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Posted By Ann

A younger Bantam hen lived with a rooster and two more hens I had decided in my wisdom (or lack of) would be good companions for her. They were a self contained group who had been together since hatching, and they didn't want her. She ate alone, and slept by herself at the far end of the perch. Eventually I moved her to another run where the resident rooster was her clutch sibling. There was none of the usual disturbance when a fresh hen joins a group, the rooster welcomed her joyfully and she is now one very happy little hen. I learned something about family ties and memory in these so-called simple creatures.

Hens are not alone in being the victims of our patronizing attitude. We talk about “silly asses”, “stupid donkeys” and “stubborn mules”, not only about the animals but people who we believe are foolish. We more often than not call animals stupid when their intelligence exceeds our own!

Cats are not at all “catty” as we use the word. They do not gossip and say spiteful and hurtful things behind people’s backs, they are honest and up front.

We profess to love, almost revere, dogs calling them “Man’s Best Friend” and rely on them to do a wide range of very responsible tasks from guiding the blind, herding our flocks, assisting law enforcement officers and helping in dangerous rescue work. They give us companionship and unconditional love ungrudgingly, yet when we want to say something really denigrating about another person we call them either a bitch or a son of a bitch.

Most unfairly we refer to people unable to get on together as “fighting like cat and dog” yet the vast majority of cats and dogs sharing the same home do so far more amicably than many humans.
Pigs - forced to live appalling and unnatural lives have given us expressions like “Greedy pig”; “pigging out” and “living in a pigsty”.

If we say a person is “bovine” or “cow like” we mean lacking in intelligence and sensitivity. The list is endless and speaks more for the superiority complex we exhibit in our relationship with our animal friends than their shortcomings..
We need to revise our way of describing badly behaved people as “behaving like animals” and instead say that anti-social animals are “behaving like humans”!

Time to think before we speak- and remember we are the species lousing up the world for ourselves and the other creatures who share it with us.

Posted By Ann
If you can start the day without caffeine or pep pills,
 If you can be cheerful, ignoring aches and pains,
 If you can resist complaining and boring people with your troubles,
 If you can eat the same food every day and be grateful for it,
 If you can understand when loved ones are too busy to give you time,
 If you can overlook people accusing you when you are not guilty,
If you can take criticism and blame without resentment,
If you can face the world without lies and deceit,
 If you can conquer tension without medical help,
If you can relax without liquor,
If you can sleep without the aid of drugs,
 If you can do all these things...
Then you are probably the family dog.

    It was when I read  these wise words from an unknown author  that I thought about the odd, to us food fads of some of the dogs and cats I have known.   
    Dogs, we are told are carnivores but can live on an omnivorous diet but cats are obligate carnivores yet I have been  astonished by the odd tastes both cats and dogs can develop.
    I once had a Boxer who adored raspberries and could pick them off the cane and help herself. Becky also loved chocolate and once stole and ate a large block of Cadbuury Milk without any apparent ill effects. It had been left on the table overnight and all that remained in the morning were the wrappings, the silver foil laid out flat as if by a human hand.



        Henry is my much loved little rescue dog.of mixed breed whose very favorite treat is a piece of raw carrot. He is deeply hurt if I  give a pony carrot without offering him a piece.
       I have heard it said that if a huddle of people are earnestly discussing something in a corner at a party, the chances are that they are comparing the bizarre gourmet tastes of their cats. I once had  a cat who loved raw tomatoes and would steal them from a salad whenever he got the chance.  Another  I knew  had an even stranger taste, he loved oranges; yet another  nuts,
and yet another was a chocoholic.  No one had told her, it is poisonous to cats and dogs. It was impossible for anyone to eat chocolate if Sheba was in the room without offering her a piece, she would jump  on the person enjoying this tasty treat and snatch it from their fingers with her paw.

           Mr. Mistoffelees, whose story and photo feature in my book THE POWER OF THE CAT has two very uncarnivourous tastes, he likes a slice of bread or toast spread with Marmite for his lunch and just loves any sweet bread such as fruit loaf or Boston Bun. on the theory of A little of what you fancy does you good I indulge him. I also try to see that all my animals get an interesting and varied diet. Food, after all, should be a pleasure not just a means of survival.




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