I remembered back to our original talk, and how hard I had tried not to look at the monkey's tits — the result, Janet told me later, of a glandular disorder. They bounced whenever the monkey moved. If you shaved them, they would have been a pretty nice set. The monkey bared its teeth at me back then, and I felt like a pervert.
Janet's divorced and remarried now, and has moved out of state. She still has animals. But the monkey is gone.
"It took a long time, but I found somebody that was a licensed primate rehabilitator," she said. He agreed to take her monkey, and that was that. No longer a scofflaw, Janet said it was okay for me to write this story. But she still didn't want her real name used.
I asked if she ever heard from the monkey.
A few years ago, she said, a wildlife educator called her and said he had a monkey he thought had once been hers.
"I went to his place to see her and, yes indeed, it was the same monkey," she said.
She wasn't sure the monkey would recognize her, or if it would be happy to see her. But then it reached out for her and made a little trilling sound.
She lost track of the monkey after that. Last she heard, it had retired to a primate center in Florida.
I asked Janet if she had learned anything from the experience.
"I definitely learned monkeys are not good pets," she said.
S.I. Rosenbaum can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read the rest of the Monkey Issue at thephoenix.com/monkey.