Our domesticated animal companions are pretty amazing, aren’t they?
Dogs, cats, ferrets, rats, mice, fish, birds, lizards, snakes, frogs, turtles…doesn’t matter. These magnificent creatures, and more they way they make us feel, are truly a wonder of this world.
Take cats for example. Yes, they can be utterly aloof, take off at high speed to chase who-knows-what at the drop of a hat, and utterly ignore you except when you are trying to sleep or they are hungry. And of course, cats will always let you know that THEY are in charge, you will love them at THEIR convenience, and you are the thumb-monkey who opens that can of food (which they would TOTALLY do themselves if they had opposable thumbs!)
But when you are lying on the couch, feeling sick, or sad, or blue, they seem to know when to curl up on your chest, hunker down, and start purring. They brush against your palm to get your attention, or they toss a toy on your direction. There is nothing quite like a cat desiring your affection to lower the blood pressure and make you feel good when you have been feeling bad.
Then there are dogs. I personally prefer my dog in the range of 30 – 60 pounds, but even tiny little yappers and monstrous fluffballs can put a smile on my face. There is nothing like that wagging tale, that whimper of recognition and happiness when they see you to bring about a warmed heart.
Dogs around the size I like are generally huge walkers. And walking is pretty much always good exercise for us humans. The joy most dogs show as they strut ahead of you on their leash is so playful to behold, it’s really pretty cool. And dogs just love so unconditionally. Nothing quite like a dog to make you feel better on a bad day.
Now fish are a different matter. Fish are not cuddly, not interactive with you. But there is something mesmerizing about staring at a tank of fish, swimming around with all the colors of their scales, and the way they dive and rise again. And watching fish eat flakes poured into their tank can be downright comical. There is value in these companions, and they can brighten an otherwise cheerless room rather remarkably.
Interaction with other animals will of course vary. Birds can sometimes talk, repeating simple terms and phrases in their amusingly pitched voices. A chinchilla bathing in volcanic ash is a surprising sight to behold. Watching a mouse on a treadmill can be pretty funny. Snakes, lizards, turtles and frogs climbing and jumping about things can keep your mind distracted from troubles for a surprisingly long time.
No matter the size or type of creature one chooses for an animal companion, despite the obligations of their care and feeding, they bring about love and joy and wonder in your life that is otherwise missing. The animals we have over the centuries domesticated to be dependent upon us turn those tables on us frequently, and are a true wonder of this world.
Do you have any animal companions in your life?
Please check out my blog, The Ramblings of a Titanium Don, for more of my work.