Owner, city: Angela, Oakridge, OR
How I got my name: The name comes from the old Brazilian dialect, Tupi. Pua means heart and Katu is good.
How we met: I hadn’t had a good life in the wild and needed to be nursed back to health. Mom arranged for me to come to her and she made me better. I was scared at the airport but gave mom finger pokes on the ride home, which is a friendly gesture.
Personality type: I’m a momma’s girl. I like to play and snuggle with her but don’t care too much about others. I’m also a queen, so I need to be waited on tail and claw.
Siblings: none. Tamanduas only have one baby at a time.
Pet peeves: Warm vinegar. Not getting my treats when I want. When mom won’t play in the middle of the night. Worst is being woken up for laundry day.
Favorite place to lounge: I sleep in the washing machine. I do like my hammock and my house bed on the top shelf of the closest. Sometimes I’ll nap with mom. I used to sleep with her all the time but I like the washer better now. I eat my meals on the drier. When I do sleep with mom I like to lay on her back or chest hugging her, like a baby tamandua on its mom.
Favorite foods: Blue cheese, ketchup, Bar-be-q sauce, ants, and sparkling juice. My real food is a mixture of beef, thyme, wheat bran and some other things.
Forbidden indulgences: Going outside by myself and running around the house after midnight. I did open the door and get out once. I came back an hour later. This place is kept locked down tight now. I like raiding the fridge for blue cheese too.
Strangest habits: I suppose you’d think sleeping in the washer and drinking vinegar and ketchup are strange. I like poking mom’s fingers and pinching toes. I like sniffing mom’s breath.
Stand-out physical feature: I’ve got lovely eyes, a powerful tail, and a gorgeous tongue. Mom says so everytime I yawn and it comes slidding out.
Things you might not know if I didn’t tell or show you: Anteaters have no stomach acid so that’s why I drink vinegar. In the wild, ants come with acid inside them. I enjoy giving mom an arm massage sometimes. I love to play fight but not real fight. Tamanduas get a natural orange to rusty film on our skin. You might not like owning one because even though I’m potty pad trained we can’t help that we leak a marking urine like rats do as we run around. I’m too sweet for those little things to matter to my mom. Oh I do wear clothes because I get cold really easy. There’s no winter in my birth country of Guyana.
Editor’s note: Pua is an occasional animal actor, who was featured in Dr. Doolitle: Tail to the Chief. You can read Angela’s blog about what it’s like to live with an anteater here.
Thanks Angela and Pua!