Monday, June 26, 2006

Blunderpuss, Blunderpuss, where have you been?

I've just found out, via today's Metro, that bats are related to horses. In other words, the Chiroptera, and Perissodactyla, as well as the Carnivora, all form one big happy family. What's interesting, is that it brings certain mythical and fictitious animals closer to reality.
I don't mean that they are real, I mean that they are animals, who might have existed, if the path of evolution had moved in a different direction.
A horse with bat wings could be some kind of hellish pegasus. Winged wolves would be the Empusae. And of course there's the Blunderpuss.
You'll have heard of Rupert the Bear? One of his adventures is called Rupert and the Blunderpuss. The story goes that Rupert's friend the Conjuror mixes up the spells that produce a bat and a cat, to produce a cat with wings - a Blunderpuss. It escapes and Rupert tracks it down and gains its trust by flattering it, and telling it how beautiful it is. Of course anyone who says it looks funny makes it fly into a rage. Anyway, Rupert manages to bring it back to the Conjuror who sends it back to its own domain where it will be happy.
The Blunderpuss itself, as drawn by Alfred Bestall, is absolutely cute. He gets the expression just right. It heads my list of creatures that should exist even if they don't at present.
So if there's any rogue genetic engineers out there looking for a project to while away those cold winter nights, bats and cats are related, and the world needs a Blunderpuss.
Hmm, I wonder if this explains the chemistry that Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle have?

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