It’s safe to say most of us have some cute animals in our “favorite things” pile. The song this series title comes from, of course, starts off with “…whiskers on kittens…” There’s a reason cute animals do it for us. They’re adorable. Plain and simple.
But add in quirky, funny personalities and voila – you’ve sold me. So, the winner for me on funny and cute animals is the quokka.
These little marsupials, besides being found in Australia, my favorite country in the world, are happy little animals that always look eager to see humans. They’re delicate, though, incapable of handling the 12-mile boat ride from Rottnest Island to the mainland of Australia. If these little furballs wind up ill or injured, they have to be cared for on the island.
When I went Down Under for the first time, I toured the country, visiting the larger cities around the nation – including Perth, dubbed “the most isolated city in the world.” Before I booked my flight from Adelaide, I realized I would be close enough to Rottnest to pop over for the day (since I didn’t have time to enter the lottery to “win” the right to stay on the island for a night) to see some of these adorable Aussie critters.
That day in July was one of the best of my life. I spent hours hanging out with the quokkas along the trails. They love melaleuca plants but are so small they can’t eat from the top. A guaranteed way to get to feed these cute critters by hand is to pluck the pieces from the top and kneel down and offer them. They’ll hop out and gobble down the evergreen goodness.
You might even be able to meet some of their little joeys. Don’t try to touch them, though – mama quokka isn’t that scary, but really. You don’t want to mess with that. Well, that and the little critters are prone to passing on salmonella to humans. So, feed them, take your quokka selfies, and treasure your memories for decades to come.