Saturday, November 21, 2009

Animals make us human

No dead cats today, but I just came back from taking my aunt to the emergency vet with her dog. The dog was quite old, and had developed a condition which was causing her pain and would eventually kill her - after considerable pain. The only option was surgery, which she might not survive and would probably never fully recover from. She was put to sleep.

I am watching Thor, one of the new kittens - well, basically a young adult now -, interact with Nicky, the Senior Cat of the house. Nicky is lounging atop a pile of boxes, and Thor was standing on his hind lags. Nicky had wrapped his arms around Thor's head and was grooming him, licking his ears. I thought Thor was about to make a power play and jump up on the boxes to try to push Nicky aside like he did a few days ago, but I was wrong. After Nicky groomed Thor, Thor took his leave and went on his way.

I just received some books from my book club. One of them is the latest by Temple Grandin called Animals Make Us Human. I remember hearing her talk about certain stress-related behaviors in animals - maybe it was when she was on Fresh Air when the book first came out - and I was surprised at how many of these I observed without even trying during a visit to a local zoo this summer. I can't wait to read it.

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