An Inquiry into Cuteness

An exploration of the world’s most adorable animals and what they tell me about my personality.


       An Inquiry into Cuteness

        Gerbrand Poster

Everybody knows about the Rorschach test: those amorphous blobs of ink which somehow speak volumes about personality. Personally, I’ve had enough of them. Forget examining what a coffee stain tells me about my emotional stability, I have a new visual medium through which to examine myself: Animals! But not just any animals, cute animals! The animals we find adorable tell us far more about our personalities than any random blot of pen juice. I’ve narrowed down my top five lovable cuddlies and used them as a catalyst for self-reflection. Some of them might eat or seriously injure anyone who tried to pet them, but who cares! My objective is to learn more about myself. If any psychologists or amateur psychologists (the latter is more likely) happen to read this, please consider doing a scientific study on the effectiveness of the Rorschach test versus this cuteness inquiry. Or do a rap battle, that would be nice too.


Subject One: Elephant Shrews

The image of this little guy and his teeny nose-trunk skittering across the ground sniffing for munchies to eat… it’s unfathomably cute. They can’t make trumpeting sounds like actual elephants, but I can imagine them making a half-hearted attempt and sounding like a party horn… so precious. Their black eyes are kind of unnerving, but they do give these shrews a sense of adorable mischievousness, like in those movies where hamsters fight puppies for world domination. From a psychological perspective, I guess my love of elephant shrews tells me that I have a big nose.


Subject Two: Tarsiers

I like to think of tarsier eyes as Nature’s golf balls. They make their owners appear to be in a constant state of surprise, which makes me picture tarsiers as innocent babies. Of course, the pedants will tell me all about how cruel this creature is and how naive it is to think of tarsiers as babies, but I still want to hug them. Even their stubby E.T. fingers are endearing to me. If I was a pirate captain, I would want one of these guys perched on my shoulder instead of a parrot. If any crewmen tried to mutiny, I would challenge them to a staring contest with my tarsier. 


Subject Three: Pallas’s Cat

Picture driving across the Central Asian steppe when suddenly, PWOOM!!! A Pallas cat floofs nearby. That could make anyone go insane. These furballs are so fluffy and poofy, it is irresistible. Whoever Pallas was, he must have been a really hairy guy. Someone should create a horror movie called “The Couch is Alive!” starring one of these creatures. They look wise to me somehow, maybe that’s because their fur makes them look like they have a beard. Regardless, I would have a Socratic seminar with one anytime.


Subject Four: Arctic Fox

Daring and cute at the same time, that is the essence of the Arctic fox. They are so nonconformist, they eat lemmings. I would love to see one of them peek their little head above a clump of snow, or sneakily pad behind a polar bear in hope of getting leftovers. Apparently they also make little snow burrows, which is adorable.


Subject Five: Dugongs

I know that appearances are often deceiving, but not with dugongs. They’re probably even more huggable and peaceful than they look. Wonderful creatures. Scuba diving with one would be marvelous, and although riding on one’s back seems cruel, that sounds like great fun to me. I would be really slow-moving aquatic cavalry, perhaps the Marines would find that tactically useful.


I think Dugongs are a proper stopping point for my inquiry into cuteness. Much respect to all the daring explorers who quested to find Earth’s most adorable animals. This is one thousand times better than a Rorschach test, that’s for sure!


Photo Citation Bibilography:


National Zoo. (n.d.). Elephant Shrew [Photograph]. Https://Nationalzoo.Si.Edu/.×tamp=1520538731


Rainforest Trust. (n.d.). Tarsier [Photograph]. Https://Www.Rainforesttrust.Org/.×687.jpg


Great Cats World Park. (n.d.). Pallas’s Cat [Photograph]. Https://Greatcatsworldpark.Com/.


National Geographic Kids. (n.d.). Arctic Fox [Photograph]. Https://Kids.Nationalgeographic.Com/.


World Wide Fund for Nature. (n.d.). Dugong [Photograph]. Https://Www.Worldwildlife.Org/.