Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Legacy of Doctor Doolittle

* First let me say I would love to be putting wonderful pictures with my posts, but due to problems with camera, computer and my own lack of expertise they will have to wait until I know more about what I am doing.

Everybody talks to the animals. The question is, do the animals listen? The reference is not to commands such as Giddy Up, Whoa, Roll-over, Play dead, Fetch, and Sic'em, but comments we would make to another human. Okay, there are some people who might utter those wishes to an actual, living person, but, I think it's safe to say, they are in the minority, and would generally be ignored.

A lady friend of mine who has a parakeet is a good example of what I mean. Whenever she is in the room with the bird she questions him. With a brain-piercing and repetitive version of fowl-speak she cries, "What are you doing, Tweety? What are you DOING, Tweety?" Etc. The object of her inquiry languishes on the perch, totally disinterested and, "doing" absolutely nothing, while the neighborhood dogs begin a discordant reply of their own.
Birds don't listen, and even if they did, they wouldn't care.

Cats and dogs listen and care; each in their own way. Let's take dog's first because they are known as man's best friend. Whoever penned that litttle, "ism" must have been a gentleman , and it surely happened before women were allowed to get in their two cents worth. (Little did they know we would make it a dime.)

You've heard the line, "I wish I was the person my dog thinks I am." I'm sure everyone thinks that way because in the dogs eyes we are the Be All, and End All of everything good that happens to him. His life's goal is to spend as much time at our side as possible. Actually, he would get IN our side if he could. He thinks his master is the greatest thing since automobile tires and month-old pork chops. They have a one-track mind...you and/or me. We are the guys obsessive fixation. Naturally we talk to him. We ask him if he likes the new wallpaper, if he thinks the red slacks go with the yellow top, if he thought what we said to Aunt Lavina was funny, and his answer is always, "Yes." We can tell because he wags his tail.at everything we say. He's a, "yes" dog, but he certainly listens and cares.

Now, we come to the cat, definetely a listener. The trouble is I think they have overheard some Egyptian mythology concerning the worship of their feline ancerstors, and are costantly demanding their share. Oh, they're smart all right. They rub against your leg, purring and acting like humble little beasts in front of company. But, the minute you're alone with them, they whip out the crown and immediately let you know who is really master of all the survey.

In spite of that, the cat is a listening creature, and it is quite easy to determine. When you are NOT speaking to him he condescends to look in your direction occasionally. He may even jump in your lap. But, the dead-give-away is when you address the animal directly; he then looks away and simultaneously lifts his nose in the air. He listens alright, and he cares, but only about himself. You see, he thinks he is what your dog thinks you are...if that makes any sense.

1 comment:

  1. Audrey, as I read this very funny post my cat, Miss Marple was rubbing her head against my arm and purring loudly. The purring got louder as I scrolled on down to your remark about cats and I think it never occurred to my cats they were NOT worth of worship and adulation! Ha ha!