with Ferenc Molmar, M.D.
Q. With this new monkeypox scare going around, all my neighbors are on my case to get rid of the three monkeys I keep in my living room. They are very dear to me, as I bought them all from a comic book ad when I was quite young (I had birthday money) so they’ve lived with me almost all my life (I am 59 years old). They are very old and wise in monkey years and it seems a shame to have them put down when they themselves haven’t got that long to live.
I also want to say that I am disabled and wheelchair-bound, and depend upon these support animals for my household chores. They know how to load and empty the dishwasher, though we don’t have that many dishes as we all mainly subsist on Hungry-Man TV dinners. They also know how to turn on the Roomba and do some light dusting.
Is there any danger of them spreading monkeypox to me and the neighbors?
A. As I’ve said many times before, I am not an animal doctor, let alone a monkey psychiatrist, and I wish people would stop bringing me their animal problems. In your case your real problem is your neighbors, who evidently are using the monkeypox scare to shame you out of your companions.
Perhaps their real complaint is that your house is filthy and stinky. I’m sorry, but I don’t trust squirrel monkeys (if that’s what they are) to maintain their own hygiene, let alone yours. Because you don’t get out of house, you probably don’t notice the smell the way your neighbors do. I am merely speculating, of course. When my grandmother was housebound she had a cleaning woman come in once a week, and she really needed that, as her two great danes could really make a mess. I suspect your house smells a lot like hers.
I wouldn’t recommend monkeys as support animals, myself, as they are inclined to commit bestiality and other forms of sex perversion that cannot be discussed in a family newspaper. But I’m not here to tell you how to live, and if you’ve done well with these critters for fifty years or whatever, you may as well ride to the last trolley stop with them, and to hell with your neighbors.