Yesterday's post on Memphis's snow leopard proved more popular than I could have ever imagined -- 1432 hits from readers in a single day. That was an all-time one-day high for this blog, so I've decided to indulge all my fellow cat lovers one more time. My logical, left-brain side continues to scold me for my anthropomorphic comments. No, animals aren't fuzzy people, I know, and giving them human characteristics is scientifically improbable. But my other side, the right-brained one, keeps whispering "Aw-w-w-w-!"
So sue me. I talk to my cats all the time -- not baby-talk, but conversations about what's going on, what I want them to do about the mess of cat toys in my office, and why I'm once again displeased at finding my kitchen rug in a pile. And when they look me in the eye and meow back, I not only believe that they are maintaining their side of the conversation, I'm also likely to say, "Why don't you learn to speak English?" I believe they are capable of understanding when I tell them to get off the table. When I say "No!" they stop, and when I announce it's nap time, they line up for their space on the futon. Cats are definitely little furry people in my book.
But when it comes to the big cats, I'm less likely to react with the warm fuzzies -- probably because of all those teeth and claws. Still, when I look closely at the big cats, I see the same sorts of quasi-human reactions as the ones that appear in my living room. Here are a few more Memphis cats who just might be commenting on the state of their world -- or ours.
"Yawn! Rough night last night! And what's that bright light in the sky? Oh, well, might as well get on with the day. Doesn't look like anyone is going to change things just because I'm sleepy. Ho-hum. Wonder what's for breakfast?"
"Have you heard the latest news? I'm telling you right now. I've about had it with the folks who are governing this place. What do you say we get together and throw them all out? I'm sure we could run the zoo better than they're doing at the moment. Just follow my lead."
"Just when you think everything is going the way you want it, some know-it-all comes around predicting an ice storm and everybody panics. I just heard the keeper say he was doing a grocery run to stock up on milk and bread just in case. Why is it everyone in the South needs to make French toast every time it snows? Meh! Whatever!"
Yep, there's some real wisdom in Cat Country. They're expressing my feelings exactly.