Pet Monkeys
February 11, 2005 7:28 AM   Subscribe

Pet monkeys? Something smallish, like the ones I've seen assisting the wheelchair-bound around the house. I've heard lots of stories about them flinging poop and throwing tantrums, but there must be some polite potty-trained ones out there.
posted by sharksandwich to Pets & Animals (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Don't do it. A monkey is just a pure id-driven homunculus with sharp teeth.

An elderly couple in my hometown who clearly wanted kids but never had them used to walk a monkey on a leash in the park. That little bastard picked fights with dogs, and then it would shimmy up trees, shriek and try to jerk off while the old man tried to coax it down with the fruit slices he kept in his pocket.

I say "clearly wanted kids" and "try to jerk off" because they dressed it in tiny jean shorts and a sweater. Both to try to parent it and prevent it from practicing its raging onanism in public.
posted by Mayor Curley at 7:36 AM on February 11, 2005 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Don't do it.
posted by cmonkey at 7:50 AM on February 11, 2005

My cousin and his wife had one when I was about 11 or 12. On a visit to their house, it attacked me without provocation, biting and scratching my face. I needed stitches in my ear to close the wound and still have scars, so I would also urge caution, especially if there are kids around.
posted by ..ooOOoo....ooOOoo.. at 7:51 AM on February 11, 2005

I heard a story, probably apocryphal, about how Richard Pryor's monkeys would wait until he passed out and then try to fuck him in the ear.
posted by goatdog at 8:13 AM on February 11, 2005

Aye, it's almost kidding yourself to think of a monkey as a pet. A monkey really needs as much attention as a child. They are much stronger than they look and smart enough to think up all kinds of crazy mischief. We couldn't keep ours long (green capuchin) back in the '70s. Cute, fascinating, hell on wheels.
posted by planetkyoto at 8:13 AM on February 11, 2005

Horrifically bad idea. And I'm saying that as someone with a certain amount of experience with exotic pets.
posted by mcwetboy at 8:24 AM on February 11, 2005

If monkeys made good pets, don't you think everyone would have one? Seriously. I've never known one person with a pet monkey. Not one. I've always suspected there's a very good reason for that, since nearly everyone loves monkeys.
posted by MrMoonPie at 8:41 AM on February 11, 2005 [1 favorite]

How about a sugar glider, they are generally regarded as good pets and look quite simian. Maybe that would be a place to start (although hopefully you have plenty of normal pet experience before starting on exotics)

About monkeys, it just seems like a bad idea to share you living space with something so genetically similar, there are plenty of bacteria and diseases that can spread both ways, so you have to clean your monkey often, which I doubt is the most enjoyable part.
posted by milovoo at 8:47 AM on February 11, 2005

Oh, and I just realized that no one had mentioned ... (an apologies if this is too hollywood gossipy) Look up the horror stories about why Ross only had a pet monkey on friends for a short time. Apparently J. Aniston didn't appreciate regurgitated mealworms.
posted by milovoo at 8:55 AM on February 11, 2005

I've always suspected there's a very good reason for that, since nearly everyone loves monkeys.

does everyone really love monkeys? I wouldn't want a pet monkey even if it were well behaved. They seem kind of annoying to me. If I were gonna go exotic, I'd get a parrot. Which are expensive, and loud, and can take up time, but which some people still adore, so just because you don't know someone with one doesn't necessarily mean it can't work out.

But it seems like a good idea to be well aware of the pitfalls before you get involved. I'd go hang out in a place where they're sold and get a good feel for whether you could handle it, if you're really serious. If it's just a passing thought, probably you should just get a dog.
posted by mdn at 9:44 AM on February 11, 2005

I'm frankly horrified that in most states this is legal...

If you really want to go through with this, though, I'd point out that a monkey would be horridly expensive to buy (probably at least $3-7k) and that there are apparently a lot of scam artists posing as sellers.
posted by estelahe at 10:35 AM on February 11, 2005

Re: sugar gliders -- we had a pair who were pretty fun pets, but they really weren't monkey-like. A lot of personality, though, and amazing to watch.

As for the monkey, OH MY GOD DON'T DO IT. I know a crazy couple that has a monkey, and it has absolutely ruined their life. They really need a ridiculous amount of care, to the point that they become the central concern of your life. Also, as others have pointed out, they can be dangerous.

Think long and hard before getting any kind of exotic, rare, and high maintenance pet. The novelty wears off very, very quickly, and you're stuck. They're also very hard to rehome if you find yourself in over your head.
posted by LittleMissCranky at 5:12 PM on February 11, 2005

I hear that Elvis had a monkey that died of cirrhosis.
posted by borkingchikapa at 6:21 PM on February 11, 2005

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