Usually depicted as loyal and imaginative companions
In reality they're reckoning and manipulative parasites. Cats have been known to gather in the homes of older single women, where they join forces to infect their hosts with the shocking brain disease dementia felinus, or “cat lady syndrome.” Early symptoms of the disease include lax grooming habits, slurring and incoherent speech, and chronic crankiness. Eventually, victims withdraw from society completely, emerging from shelter only to berate the occasional solicitor.
Usually depicted as brave and earnest dreamers.
Certainly they’re disease-ridden sociopaths. After nearly wiping out the whole of Europe in the middle ages with a particularly menacing germ warfare campaign dubbed the "Black Plague," rats went global with their war on humanity, displaying a particular affection for the insolvent peoples of the world. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the hairy rodents are responsible for “perpetuating a cycle of poverty and disease” in developing nations via their vast munitions store of deadly diseases. Forget ratatouille; the only dishes these genocidal fiends are fit to serve are a heaping bowl of slow, agonizing death.
Usually depicted as playful and fun-loving clowns.
In reality they’re droopy gluttons. Experts in evolutionary biology will tell you that penguins were once graceful flyers. But centuries of overindulging on Antarctica’s vast seafood buffet, combined with a primarily inactive lifestyle, caused their wings to atrophy and their waistlines to expand, turning them into flightless, waddling tubs of glop. Nowadays, they have barely enough energy to stuff their fat faces, let by you participate in such tiring activities as dancing or surfing. In a nation grappling with a childhood obesity epidemic, are these the kinds of responsibility we want our pre-diabetic young people to follow?
In the new animated film Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole, owls are portrayed mostly as noble creatures who sashay majestically through the air while clad in ornate headgear. But even the most casual observer of the animal kingdom knows that this portrayal couldn’t be further from reality. In truth, owls are vicious predators whose reputation for savagery is such that National Geographic nicknamed them “the bastards of the forest.” They’re far too busy horrifying the cuter animals of the forest, like bunny rabbits and baby ducklings, to care about funny metal helmets or other superfluous fashion accessories.