Harry Potter Author J.K. Rowling Requests Cute Otter Photos Because Politics Are Depressing

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Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling asked her Twitter followers to send her otter photos because "incompetent clowns in power" were making her sad. Here, an Alaskan sea otter swims holding a heart-shaped block of ice, presented by his keeper in the aquarium of an amusement park in Yokohama on February 11, 2015. Kazuhiro Nogi/Getty Images

J.K. Rowling isn't afraid to get political. The Harry Potter author has become well known in recent years for her outspoken and frequently scathing tweets about current events and her uncompromising stances on social and political issues. She's become a beloved Twitter personality with nearly 12.7 million followers. On Monday, she put the audience she's built up to work sending her otter photos to help cure her British politics-induced malaise.

“Incompetent clowns in power and the opposition turning into a solipsistic personality cult. I'm so ****ing depressed,” she wrote in a short missive, referring to the British government on the one hand and Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour party on the other. (The particular incompetent clowns in power she was referring to are not to be confused with any other world leaders.) Then she prescribed herself a solution: “Send otter pictures.”

And when Rowling requests cute animal photos to soothe her soul, her fans oblige. They happily acquiesced not only with photos, but also with cartoons, art, videos, memes and puns, several of which the author retweeted for the world to see. Here's just a sampling (story continues below):

Pro Tip: When Rowling says she wants otters, she really means otters, no matter how cute your kittens may be. When one user said she had no otters and asked if a sleeping kitten would do, Rowling replied, “Yes, all right, but I'm allergic. I really did want otters.”

Pro Tip No. 2: When Rowling wants to escape reality with some otter pictures, it might not be the best time to try to engage her in a serious political debate. Another user sent her a galloping otter photo along with the comment, “Scottish independence would have given us an alternative to this.” She responded: “Nice pic, but having had a week of abuse from people who think using 'incomer' instead of 'immigrant' makes them 'civic' nationalists.…”

Rowling's love of otters wasn't exactly a secret before she filled her Twitter feed with them on Monday. The first hint comes in the books themselves, where Hermione Granger's patronus takes the form of an otter. (If that sentence reads like gibberish to you here's a key: Hermione Granger is Harry Potter's classmate and one of his best friends. A patronus is what appears when a witch or wizard performs a defensive Patronus Charm to ward off Dementors, which are creatures who feed on human happiness and can extract souls with their kiss. If that still doesn't make sense, go read the books.)

The author's tweets in recent years have served as clues as to why she would choose the otter as the patronus for one of the series' central characters. In 2014, she tweeted that if she weren't a writer, she would want to be an "otter weigher."

The following year she tweeted about the Shedd Aquarium's otter named Luna—“My favourite animal named for one of my favourite characters!”—and about what might be her “favourite otter picture ever” (though maybe one of the new ones could beat it).

And most recently, this past April, she finally found an otter she didn't like. “I woke up today in the belief that there's no form of otter I can't love,” she wrote. “Then Twitter introduced me to the 'snot otter.'”

But on Monday, luckily, her feed was filled with lovable non-snot otters. About five hours after sending out her request, Rowling expressed her gratitude. She tweeted: “Thank you, kind and lovely people, for your otter gorgeousness. xxxxx.”