It is no secret that I love animals. I’ve said it time and again, here, on these pages. Admittedly, I am a big dog person. Or perhaps a “little dog” person would be closer to the truth, given the fact that my little Lou is just over seven pounds.
But all of that aside, the absoluteness of this, is my inexplicable affection for the animals of this planet. All of them really. I can’t think of a single one that I don’t appreciate, somehow. I am guessing if former lives exist, I must have been a rat, or a jackal, or even a cockroach. Hence, the appreciation for all thing Animalia. And also the cause for my great love of cheese, and, of course, table scraps.
While I like them all, I wouldn’t necessarily want to live with them. Hippos would be adverse. Scorpions, problematic. And the like. But some people choose pets that seem a little odd to me. Boa Constrictors for one. Far be it from me to judge someone for this choice. There is always an explanation. I suppose it might be caused by their obsessive need for hugs.
I’ve seen a surge in popularity for the Hedgehog. They are as cute as can be, but they seem a bit Porcupine-ish to me. Not so huggable. As a sidebar, they used to be the predictor of weather in the old world of Germany. The precursor to the Groundhog. But when the German population came to America, and could not find a single Hedgehog from Sea to Shining Sea, they began the great and powerful herald to Punxsutawney Phil.
Living where I do, it would be hard not to notice animals. Just this morning, while looking out over the meadow, I saw two Fox. One was chasing the other. And not in a nice way. I can only imagine what the argument must have been regarding. Den dispute, I suppose.
Any day, while driving anywhere, I see field after field, filled with cows. On the surface, it may appear that they are just standing around. Not doing much of anything except for the occasional chewing of ground matter. But that is not the case. They are much smarter than most people realize, and have a wide range of emotions. There was a recent study from the researchers at the University of Northampton. It found that cows have best friends. They form strong social bonds among themselves. They pick buddies. And, they show physical symptoms of stress when they’re away from their best cow-pal. Probably another reason I love cheese.
The other thing about certain animals is how much they understand the need for sleep. This is a thing many humans seem to overlook. Some animals seem more tired than others, though. Koalas and Large Hairy Armadillos sleep for 22 hours a day. And the Little Pocket Mouse sleeps 21 hours. That puts the catnap to shame. Unlike some others. Elephants only take on 2 hours a day. Giraffes only 30 minutes. I am not sure why this is, but I totter on the scale toward the Elephants. While most will work for peanuts, I dream of them.
I could go on for pages about the animals of this good place. There is so much to learn from them. There is a lesson, in every one of the species with us. But we don’t know how many. Some estimate 8.7 million animal species, and counting. So much about them, we do not know.
But more than anything, I am glad for all of them. I am grateful to be sharing this Planet with them, in all their splendor and goodness. And while I said I would not choose many as a pet, the greater truth is, they would not necessarily choose me. The animals living in this world exist for their own reasons. Not human reasons, but animals reasons. Best cow friends, and all.
“If having a soul means being able to feel love and loyalty and gratitude, then animals are better off than a lot of humans.”―James Herriot
“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” ― Anatole France
“An animal’s eyes have the power to speak a great language.” ― Martin Buber