Salvador Dali, the father of Surrealism, did not conform to the norm. He didn’t conform to any norm in fact, and that also concerns his choice of pet, an ocelot. The ocelot is a Colombian dwarf leopard that looks very much like a domesticated cat, except it is longer and taller than most cats — Maine Coon aside. Babou, Dali’s ocelot, accompanied the artist in the 1960s on an elegant leash everywhere Dali went. To give Babou the style a creature of its stature deserves, Dali made sure that the ocelot would be wearing a stone studded collar. To put it in other words, there is no other feline in the world that has been at the center of so many captivating and cultural events. With him, Dali had a piece of Colombia on a leash. You don’t need to be a Surrealist artist to travel to new destinations with your pet.
Your fury travel friend
Dali took Babou on board of the SS France to a trip to the US. Admittedly, you may not need to copy his eccentric mannerism to travel with your pet companion. You can plan a road trip with your dog, and while you may not own a stone studded collar, there’s no denying that traveling with your dog is still a cool and fashionable experience. Admittedly, you might need to adapt your schedule to make sure that your dog enjoys the trip and is not feeling sick while in the car, but it’s likely that Babou also had specific travel requirements that posterity doesn’t remember.
What if a road trip with your dog is not your kind of travel? You can still take inspiration from the maestro Dali to quench your thirst of new horizons. Forget the car. Think exoticism instead!
#1. The smallest primate in South America
What if you want a small but friendly companion that can take you a trip to warm landscapes in the comfort of your home? You can have a look for a baby pygmy marmoset, or finger monkey, which is the smallest species of monkey in the world. These miniature monkeys that can cling to your finger like others would cling to a branch are native to the South American rain forests. These clever creatures may be small, but they are not cheap as you can expect to pay up to $4,000 for the monkey only, excluding all habitat equipment.
#2. The largest rodent in the world
Not tempted by the smallest monkey in the world? How about keeping a capybara, the largest rodent in the world? Native to South America too, the capybara is often referred to as the giant guinea pig. This interesting rodent lives an average of nine years in the wild, but the comfort of the home life usually grants it a few additional years. If you want to adopt a capybara, you should check first whether your state has legalized it as a pet — not all have. A piece of advice: It’s best to start with babies that you tame.
#3. The mini kangaroo from Australia
You can own a wallaby in some states, but you may need a USDA license first in Arizona and Texas. If you live in Nevada, Wisconsin, Ohio, West Virginia, North and South Carolina, you’re in luck: These states don’t have any requirement related to wallabies. Naturally cute and cuddly, this mini kangaroo is the closest you’ll get to an affectionate dog or cat without any of the barking, meowing and digging.
#4. The African reptilian friend
If you’re after a sensational pet, you may be interested in a ball python. It’s one of the most popular pet pythons in the world, and it’s easy to understand why: They are extremely friendly and can be very elegant too. As they’re very docile, they make the ideal pet for a first-time snake keeper even though they can live up to 30 years! However, a word of warning: Pythons are very shy and need time to trust you, so it’s important to feel comfortable around snakes.
#5. Your big cat from Africa
You might have read about Christian’s story. Christian was a lion that was adopted as a cub by a group of friend in London in the 1960s. However, as Christian grew, it became apparent that he couldn’t live in town anymore. With great sadness, his owners released him in a natural reserve in Africa. The story, however, has a happy ending as they visited Christian one year later and met his family. Proof that exotic or not, any pet is able of affection.
Which horizons would you like to discover with your pet friend? Are you a road trip person with a dog or do you feel the Australian soul of a wallaby keeper?