Fluffy cute ain't got shit to do with my fascination with animals. It's really how they're put together that I obsess over. I'm talking about structure, which like most people, is something I badly need and constantly seek in my life. Only I do it literally in the sense that I enjoy discovering skeletons that allow me to cast a slightly darkened eye on an animal's form and really understand and appreciate its frailty.
I found this lizard one winter just when basketball season was starting when my buddy came over to watch a game, and I wanted him to grill me a pizza. (He made the best margherita pizza of my life.) I hadn't touched the grill in years, and when I opened it, I found this guy:
He'd lived out the rest of his life stuck to that grill, and I had to pry him off of it. His tiny digits were charred to the grates, cooked alive in a situation I can't help but feel he could have escaped if he'd wanted to. As if I am one to talk on that subject matter.
Today, I took in an abandoned housecat that was malnourished, filthy and flea-ridden. Washing him, I felt his spine, and he responded by arching his back to meet my palm fully. Those facet joints I felt directly below his matted fur caused me to recoil, but I kept petting him anyway.