You can thank Barbara over at Silver in the Barn, a wonderful blog about her insights into life (and photography) for the title. She had a post around the beginning of the year about how certain items seemed to be more prevalent some years than others (https://silverinthebarn.wordpress.com/2014/12/29/minotaur-ukulele/). She also asked what we thought our year might be titled. I had been thinking about writing a sloth post, and it seemed like the perfect title.
Wandering around the blogosphere, I was reminded of the interview Kristen Bell did on The Ellen Show about three years ago showing how much she likes sloths (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5jw3T3Jy70).
That may have been the starting point for the love affair some people have developed with sloths. My daughter has certainly joined the fan club. I was amazed that I was able to find a sloth calendar at a major brick-and-mortar bookstore. There it was amongst the overwhelming number of dogs, cats, cars, sports, and spiritual calendars. (Horatio reminds me that there was also one with pictures of hedgehogs.)
If you type in “sloth” on YouTube, you will get a long list of videos about the little guys (average height 23 in/58 cm; weight 8.75 lbs/4 kg). Google says it has over 22 million results for “sloth”. Of course, we all know that Google lies. Those results include doubles, triples, etc. of the same item and any 600-page essay that includes the word. Nevertheless, this may be the year.
So why did we fall in love with an animal named after one of the Seven Deadly Sins? It moves so little and slowly that algae grows in its fur, so it looks like it has been to the salon for a green tint. Any animal that moves that little has a certain appeal to those of us always yearning for a nap. They sleep 15–20 hours/day (which sounds just fine to the cat sleeping next to me). Even awake, they are often motionless. Kind of like football fans in the fall.
Sloths are versatile as well. They come in the two-toed and three-toed variety, but have basically the same traits. They live almost their entire lives in treetops. Those long arms allow quite a bit of freedom in the trees. They have a powerful grip which may not even release in death. Sounds a bit like some people and their money.
Sloths mate and give birth while hanging in trees. I can’t imagine how birthing would work.Who would catch the baby? Maybe they come out clinging to the mother. That’s how they spend the first nine months of their lives. (How do they know when nine months is up?)
However, I think people are attracted to them because they are almost excessively cute. How can you resist an animal that looks like it’s smiling all the time and gives great hugs? (http://www.slothsanctuary.com/meet-the-sloths/)
Plan ahead. International Sloth Day is October 20. If you want a real sloth at the party, he/she will need to start moving now. It’s a long way from Central America.
Facts courtesy of National Geographic (http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/three-toed-sloth/)
Pictures courtesy of The Sloth Sanctuary of Costa Rica (http://www.slothsanctuary.com/)