LC Van Savage
If Our Animals Could Speak
Mongo and I have owned a lot of livestock throughout our marriage and that includes our 3 sons. Now, Mongo isnít the animal lover I am and never could get the joyful concept of having creatures in a home leaving hair and droppings, regurgitations and stenches everywhere, but I convinced him that owning pets would give our sons a great sense of responsibility and perhaps a lifelong immunity to fur dander.
Actually, looking back Iím pretty sure theyíd have grown to be responsible, productive adults (which they did) without slithering, writhing, scampering, shedding, evacuating critters galloping about, chewing and clawing everything we owned, including clothing.
I however, enjoyed our multitude of low-end-food-chainers; hamsters, ferrets, gerbils, guinea pigs, cats, spiders, fish, dogs, rabbits, birds, lizards, snakes, crabs, ants, turtles etc. You know, the usual.
I wonder what they thought of us. Did they think in English? If so, maybe these were their thoughts:
The dogs: "Unconditional love? Thatís what they think we give? No. Our love is totally conditional. We stare up, eyes all sad and mournful, and they feed us! Hey, weíre only loyal because we havenít yet evolved enough to work the electric can opener."
The cats: "They think squirting us with a water pistol keeps us from jumping on the kitchen counters and dropping our hairs into the butter and bowls of food left out? Haha. The jokeís on them. We listen for the first snores from upstairs, and leap! Weíre up on those counters, when weíre not strengthening our leg muscles shredding the sides of the newly upholstered furniture. And humans become enraged just because we leave a half eaten rat on their pillows? Fine. Next time weíll leave a few even nastier gifts in their beloved bougainvillea."
The rabbits; (and guinea pigs, mice, ferrets, hamsters and gerbils.) "Donít you humans have a clue where babies come from? OK, maybe condoms arenít made for our tiny whatevers, but putting us together with the opposite sex will always end up with a thing called litters, you great thumping morons."
The fish: "Blub. Clean the bowl, stupid. My water is so thick I canít see my own lips. Why do I always have to roll over on my back to make you pay attention to me? And by the way, when my time comes, no weepy ceremony over the toilet, OK? Howíd you like to go that way? Bury me next to Fluffy outside under the old pine. I notice when she bellied up you didnít try to flush her down the loo."
The snakes: "I can tie myself into a knot on your guestroom bed post, so donít tug on me. And your cute little missing hamster? Do I know?"
The birds: "Yes human owners, it really was kind of you to open the cage door and let us fly free and wild. Do you have any idea how many small messages are petrifying on your curtain rods and tops of your highboys? Donít you ever look at the top of your refrigerator? And opening the windows to air the place out last month was a nice touch. Thanks. Weíre in Miami."
The lizards: "Didnít know, didja, that we grow to 8 feet? And that we survive on dead rodents you have to store in your freezer. Oh, and my cousin over there under your couch? Heíll be able to swallow a small man alive in another six to eight months, so Iíd warn that jockey youíre dating."
The turtles: "Didnít know when you bought me we live 150 years, right? Better put me in your will, oh and live worms on lettuce would be nice for dinner."
Yeah, one wonders what our dear pets are thinking. Do they like being owned by us? Do they yearn to get back into the wilds of their ancestors? But most of all, do they wish to eat us?
Click on author's byline for bio.
Cable Channel 3.