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Newt is a common spotted cuscus. Many different varieties of cuscus and tree kangaroos are found on the island where we live. Newt is a lowlands’ species.
Often, hunters will sell cuscus meat at the open markets in town. When they catch smaller ones or a baby they try to sell them live. A local guy was once out hunting and had killed Newt’s mother to eat. This guy was looking for some money so he sold us Newt. If we had not bought her, she would have been fattened up and eaten as well. Newt was definitely motherless when we got her, and we saved her from ending up on the menu herself! This is how Newt came to be part of our family.
We quickly became smitten with her awkward gait and her slow manner. She is quiet and soft and loves to cuddle. She shows her dislike for things by making a sneezing noise. She has cute little ears that are hidden in her fur. She has a prehensile tail she uses for balance and climbing. She has a pouch for carrying her young, although she has yet to have had offspring.
She is a very low-maintenance pet. She eats just about anything we eat. She enjoys oatmeal with the boys in the morning. She eats a variety of jungle leaves, mostly vegetables and fruits. She does tend to like variety. She may eat carrots on Monday, but on Tuesday she will expect avocados. She will fight you for your coffee and loves a good bowl of curry. If you give her something with a certain texture or a skin, she is likely to eat the meat of the food and then roll the skin up in a tight wad and flick it out of her mouth with her tongue, like you see in the photograph.
She isn’t allowed to eat on the furniture, so I have no idea how this picture was taken. She loves to sleep on Hudson’s bed and of course needs blankets, so this is (supposedly) the reason Hudson never has to make up his bed!
She has a lot of talents. She is very good at cleaning her fur and face daily. She will even do the same for us if we are in need of a cleaning. She seems to think my shampoo leaves a residue. While most cuscus learn to sleep upright on a tree limb, Newt prefers to sprawl out and sleep on her back. She has trained the boys to do just about everything for her. All she has to do is open her eyes during the day and they bring her food, water, an extra pillow, or just about anything to ensure she is comfortable.
We are so glad she is part of our family!
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