s family spends the majority of its time in the trees, hanging upside down. Once a week or so, the sloth climbs down from its perch and has a potty break on the ground. There, in a manner similar to a cat, it buries its feces.
What do you think? Since Prince is acting decidedly un-sloth like, is he just loving his best friend? And what about Daisy? Is she enjoying Prince’s ministrations, or is she scared to move? Watch the video and see what you think!