Finally, someone in the media has addressed the biggest concern we have when it comes to punkeys. Human’s natural thought process that monkeys are cute and fun. As Bill Johnson with the Rocky Mountain News admits, he too had the dream of owning a monkey. And he realized that dream could have become a nightmare. Thankfully he woke up from his dream and has expressed his concern that others too may have this dream and what trouble that would be:

Long-held dreams often die hard. I blame myself.

That I have never once seen a monkey for sale in a pet shop should have been my first clue that owning one was illegal. Dang it.

See, I had always assured myself, quite deeply and very privately, that I would get rid of my wife’s overly spoiled, do-nothing dog in a heartbeat if I could trade it in on a monkey.

C’mon, exactly how cool would that be?

I could teach it to mow the lawn and fetch me a beer. We’d sit on the sofa watching games, high-fiving each other every time the Rockies hit one out.

And then, Cassandra Tolmich came along to spoil it all. She is, as you may know, the Denver woman who last month was found to have six marmosets living in her basement.

When Denver animal control officers knocked on her door, she insisted she didn’t know Colorado law barred keeping monkeys as pets. She moved here with them from Florida a couple of years ago.

The officers then collected all six monkeys and handed Cassandra Tolmich a ticket.

“Free the Marmoset Six!” I was going to scream at animal shelter director Doug Kelley. He just laughed.

The anti-monkey law, he said, has been on the books for quite awhile, and for a number of good reasons, almost all having to do with health concerns.

“The problem is people see them in the movies and on TV and say, ‘Oh, they’re so cute!’ But I have to tell you, monkeys are just not cut out to be pets,” he said.

OK, so he knew me and the sum total of my knowledge of monkeys. I decided not to bring up all the times I had been to the zoo.

It is people with deep-rooted and very private thoughts, similar to mine, who’ve kept Doug Kelley’s telephone ringing off the hook since the story of Cassandra Tolmich and her six monkeys hit the papers.

“For some reason, people think the monkeys are now up for adoption,” he said, having fielded 30 calls about them on Wednesday alone.

No, Doug Kelley said, the shelter now is in the process of finding an accredited shelter to take them.

There’s one in Maui, but the red tape to get them there is proving prohibitive.

“You have no idea how much bureaucracy and expense is involved just to get six monkeys from here to Hawaii,” he said.

Marmosets aren’t exactly a rare monkey breed, so the zoo is out, he said.

A sanctuary in Kansas is now a possibility, he said, if one can be found with a proper license and accreditation. The city, Doug Kelley said, just wants to get this done as quickly as possible.

The reason is that six marmosets can be a handful, even at the shelter. And the shelter has had monkeys before.

The most-memorable primate, he said, arrived a couple of years ago during the NBA All-Star Game when officers were called to a downtown hotel after a Java monkey nearly bit the finger off of a maid who’d tried to pet it.

“The man who owned it. . . said it was trained, but it got the maid,” Doug Kelley recalled.

After quarantining it for more than 30 days, and after all of the tests came up negative, the monkey was returned to the man in Pennsylvania.

“He said he brought the monkey to Denver as a good-luck charm,” Doug Kelley said, “but I think it was probably more to get attention. He got it.”

It is the thing with monkeys, he said. They are not everything we imagine they might be.

“There is a lot of poo-flinging going on when you’re talking about monkeys,” he said. “There is also a lot of, uh – how do I say this? – self-satisfaction involved.”

And even if you wanted a marmoset, he said, a single one is priced on the Internet now at about $3,000 to $4,000.

“This is the worst thing,” Doug Kelley said. “One marmoset alone doesn’t, well, smell too well. You put six together, I’ll just say, my goodness.”

And he doesn’t know how you could teach one to mow the lawn or fetch a beer or anything else. Marmosets, he said, are constantly moving, havoc-creating creatures.

And how, he asks, would you ever possibly attempt to potty train one?

“Even if you could get past the odor,” Doug Kelley said, “my experience says, ‘Good luck cleaning up after one.’ I would hope you don’t have company coming over.”

Repeated attempts to reach Cassandra Tolmich have failed. But she is said to arrive at the shelter most days with toys and food for her marmosets.

“She is very attached to them and, I must say, they certainly know her,” Doug Kelley said.

The good news for the monkeys is that it appears they are being spoiled rotten while the shelter arranges placement.

“We had them in regular cages in the public area, which turned out to be pretty good monkey cages,” he said.

“A couple of days ago we had to put them in a special secured area because people were stopping by, giving them marshmallows and all sorts of stuff.

“They were being played with and stared at, even by staff, 24/7.”

See, stink or no stink, I get that.

Dreams can be big and dream can be small, but dreams that become a reality can sometimes turn to poo if we don’t think things through. Thanks for the heads up Bill. And thanks for letting us know Denver is now an Occupied Territory.

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