Well, not a lot sweet about Juliet. She’s a very naughty girl too. She’s very jealous, can’t stand it when my girlfriend touches me. Juliet, well she acts a lot like a monkey. No, I mean really, like a Filipino monkey cause that’s what she is.
Those that have followed my articles will probably already know that I’m the proud papa of a 12 pound monkey. I’m just guessing about the weight. When I first got her she was just a little under 10 pounds but she was skin and bones. Very thin and probably close to death. She couldn’t maintain her body temperature. She was having chills on a regular basis.
She’s doing so much better now. She’s not skinny at all. She has a large cage which she has to stay in more than I or she likes. But, since she’s a little monkey, its hard for me to take her out when I go walking. Plus, I’ve been too lazy to walk.
Its taken a while, but she seems to trust me now. When I give her food she doesn’t jump to the other side of her cage when I hand it to her. She has made friends with some of the neighbors but its a guarded friendship. She may turn on them at any moment with teeth blazing. Some of the neighbors she doesn’t like at all.
She hates the male cats but there are a couple of kittens that she doesn’t bother. They can get under her cage and she only looks on. Even their mother, which she use to love to scare, she no longer harasses her. Let the male cat come any where near her and she has herself a fit, throwing whatever she can to let that cat knows who is the boss. The tom cat, he’s too cool to act scared. Well, he tries to act cool but often she takes the cool right out of him as he scampers away with this tail tucked between his legs. He will then turn around, look at her and walk away with his cool stray cat strut.
People often come by to share their snack with her, which she will take and eat. Then lunge at them to watch them scream and scatter. Every so often she gets a hold of someone by pushing her arms through the cage. This thrills her. She’s much worse if I am out there. When I’m not there, I hear she makes a lot of friends.
Shower time is always interesting. Since she has been outside, she doesn’t smell as much as she did. She usually only gets a shower about once a month or less. The only way to do it is take one with her while she holds on for dear life. Her fur feels so much better after a shower, well to me, but I don’t know if she agrees with it. I doubt it. I haven’t given her a shower since we got our water heater. Maybe she wont hate it so much now that it is not a cold shower. She probably will though.
She never threatens me. I have no fear of her any more. She’s a bit afraid of me but likes to be with me. Usually just outside of my reach. If Jessie touches me though, she leaps onto my shoulder while glaring at Jessie and her hair standing up.
She wants to be part of what the family is doing. Today, our little human reached his third birthday. There were balloons and cake with ice cream. Jessie gave her some ice cream while I gave her some cake. She had seen us in the dinning room and was hanging around at the corner of her cage closest to us. She liked the icing of the cake before eating the cake. She held the ice cream by the cone and licked the cream of it before making the cone disappear as well.
Juliet loves to play catch! It doesn’t matter what. A ball or a can. We put milk in her can, once the milk is gone she throws the can, usually at Jessie. She never throws it my way. After Jessie caught it a few times, Juliet started catching it too then throws it back. She likes to play ball with Jessie too. She tries to get under it though. She will get on top of the ball and try to balance herself then fall off. While laying on her back she will try to get under it. Once I put a ball in her cage. That lasted for about three days. She managed to deflate it. I came out one morning and it would no longer bounce, hitting the ground with a thud. Not sure how she managed that one but there was a nasty gash in the ball. Would hate to see what she could do to skin if she really decided to bite.
She did bite Jessie hard once. She got Jessie’s bucket of knitting supplies and I took it away from her and give it back to Jessie. Next thing we knew, Juliet was clamped onto her leg and had sunk her canines into Jessie leg. It left a scar.
One night, Juliet had been on my shoulder. When she jumped to the ground, I noticed her chain was off. I tried to grab her but poof she was gone. As she ran toward the neighbors I shouted at warnings to no avail. They couldn’t understand me. The people scared her as they were sitting out side their house. So what does Juliet do? She goes inside their house! For many Filipino that is bad juju. For me? I could see massive detestation in my near future. She went in their house, not once but twice. Then I got her in between Jessie and myself. She leaped onto Jessie’s arm and started to bite. I got her off before she did too much damage but it upset Jessie. Juliet left her calling card in the form of teeth marks but they were not deep. It upset Jessie but didn’t leave any scars this time. She wasn’t trying to hurt Jessie that time, she was one scared little monkey.
I gave Juliet a last name. That last name being Kong. You see, this pint sized little monkey has a gallon of attitude. As far as she’s concerned she’s Kong. She might even put Kong in his place as she’s the biggest and baddest around. She seems her position in the troop as second only to me.
A few months ago, Bob came to see us in Bogo. We had a nice afternoon with Bob. Bob is an awesome friend. We went for a walk and Juliet came with us. She made friends with Bob even if it made him and me a little nervous. It went well though, she jumped on his shoulder and climbed on his head. She was thinking about biting his ears though. She loves to give love bites to the face. Problem is, she isn’t all that loving. She bites as if we have monkey skin and we don’t! She doesn’t realize that though.
Juliet can become completely wild at the drop of a hat though. We learned that as Joe, from the States came buy to meet her. He tried to play catch with her. Instead she took that as an attack and wow! I saw a side of Juliet I had never seen. She was on her chain but had Joe pinned to the burglar bars on our windows, just out of his reach with her teeth in full display and new monkey sounds I haven’t heard before. That’s why I don’t take her away from the house. Once she tried to jump on a passing woman’s head. I’d probably still be paying for that.
She’s sweet to me though. She will jump into my arms as if she feels safe there. I consider it quite an honor. It took a lot of patience to get her to this point. I hope my slightly over weight monkey will be with us for a long time as she adds much joy and a bit too much excitement to life. It helps me to fell a little bit Filipino.
If you’ve had experience with an exotic pet, either yours or someone else, I’d love to hear about it. Also, tell us what makes you feel a little more Filipino.
Rusty Ferguson is an American Expat living in Bogo, Cebu.